Middleware is considered by many as an old-fashioned term, but the function that it performs is more important than ever. With ever-growing amounts of data, applications, and systems in use throughout the enterprise, integrating them all and putting an end to data silos is becoming more important than ever before. Businesses that win are the ones that use data to fuel actionable business intelligence; integrating data sources and systems to make that data accessible to the people who need it, is a cornerstone of modern business strategy. Middleware bridges the gap between two or more pieces of software that don’t natively communicate.
Because middleware has this extremely important purpose, it’s critical that it works well. Open source software — and open source middleware is no exception — is often more robust than not. If there are strong leaders in an open source development community, the wealth of knowledge and experience feeds into the quality and usefulness of the product.
Another key advantage of open source middleware is its compatibility with other open source projects. Using middleware that has its roots in the open source world makes it easier to work with and integrate with other open source projects like Apache Kafka. Due to the increasing reliance in the enterprise on open source software, using middleware that integrates easily and flexibly with open source projects confers a decided advantage. This is why open source middleware – despite its antiquated connotations — is actually a useful product for every business to have.
The evolution of open source middleware
The term “middleware” conjures up images of on-premises, heavyweight solutions. In truth, though, there are numerous types of software that serve the purpose of middleware. APIs, ESBs, and data Integration tools can all be classed and perform as middleware. But with the rise of cloud infrastructure and SaaS applications, older forms of middleware are not as relevant as they used to be. In many cases, they have been replaced by an iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service).
An iPaaS bridges the gap between two or more pieces of software, but specifically also offers connectivity to both hardware and software as well as built-in scalability. And because an iPaaS is cloud-based, it’s easier and cheaper to use one than having to buy licensed “middleware” products alongside their associated development costs.
One of the most important capabilities for tools that perform a middleware function is to serve as a starting point for existing legacy systems that need to communicate. Ultimately, most businesses will want to move to the cloud and use iPaaS (or if they are just beginning, may start there) , but ultimately nobody is able to switch off their systems and move them to the cloud at the drop of a hat. Open source middleware allows businesses with any type of legacy system to join the dots.
Talend’s Powerful, Flexible Open Source Middleware Solutions
Talend delivers open source middleware that enables IT teams to bridge the gap between pieces of software, by efficiently and reliably covering a wide range of data integration and application integration needs:
- IPaaS: Talend Cloud is a highly secure, scalable iPaaS that offers data, application, B2B and IoT integration — both in the cloud and on-premises — in a single Integration-Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) environment.
- Data integration: Talend’s data integration apps allow you to deploy in any environment — cloud, on-premises, or hybrid — and get data from all your sources in any format. You can perform any integration style: ETL, ELT, batch processing, or in real time, increasing your productivity and speed.
- Application Integration: Talend’s Cloud API Services make it easy to create user-friendly APIs that open your platform to new business opportunities, all while improving time-to-market and developer productivity.
Most importantly , all of these tools are within a single unified suite, existing alongside built-in data quality and data governance capabilities. Developers don’t have to take the time to learn new tools or switch between environments — everything needed to collect, transform, govern, and share data to allow the enterprise to make data-driven decisions is all in a single place.
Try Talend Data Fabric today to experience a unified suite of apps that can solve all of your integration challenges. It’s too easy for data to exist in silos, unavailable for or unusable to the people who most need it. With Talend Data Fabric, making that data useful is easier and faster than ever.