Understanding middleware

Give your team the foundational technology needed for modern infrastructure. Middleware provides services to applications outside of what’s offered by the operating system. 

What is middleware?

Middleware is multipurpose software that provides services to applications outside of what’s offered by the operating system. Any software between the kernel and user apps can be middleware. Middleware doesn’t offer the functions of a traditional app, it connects software to other software. Because middleware allows data to flow from one app to another it can best be thought of as plumbing.

Plumbing evolution diagram

Moving water is a lot like moving data

The history of middleware is the history of software

The term middleware first appeared in a report following the 1968 NATO Software Engineering conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The conference, which sought to define the field of software engineering, assembled to discuss topics including software design, production, and distribution.

What can you do with middleware?

Middleware is the technological foundation for enterprise application integration. You can implement middleware to connect your legacy apps to your modern apps, your modern apps to each other, and anything to everything else. You can also optimize how your data is stored and retrieved or improve the ways you develop apps.

Here's an example: Let's say you want your applications to act on streams of data in real-time, rather than acting on historical data? Apache Kafka is open source middleware that can do that.

Combined with our training curriculum, middleware gives your team the foundational technology needed for a modern infrastructure.

Why choose Red Hat?

Red Hat® does a lot of work with the greater open source community on middleware technologies. Our engineers help improve features, reliability, and security to make sure your middleware performs well while remaining stable and more secure.

As with all open source projects, Red Hat contributes code and improvements back to the upstream codebase—sharing advancements along the way. Of course, collaborating with a community is about more than developing code. Collaboration is the freedom to ask questions and offer improvements. That’s the open source way and the power of the open organization. This is why Red Hat has been a trusted provider of enterprise infrastructure for over 20 years.

The middleware tools you need

Red Hat Integration

Streamline integration development with a comprehensive set of integration and messaging technologies to connect applications and data across hybrid infrastructures.

Red Hat Runtimes

Accelerate application development and delivery with a set of products, tools, and components for developing and maintaining cloud-native applications.

Red Hat Process Automation

Adapt quickly to changing business needs with solutions for intelligently automating business decisions and processes across heterogeneous environments.

There’s a lot more to do with middleware