An enterprise messaging system is a type of middleware that facilitates message passing between disparate systems or components in standard formats, often using XML, SOAP or web services.

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Middleware is sometimes called plumbing because it connects two applications and passes data between them.

Middleware allows data contained in one database to be accessed through another.

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.

This involved system design engineering experts from 10 major European broadcasters working over a 12-month period to understand the effect of predominantly software-based products to media production and broadcasting system design techniques.

The resulting reports Tech 3300 and Tech 3300s were published and are freely available from the EBU web site.

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.

The distinction between operating system and middleware functionality is, to some extent, arbitrary.

While core kernel functionality can only be provided by the operating system itself, some functionality previously provided by separately sold middleware is now integrated in operating systems.

Middleware services provide a more functional set of application programming interfaces to allow an application to: when compared to the operating system and network services.