Definition and Examples of Middleware

Middleware Definition

Middleware is software that sits in between an operating system and the applications that work on it. It enables communication and data management for distributed applications by operating as a hidden translation layer. The term is considered vague as it is used to link two separate applications.

Middleware can also be used for distributed processing with actions occurring in real time rather than sending data back and forth.

What is it for?

A middleware application is used to connect two applications so that the data and the operating system can interact. The use of middleware allows users to make requests such as submitting forms in a web browser or allowing the web server to return dynamic web pages based on a user’s profile.

While all middleware performs communication functions, the type a company chooses to use will depend on what service is being used and what type of information needs to be communicated. This can include security authentication, transaction management, message queues, application servers, web servers, and directories.


Common examples of middleware include:

  1. Tools for data or process integration, such as a business service bus.
  2. Platforms for the execution of commercial transactions such as the market.
  3. A set of tools for developing applications for a particular hardware environment.
  4. Game development frameworks that implement services such as graphics rendering, physics simulations, and game scripts.
  5. Robot building services such as robot control and simulation frameworks.

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