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Lesson 1

Introduction to Middleware

What is middleware?
Middleware products provide interoperability services for software architectures and applications. Middleware also offers middle-tier services to applications. These services include transaction processing, object management, and message management.
Many e-Commerce solutions combine multiple solutions and architectures. Therefore, middleware is a particularly important set of technologies in any e-Commerce solution.
The next generation of middleware
Enterprise application integration (EAI) products are higher-order middleware suites used to integrate a wide variety of technologies. Many packaged applications, like ERP and CRM solutions, and application servers, like BEA's WebLogic, IBM's WebSphere, and SilverStream also embed middleware in their solutions. Middleware vendors often original equipment manufacturer (OEM) their products to the packaged application or application server vendors.

Categorizing middleware
Given the vast quantities and types of middleware, it is difficult to clearly segment middleware into distinct functional and/or competitive groups.
Nonetheless, for the sake of clarity, we will segment the discussion of middleware into several subgroups. This module will discuss the following subgroups:

1. Distributed Object Middleware Distributed Object Middleware (DOM) is a type of infrastructure that allows remote access to remote objects transparently. It is based on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) mechanism. Some DOM systems also enable objects on different platforms to interact, for example, CORBA. Other examples of DOM systems include Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle Corporation).
Transaction Processors n computer science, transaction processing is information processing that is divided into individual, indivisible operations called transactions. Each transaction must succeed or fail as a complete unit; it can never be only partially complete.
Data Integration Middleware Data Integration delivers pervasive and continuous access to timely and trusted data across heterogeneous systems. Its comprehensive capabilities include real-time and bulk data movement, transformation, bi-directional replication, metadata management, data services, and data quality for customer and product domains.
Message-Oriented Middleware Message oriented middleware (MOM) is software or hardware infrastructure supporting the sending and receiving of messages between distributed systems. Because businesses, institutions, and technologies change continually, the software systems that serve them must be able to accommodate such changes.
(EAI) Enterprise Application Integration Products Enterprise application integration (EAI) is the use of technologies and services across an enterprise to enable the integration of software applications and hardware systems. Many proprietary and open projects provide EAI solution support. EAI is related to middleware technologies.

Click the link below for a list of common middleware standards.
Middleware standards