What Is IoT Middleware?

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Often referred to as the “software glue,” middleware transcends the capabilities of operating systems, providing a bridge for developers to implement efficient communication and input/output functions. Dating back to the 1960s, middleware remains an indispensable component of IT infrastructure, connecting a myriad of applications and systems.

Here’s a closer exploration of the roots of middleware and its essential role in modern technology solutions. 

What Is Middleware?

Middleware is software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. It’s often described as “software glue”. Middleware makes it easier for software developers to implement communication and input/output, so they can focus on the specific purpose of their application.

Where Did Middleware Come From?

It first came into existence in the 1960s, when mainframe computers were the dominant computing platform. These mainframes were expensive and complex, requiring a lot of specialised knowledge to operate. Middleware was developed to make it easier for developers to build applications that could run on these mainframes.

In the 1980s, it became more popular as the use of personal computers and distributed systems grew. Middleware was used to connect these different systems and applications together, providing common services such as security and data management.

Today, middleware is an essential part of any modern IT infrastructure. It’s used to connect a wide variety of applications and systems, providing a wide range of services. Some of the most common types of middleware include:

Message brokers 

Message brokers are used to send and receive messages between applications.

Transaction processing monitors

Transaction processing monitors are used to manage transactions between applications.

Enterprise application integration (EAI) 

EAI is used to integrate different applications and systems together.

Web services

Web services are used to expose application functionality over the internet.

API management 

API management is used to control access to application programming interfaces (APIs).

Why Is Middleware Essential?

Middleware is a complex and ever-evolving field. However, it is essential for the development and operation of modern IT systems.

Here are some of the benefits of using the versatile software:

  • Increased Flexibility: Make applications more flexible and adaptable to change.
  • Improved Performance: Improve the performance of applications by providing common services and optimising communication between applications.
  • Reduced Costs: Reduce the costs of developing and maintaining applications by providing reusable components and services.
  • Improved Security: Improve the security of applications by providing features such as authentication and authorisation.
  • Increased Scalability: Increase the scalability of applications by providing features such as load balancing and clustering.

Find out more about middleware and MobiusFlow here.

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