Middleware was the hottest concept
in the business and industry application software industry. During 1999
the term was replaced by a TLA
, or Enterprise Application Integration
. Just like WoOS
mentions in his w/u above, middleware focused on a pretty low level
of intergation - protocols
and data integration
. EAI brought this to a higher level by trying to integrate the business processes
rather than pure data shoveling
. You can charge a lot more integrating
a companys business processes than just its data.
This year, the hot topic in business integration is online marketplaces, such as mySAP.com and those created by Ariba and other high profile players and software vendors.
Examples of middleware/EAI products: MQSeries by IBM, WebMethods (former Active Link from Active Software) NEON from New Era Of Networks, AmTrix from Viewlocity. These differ alot in terms of what comes out-of-the-box and I cannot recommend buying any of them if you don't have a big pile of money to lose.