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What Is Middleware

Middleware is a type of computer software that connects software components and applications.

Middleware is a type of software between the application system and the system software. It uses the basic services (functions) provided by the system software to connect various parts of the application system or different applications on the network, and It can achieve the purpose of resource sharing and function sharing. The middleware is located on the operating system of the client-server and manages computing resources and network communication.

At present, it does not have a very strict definition, but it has the definition of IDC is generally accepted: Middleware is an independent system software service program. Distributed application software uses this software to share resources between different technologies. The middleware is located on the operating system of the client server and manages computing resources and network communication. In this sense, we can use an equation to express middleware. Middleware is equal to platform plus communication. This also restricts that middleware can only be called middleware when used in distributed systems. At the same time, it also combines middleware with supporting software. Practical software is distinguished. At the same time, we can distinguish middleware from supporting software and utility software.

Middleware Introduction

Middleware is a type of computer software that connects software components and applications. It includes a set of services so that multiple software running on one or more machines can interact over the network. The interoperability provided by middleware promotes the evolution of a consistent distributed architecture. This architecture is usually used to support and simplify complex distributed applications, including web servers, transaction monitors, and message queue software.

Middleware is a big category of basic software. It belongs to the category of reusable software. As the name suggests, middleware is between the operating system software and the user's application software.

Middleware is above the operating system, network and database, and below the application software. The general role of middleware is to provide an environment for running and development of application software in its upper layer, and help users to develop and integrate complex application software flexibly and efficiently.

In recent years, more and more areas of human life have become inseparable from computer, network technology and communication technology. And with the rapid development of computer technology, more application software is required to operate on many different network protocols, different hardware manufacturers, and different network platforms and environments.

This has caused software developers to face the problems of discrete data, difficult operations, and low system matching, and they need to develop a variety of applications to achieve the purpose of the operation. Therefore, the emergence of middleware technology has greatly reduced the burden on developers and made the operation of the network more efficient.

Middleware Basic Functions

Middleware is independent system-level software that connects the operating system layer and the application program layer. The middleware standardizes the application interfaces provided by different operating systems, unifies the protocols, and shields the details of specific operations.

Middleware generally provides the following functions:

Middleware Communication Support

Middleware provides a platform-based operating environment for the application software it supports, this environment shields the interface differences between the underlying communication and realizes mutual operation. So communication support is one of the most basic functions of middleware.

The main communication methods of early application and distributed middleware interaction were remote call and message. In the communication module, remote calls communicate through the network, and by supporting data conversion and communication services, different operating systems and network protocols are shielded. Remote call is to provide service access to the process, it only provides a very simple programming interface or process call model for the upper system. Messages provide a mechanism for asynchronous interaction.

Middleware Application Support

The purpose of middleware is to serve upper-layer applications and provide an interoperability mechanism between different services at the application layer.

It provides a unified platform and operating environment for upper-level application development and encapsulates different operating systems to provide API interfaces, it provides a unified standard interface to the application, to make the development and operation of the application independent from the operating system, to realizes its independence. Middleware provides strong support for application structuring and development methods, through a loosely coupled structure, standard encapsulated services and interfaces, and an effective interoperability mechanism

Middleware Public Service

Middleware public service is the extraction of common functions or constraints in application software. Classify and implement these common functions or constraints, support reuse, and provide them to applications as public services. By providing standard, unified public services, it can reduce the workload of upper-level application development, shorten application development time, and help improve the quality of application software.

Middleware Advantages

  • Meet the needs of a large number of applications;
  • Runs on a variety of hardware and OS platforms;
  • Supports distributed computing and provides interactive functions of transparent applications or services across networks, hardware, and OS platforms;
  • Support standard protocol;
  • Support standard interface;

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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