What is Middleware – Application Servers

In this first episode of the “What is Middleware?” series we use plain english to take a look at Application Server capabilities – what are they and how could they benefit an organization?

This series is aimed at bridging the gap between business leaders who require technology to succeed and the technologists that implement solutions for them. The level of benefit that organizations stand to gain from technology has never been greater, but so too have the mountains of acronyms and laundry lists of capability.

Key Takeaways

  • Application servers provide a foundational set of services for business applications
  • Standardization of these services lowers cost and complexity
  • With standards, additional business capabilities can be layered onto the foundation to provide functionality to end users
  • Using this foundation helps organizations to focus on their business goals, not technology

In our next installment of What is Middleware we will review what a Service Oriented Architecture is in plain language and the value that it can provide to an organization.

  • ClaudioLichtenthal
    September 18, 2013

    Hi John!
    Great video!
    I developed a similar video (not as professional as yours) where I use a different metaphor which has worked for me in many new hire training sessions: having a shop in the middle of nowhere, where besides having to sell what you are selling you have to worry about parking, cleaning, security, perhaps some food and bathrooms also … to a SHOPPING MALL (i.e. the Application Server) which supplies all these common services to MANY shops  so that each shop can then concentrate on their own business (logic) … Just an fyi … Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhYPP221iVw 
    I have developed many other videos/metaphors if you ever want to join forces … check this link for more pointers: http://www.primolandia.com/vw.html 
    Thanks and awesome work!!!

  • John Brunswick
    September 19, 2013

    ClaudioLichtenthal Thanks for the kind words Claudio!
    Your series is really well done – I did not realize it was so extensive. Definitely recommend it for people looking to get their arms around these technologies.
    Like yourself, I believe that analogies / stories are the best way to discuss these concepts.  Technology is so powerful, but with all of the power comes a huge amount of knowledge needed to make sense of it.
    My goal is that even my mom should be able to tell me why an Application Server is important 🙂

  • cobiacomm
    February 14, 2014

    Excellent video describing middleware in layman terms.    WSO2 has created a complete middleware platform built on a common foundation.  Over 25 products use the same security, management, monitoring, user realm, and clustering capabilities.

  • John Brunswick
    February 14, 2014

    cobiacomm  Thanks – I will take a look.  I know that Concur uses WSO2 and am a fan of their tools.

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