It’s a very basic thing to say that businesses need solutions – companies that are in the business of sourcing enterprise technology want to understand what they’re getting out of modern, state-of-the-art systems.
For example, there are a variety of services and solutions focused toward the types of technology that pros call ‘middleware.’ But when you look at the context of these services, you can see that middleware, like other parts of an architecture, can have slightly different definitions, depending on who’s doing the talking. What is middleware, and how does it serve business? The answer can help you to figure out more about what you should be doing to modernize your company and take on the competition.
What is Middleware?
Experts generally define middleware as software that makes connections, for instance, between a data center and outward applications. Think about a finance or medical or tech company that has a big knowledge base in a central repository, such as a data center, or in an SMB, a database.
The middleware ports this data in and out of the central location and out to places where it can be useful to salespeople, customers or anyone else. You’ve probably heard about ‘self-service portals,’ which are all the rage in interface design – middleware serves those, too. This idea is quickly taking off in the healthcare world – doctors and practice leaders, not to mention the heads of medical networks, have realized that they can offer patients the ability to go back and look at all of their medical records to make decisions about care or anything else. These new services are great for business! However, they require work and sophistication in design. Middleware to bring data through the portal is a big part of that.
Another way to think about middleware is as the connective tissue of an architecture or as Wikipedia calls it, the “software glue.” This page from Data Center Knowledge provides a more specific definition – “software that acts as a bridge between operating system or database and applications, especially on a network.”
Plug-and-Play – The Role of Application Servers
Although the details vary based on architecture, application servers are typically part of the middleware design that handles information that’s directly related to an application. Applications and internal resources need to ‘talk’ to each other – they need to share information. In modern business, silos are a bad word, because the idea is that they block the necessary information from going where it needs to go.
You can talk about application servers or application programming interfaces (APIs) or all sorts of other setups that serve middleware and the porting of information from one place to another – but you should also be talking about your company’s communication systems. That’s because what happens in data and voice channels ultimately affects how your business operates. It’s the “glue” that makes business happen – so you want to support it well. You don’t want your people trying to communicate over obsolete systems, for many reasons, including reduced productivity.
Joon is a company that specializes in business communication solutions. We use a middleware approach with our customers. We look at their infrastructure – what’s in the office, and how it serves a greater purpose. Rather than just trying to provide one-size-fits-all communications services, we take the time to plan out a client’s structure and needs, and we deliver effective systems according to those needs and how the customer’s office is set up.
SMBs that need to thrive and scale find Joon to be the ideal partner because we make sure that new solutions are doing the right things and deployed in the right places. Your communications and your staff are your middleware – they take data from business intelligence repositories to places where they can make deals and convert customers and evolve products and services.