Middleware architecture is an increasingly familiar topic in the world of enterprise IT. Many businesses work on a “cloud” something that seems invisible yet allows for so much possibility. But what exactly is that cloud, what is middleware, and why is it important? And what are common aspects of the platform architecture of a middleware?

The cloud is an interface that allows an application to be run on multiple computers and devices. Middleware technology has come a long way in the last couple of years. It used to be a term used to define the software that interacted between a network and a database, and similar situations. However, now the term is much broader and can actually be used to describe the very networks that allow the software to run on other devices.

But why is this important? Quite simply, middleware or SOA (service-oriented architecture) is important because it lets you worry about other things. It takes care of all the invisible functions necessary so that you can focus on the software you are running to your customers or employees. Instead of worrying about all of the various details such as application servers and authentication handlers, you can focus on making the software as user-friendly as possible. You can focus on the function of the software, rather than all the power that has to run behind it in the background.

You may wonder what this means for you. Well, that depends. For the average user, it means very little. We simply use the software applications that are made available to us, and give little thought to how they work. However, for large corporations with big IT projects, it can mean quite a lot. Rather than go through the expensive and time-consuming process of building application servers, authentication handlers, messaging systems and database connection drivers, you can put your application on pre-built middleware that automatically does all these things for you. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it is readily available.

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