Middleware can often make a world of difference in the functioning of your business’s chosen and integrated software solutions – allowing for optimal linking of disparate data processors and platforms. Unfortunately, for many business owners and development teams, the potential benefits that middleware can bring to the table are often not entirely clear. Thus, selecting the right middleware option for your company’s needs can become an onerous task.

Thankfully, the many potential uses of middleware are not necessarily difficult to understand. As the functional glue that binds multiple software types together to improve their utility in a professional setting, middleware’s importance and purpose can easily be inferred. In this article, we will describe the three main reasons to consider getting middleware for your company. We will also determine just what it is that middleware helps with for each of these aspects of a business’s digital operations.

For Development Purposes

Obtaining middleware for the sake of fulfilling a developmental need is, perhaps, the best known reason. The software development process can be a demanding one – requiring the use of powerful processing tools and myriad system types to be completed satisfactorily. To manage this aspect of the process, most development teams and companies end up turning to middleware for assistance. Since middleware forms the layer between a server or machine and an application that must interact with it, it is crucial to the proper development of the program in question.

Middleware resides on a server in the form of an operating system extension or database manager, but it interacts with applications and users by its own set of queries – allowing access to its own unique file system. Depending on the middleware that is chosen, application speeds and reliability can be drastically affected, along with programming necessities and overall security concerns. This is evident when it comes to the relative performance of Couchbase in comparison to MongoDB (Couchbase is reputedly 6 times faster!). Some middleware options on the market, like RedHat, offer developer-specific tools in addition to speed improvements and container-based processing functionality.

For Platform Integration

A single platform or suite of apps needs to have something in place to connect them all seamlessly; even if they are all different from each other. This is necessary, at the very least, to improve global analysis efforts within a given company. However, it can be surmised that any professional or proprietary system that has been established is likely to be running on a single middleware layer for the sake of clear, streamlined integration across all of its constituent parts. Selecting middleware with the intent of acquiring a powerful foundation for a future suite of products requires no small amount of foresight, though.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways of sorting through the options if this aspect of a middleware system is important to you.

  • First, you should consider the various types of inputs and outputs that are involved. What are the programs you want to bind together actually going to be saying to one another?
  • This should bring you to the next step of your reasoning process; determining what your access points will need to be. Will each program on your network need to be accessed specifically by a user?
  • Finally, you should establish the manner in which you would likely data to be stored and shared. Are you hoping to consolidate all of the collected data from each application into a single database or keep some of it separate?

For Automation Options

Automation tends to come up as a concern in business environments quite often – with many companies and business owners lobbying for the progressive expansion of automation between programs that were never actually designed to work together. Middleware addresses this problem directly by providing the common ground upon which both programs can be united and subsequently automated.

Finding the right option for this need involves specifying precisely what functions you are hoping to automate. For instance, Progress Software offer services and tools aimed specifically at automating business logic and minimal code solutions throughout your business’s network to free up IT manpower and time. 

As can be seen in this article, the uses and appeal of middleware definitely do not need to be viewed as overly complex or difficult to understand. Middleware is a great way to allow for the level of integration that large-scale (or even smaller) businesses need between multiple unique applications and/or platforms.

Ideally, middleware should be chosen based on the goal you are looking to achieve and the capabilities it can provide. Although there are other factors that can come into play, those two are largely the most important ones to take into account. Middleware that is right for your business gives you everything you need to connect disparate services and achieve seamless performance across your company’s network.

If you are looking for a valid middleware solution to get your hands on, then you should take a quick peak at a few of the options that were mentioned in this article. They are great for a variety of purposes and come from very reputable service providers.