Middleware | What is Middleware | Middleware Architecture | List of Middleware Technologies | Express Middleware | Middleware Applications | Middleware Tools
Middleware is computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. It can be 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.
In distributed applications of Middleware
The term is most commonly used for software that enables communication and management of data in distributed applications. An IETF workshop in 2000 defined middleware as “those services found above the transport (i.e. over TCP/IP) layer set of services but below the application environment” (i.e. below application-level APIs). In this, more specific sense middleware can be described as the dash (“-“) in client-server, or the -to- in peer-to-peer. Middleware includes web servers, application servers, content management systems, and similar tools that support application development and delivery.
Other examples of Middleware
The term middleware is used in other contexts as well. Middleware is sometimes used in a similar sense to a software driver, an abstraction layer that hides detail about hardware devices or other software from an application.
The mer software distribution is a middleware: it lacks the Linux kernel and it also lacks a UI. Mer is targeted at hardware vendors’ mobile-oriented operating systems.
The Android operating system uses the Linux kernel at its core, and also provides an application framework that developers incorporate into their applications. In addition, Android provides a middleware layer including libraries that provide services such as data storage, screen display, multimedia, and web browsing. Because the middleware libraries are compiled to machine language, services execute quickly. Middleware libraries also implement device-specific functions, so applications and the application framework need not concern themselves with variations between various Android devices. Android’s middleware layer also contains the Dalvik virtual machine and its core Java application libraries.
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