Here at Degree 53 we do a lot of stuff for different clients. Our client portfolio extends from sole traders who have an idea for an app, right through to enterprises such as banks and NGO’s who have a deadly serious business need.
One thing that is common to all of these clients is the need to move data from one place to another. The appeal of an app or a responsive web site lies in its ability to extend your horizons and keep you in touch. No amount of static graphics and text will differentiate an app from its competitors. It’s the content and communications that count.
So, for me, middleware is the hidden wiring that connects your device to the outside world, feeds it with interesting stuff and communicates your thoughts and desires to others.
Other people may refer to Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) or Enterprise Service Buses (ESB) but we like to talk about middleware because it’s part of our company history and culture.
Where is the middleware?
Our native and web developers are often unaware of the location of the middleware. It’s pretty much irrelevant for them. They just know that a message to the right place will bring back interesting things for them to display. In actual fact the middleware is generally located on servers running in the cloud. Sometimes, in the early stages of a project, you can find it in the dark room next to our kitchen. Whatever the location, we want it to do its job silently and efficiently.
Who makes middleware?
At Degree 53 we have a dedicated middleware team who sit quietly and do their thing. Middleware developers are a bit more experienced (or older if you want) than the front-end teams and generally quieter (probably age related).
They have broad experience across many technologies and are happy to get involved at every level of development. They are probably not very good at web site or app design.
What can middleware do for me?
Middleware can receive data from feeds, process it and pass it to mobile devices. If you can identify a source for information then it can be consumed by middleware and then displayed on your app or web site. You could merge multiple feeds and provide unique combinations of content.
Football results anyone?
Middleware can send data to external systems. If you want to interact with some other service middleware can do it. Post to Facebook, make a payment, order goods or send an invoice, it can all be done through middleware and it can keep track of what’s going on.
If your content feed changes unexpectedly, then you only need to update the middleware, you don’t have to update your apps all the time.
Is it expensive?
Well, you don’t need a version for every phone, browser and operating system on the market!
Middleware is good for you.