A middleware is an additional layer in a complex software structure that enables the integration of applications together with their data by providing communication services for distributed applications via standard interfaces.
In concrete terms, a middleware is an application-neutral program that mediates between applications. Also, the middleware can be understood as a distribution platform, i.e. as a protocol on a higher layer than the layer of ordinary computer communication.
In contrast to low-level network services, the middleware always supports the communication of processes instead of the simple communication between individual computers. The goal of the middleware is to reduce the load on application programs in order to optimise the development process through higher productivity.
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