16 Sep 2012

Top 3 Challenges of Middleware Management

Today’s business world has changed to an environment of never-ending contact through mobile phones and tablets. This means that there are countless apps in use today by millions of people who are constantly talking, texting, networking, and working. All of these apps, by themselves, can not handle the workload. That must fall into the middleware that is bridging the gap between the app and the OS.

The same is true for desktop computing and business processes. Middleware applications are the bridge that make your computers do what you want them to do with your business systems. Without it, the database, the client side POS, the internal messaging, or any other process would be useless.

Managing that middleware is a tremendous undertaking. But, it is one that is essential to the vitality of your SOA and your customer satisfaction. Applications today, from mobile to desktop, are highly designed and connects to a distributed server and potentially a database, and then to a legacy application running on the mainframe. Highly complex, but very necessary. With this comes challenges in managing that middleware. Here are three of those challenges.

1. Distribution of Applications and Infrastructure

The applications and infrastructure of your middleware architecture is highly distributed. This means that as you manage, or test, you should do so in a way that is comprehensive in scope. You must take in the entirety of the system rather than components for seeing the complete integration.

2. Monitoring of Architecture

Another challenge for managers and architects is that the middleware must be continuously monitored from the front end application to the back end. This requires a keen knowledge on how the complete infrastructure should work, but also what problems may exist in this environment.

3. Middleware is Transparent to Applications

The middleware system is a landing dock of messages that are relayed between the operating system and the application itself. These messages are put into a queue. This then is picked up by another data server, or piece of the application, and the process is repeated from there. The middleware is not actually involved in the running of the application, but keeps it flowing from data point to data point.

Testing is a major part of any middleware management. Knowing the challenges that you may face within this testing is one way to be aware of what problems may exist. These challenges are but a few, but the ones that can shed light into how your process is functioning.

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