In the highly competitive healthcare community, laboratories make extensive use of middleware applications for data mining, laboratory information system (LIS) backup, and to combine systems during hospital mergers.Middleware helps bridge the gap between separate LISs in a newly formed healthcare network following a hospital buyout.It gained popularity in the 1980s as a solution to the problem of how to link newer applications to older legacy systems, although the term had been in use since 1968.
Intelligent Middleware (IMW) provides real-time intelligence and event management through intelligent agents.
The IMW manages the real-time processing of high volume sensor signals and turns these signals into intelligent and actionable business information.
Middleware often enables interoperability between applications that run on different operating systems, by supplying services so the application can exchange data in a standards-based way.
Middleware sits "in the middle" between application software that may be working on different operating systems.
For example, traditional database systems are usually deployed in closed environments where users access the system only via a restricted network or intranet (e.g., an enterprise’s internal network).
With the phenomenal growth of the World Wide Web, users can access virtually any database for which they have proper access rights from anywhere in the world.
Middleware addresses the problem of varying levels of interoperability among different database structures.
Middleware facilitates transparent access to legacy database management systems (DBMSs) or applications via a web server without regard to database-specific characteristics.
This definition would fit enterprise application integration and data integration software.
Object Web defines middleware as: "The software layer that lies between the operating system and applications on each side of a distributed computing system in a network." Middleware is a relatively new addition to the computing landscape.
Middleware in the context of distributed applications is software that provides services beyond those provided by the operating system to enable the various components of a distributed system to communicate and manage data.