middleware post assignment

Our second, class-wide post assignment focuses on the concept of middleware.

From middleware.org, a source cited by the wikipedia entry on the term, middleware is defined as “software that mediates between an application program and a network”.

There are many flavors of middleware that support different functions (transactions, database, remote procedure calls, and more), as exposed on the middleware.org site.

Imagine generalizing the concept of middleware to a non-IT infrastructure setting. Considering a stacked, or layered, representation of some components of an infrastructure, middleware would be the set of services or functions that ties the levels below with those above it.

For example, in the infrastructure of air freight shipping, I might consider a parcel as the “application program” layer and the ensemble of suppliers as “the network”. There are several middleware layers that mediate between parcels and suppliers: among them customs and export control agencies, environmental monitoring agencies, air traffic control, shipping companies, etc. I could pick one of these elements and identify the services provided.

In your posts, I’d like you to:
* Choose an infrastructure and highlight the component top and bottom layers that will be the focus of your post.
* Identify some “middleware” elements lying between these layers. For one or two of them, expand with a discussion of the services provided.
* Add your post to the “middleware” category.

Questions you should consider addressing include:
– What standards are there for the services you’ve highlighted? How are they set?
– How well established is this middleware layer? Is it fairly static or are the services evolving rapidly?
– Is the middleware in the public or private domain?

Please try to be concise in your posts. You need not address all the above questions, for example. I expect most to be 4-6 paragraphs in length.

About cyberprofgus

I am a computational cosmologist and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Michigan.
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1 Response to middleware post assignment

  1. samargolis says:

    So do you want us to look at a hypothetical non-IT infrastructure, or do you want us to look at a cyber-infrastructure?

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