In This Chapter
Discovering middleware services and functionality
Checking out some middleware products
In the world of distributed computing — basically, any environment in which data has to move from one system to another — middleware is a key component in making it all work. This chapter discusses data warehousing middleware in detail, from the basics to the specific services that apply to your data warehousing environment. At the end of the chapter, you can find a list of vendors that have middleware products you might want to use in your data warehousing project.
Loosely defined, middleware is a set of services that perform various functions in a distributed computing environment, across a wide set of server and client systems. In essence, middleware is computer software that connects software components. Here are some types of middleware services:
Security: Authenticates a particular client program to some system component to verify, for example, that the client program and its user are really who they say they are.
Transaction management: Ensures transactional integrity — that a system or database doesn't get corrupted if problems occur.
Message queues: Enables loosely coupled systems to pass messages back and forth to each other, and those messages trigger actions and/or transactions to occur. Messages sent from one application to another are collected and stored until they're ...