What is Middleware? Architecture, Types, Examples, Applications

What is Middleware? Architecture, Types, Examples, Applications

What is Middleware

Definition – Middleware is a more effective program that acts as bridge in between various applications and other databases otherwise tools. It is placed in between operating system and other applications which run on it. Middleware allows making better communication, application services, messaging, authentication, API management and management of data between different kinds of applications which help to exchange data.

Meaning of Middleware

Middleware is also known as plumbing because it’s both sides are connected with different applications, and it helps to transfer data in both side.

Middleware was developed in 1980s for making linking with new designed applications to older legacy systems. Now, it is used in various areas such as web servers, application servers, content management systems, and other tools which help to design applications and delivery. Middleware delivers API (Application Programming Interface) for underlying O/S features.


Diagram of Middleware

Middleware helps to provide better environment for developer to design several applications with more efficiently, and it performs all activities as connective tissue in between all users, data, and applications.

Middleware Architecture with Working

In this architecture, to make interaction with back end data from several network based requests, and this data may be into various form like as simple picture for showing, streaming video for playing motion, and it might be complex data such as million transactions of banking sectors.

middleware architecture

This data that is requested can take on several format and it might be hold in different variant of methods, like as file server push that data and received from message queue otherwise stored into database. Main objective of middleware’s architecture allows accessing all back end resources with easier way. Middleware programs help to deliver messaging service for different applications to send all types of data, like as simple object access protocol (SOAP), representational state transfer (REST) or JavaScript object notation (JSON).

Types of Middleware

There are different types of middleware, below explain each one:

Database Middleware

This database middleware helps to make communication in between database and other applications or different databases. Its main objective is to fetch all information from local otherwise remotely located databases. It performs all tasks with using of two types of databases like as CLIs (Call level interfaces) and at-native database middleware. CLI has all rights to access to any types of number of relational databases via with common interface. On the other side, native database middleware grabs all functionality and features of specific database with using of native techniques.

Remote Procedure Calls (RPC)

Remote Procedure Call is traditional middleware that was introduced in 1970s because it works as client/server principle. In which, one client machine can fire any requests a service from program that is situated in other computer machine over the network without any getting knowledge of network. RCP middleware works as point to point communication so it is not scalable and it consume huge amount of resources while it’s processing.

It contains more issues such as degrade performance and high complexity.

Object Middleware

It is also known as “Object Request Broker (ORB)“, and its main goal is to handle all communication in between all objects in distributed computing system. Object middleware helps to make program form one computer machine to another computer system via computer network, as well as allowing all requests and objects to be transferred with using of object-oriented system.

Web Application Servers

Web related applications server helps to produce better interfaces for using of different types of applications are implemented like as middleware in between browser and other system. Browsers are used on your PCs, laptops or notebooks while traveling.  App servers allow supporting all huge range of server side processing.

Message Oriented Middleware (MOM)

This middleware helps to send and receive all messages over different types of distributed applications. It allows less complication for using of all applications move on several types of platforms, and it is also more comfortable to work across all types of operating system as well as N/W protocols. Main example of message oriented middleware is an Email system.


It refers to enterprise portal server, but it plays all roles like as a middleware because it is enabled with smooth front end integration.

The prime objective of this portal is to get interaction in between client devices and back end systems.

Embedded Middleware

This middleware helps to make communication and integration services along with interface of software, and it plays role like as liaison in between real time operating system and embedded applications.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Application Programming Interface is bunch of tools and protocols which help to design various applications, and it allows other applications and services to make communication along with primary application and services, without getting to know about both side implementations.

Content Centric Middleware

This middleware is designed for developers those want to extract small piece of content without getting to aware that how to obtain all content by system.

Examples of Middleware

Here, we will discuss few types of middleware examples, like as:

Game Engines

Game engine middleware is more helpful for game developers with accessing to different kinds of tools which help to make game process easier. For examples are game scripting, physics simulations, and graphics rendering.

Device Middleware

This middleware helps to deliver group of tools which are implemented to develop various applications, and they can be run in particular hardware environment.

Integration Middleware

This middleware helps to deliver better integration framework, and with the help of it various operations, executions and runtime services can be determined and handled from various apps.

Robotic Middleware

This middleware helps to build very extensive software systems for handling robot systems. With the help of robotic middleware, heterogeneity and complexity of the hardware and software systems can be managed and controlled.

Transaction Processing Monitor (TP)

This type of middleware delivers better flexibility and security to all functions of electronic transactions.

It allows control system for all types of transaction apps, pushing database updates which are similar to transaction as well as enforcing to all business rules and logic of transaction.

Application Framework Middleware

This middleware helps to create simple architecture where all applications are built on specific environment. It plays role like as backbone that help to support those applications and it also create particular a server where those applications will be run.

Applications and Uses of Middleware

There are two applications of middleware where to use it, such as:

Enterprise Middleware

Enterprise middleware allows making connection in between software components otherwise enterprise applications. It works like as software’s layer that is placed in between operating system and other applications either edge of computer network, distributed business software Apps.

Examples of Enterprise Middleware

  • Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform

It is amazing and more powerful middleware technology that is introduced by Red Hat software. This platform contains solid architectural foundation, and it needs lesser memory as well as fastest startup times.

This enterprise platform delivers better integration along with DevOps tools like as Jenkins and Maven, and it also offers cloud compatible solution for those clients who want to make their enterprises more active. Its customer support services also much better.

  • IBM WebSphere

This is ultra performance middleware platform along with plethora’s features, and its configuration is very simple.

IBM WebSphere is more suitable for local, cloud and hybrid based solutions. This platform can be scale up easily as per requirement. The biggest benefit of this platform is that its integration can be done quickly along with another IBM cloud based products like as Watson artificial intelligence and dashDB SQL database service.

  • Oracle WebLogic

This middleware solution is getting more popularity because all applications can be deployed on this platform solution with easy and hassle free, and its operational cost is lesser.

Oracle WebLogic solution also delivers quick and simple integration along with other Oracle products like as Oracle database and its applications.

Platform Middleware

 In platform middleware, different types of application architectures are interconnected with each other. Few IT companies implement multiple application structures. In which, firms are merged, when third party application acquisitions. This middleware is capable to support this type of structure, and finally to deliver three ways to make interconnection like as development environments, production and test. Now, middleware is capable to send data from application to application, and in between files and databases.

Advantages of Middleware

There are few benefits of middleware in different areas, such as:

  • Real time information can be accessed in the different platform systems.
  • Information integrity can be kept to maintain over couple of systems.
  • It helps to developers for designing of different types of network applications.
  • It also helps to deliver streamline processes and enhances efficiency for various organizations.
  • It can be used in different types of areas like as distributed Objects and components, message-oriented communication, and mobile application support.

Disadvantages of Middleware

Here, few limitations of middleware, below mention each one:

  • Its development cost is more expensive.
  • Some people have good expertise in this area.
  • Middleware often threatens the real-time performance of a system
  • Too many platforms to be covered
  • Middleware’ tools are not efficient for optimal operation yet.

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