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Role of Middleware in Distributed System

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  • Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022
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In distributed systems, middleware is a software component that provides services between two or more applications and can be used by them. Middleware can be thought of as an application that sits between two separate applications and provides service to both. In this article, we will see a role of middleware in distributed systems.

With all the miscommunication going around these days, it is vital for enterprises to start using software solutions that streamline communications across departments. One such product that fits this description, is known as Middleware, which allows organizations to implement their processes seamlessly by integrating all components of the enterprise. In this article, we will examine the role of middleware in distributed systems and how it can help businesses to evolve.

However, there are numerous middlewares around (for a list of some well-known middlewares see Related topics), each having its own set of responsibilities. This can be attributed to the fact that different types of middleware are designed for different scenarios and each type has its own set of requirements and goals.


Message-oriented middleware is designed for the purpose of transporting messages between two or more applications and is best suited for distributed applications that require transaction-oriented messaging. It could be used to monitor network traffic flows or to monitor the health of a distributed system.

Key Points:

  • Distributed systems are becoming increasingly complex as they are involved in activities spanning an ecosystem of partners, suppliers, and customers. 
  • One way to achieve this integration is through the use of middleware. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of middleware solutions available in the market. 
  • However, due to this array of choices available it has become vital for enterprises to first identify what type of solution they require before making a purchasing decision.

Advantages of Middleware in Distributed Systems:

  • Middleware is an intermediate layer of software that sits between the application and the network. It is used in distributed systems to provide common services, such as authentication, authorization, compilation for best performance on particular architectures, input/output translation, and error handling.
  • Middleware offers a number of advantages to distributed systems. Middleware can be modularized from the application so it has better potential for reuse with other applications running on different platforms. 
  • Application developers can design Middleware so it’s sufficiently high-level that it becomes independent of specific hardware environments or operating system platforms which simplifies porting applications developed on one type of platform onto another without rewriting code or without resorting to inefficient and expensive binary compatibility toolsets such as cross-compilers.

Middleware Key Challenges of Developing Distributed Systems:

  • Developing distributed systems can be not just challenging but also very time-consuming, especially in building and maintaining large-scale infrastructures. This is because it requires considering the software architecture of both the client and server as well as the underlying network topology.
  • Middleware technologies help developers by handling tough tasks such as cross-platform application development, network management, and security enforcement so that they are manageable by software teams.
  • The developers of Middleware Technologies are focusing on designing new technologies to address both current and emerging challenges in order to enable their users to build scalable distributed applications fast, easy, and cost-efficiently.

Middleware supports a wide range of distributed applications, by providing services that span the application and network tiers. Therefore, it is more than likely that middleware will continue to evolve and be adapted for use in more application scenarios. Its role in distributed systems is expected to increase as enterprises move toward becoming globally integrated enterprises.

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