Software that connects two otherwise separate applications. For example, there are a number of middleware products that link a database system to a Web server. This allowsusers to request data from the database using forms displayed on a Web browser, and it enables the Web server to return dynamicWeb pages based on the user’s requests and profile.
The term middleware is used to describe separate products that serve as the glue between two applications. It is, therefore, distinct from import and export features that may be built into one of the applications. Middleware is sometimes called plumbing because it connects two sides of an application and passes data between them. Common middleware categories include:
In the computer industry, middleware is a general term for any programming that serves to “glue together” or mediate between two separate and often already existing programs. A common application of middleware is to allow programs written for access to a particular database to access other databases.
Typically, middleware programs provide messaging services so that different applications can communicate. The systematic tying together of disparate applications, often through the use of middleware, is known as enterprise application integration (EAI).