Definition

Middleware as a Service (MWaaS)

Contributor(s): Kevin Ferguson

Middleware as a Service (MWaaS) is a software distribution model in which the programming that connects network-based requests generated by a client to the back-end data the client is requesting is offered as a cloud-based service, rather than as an on-premise solution. Middleware is a general term for software that serves to "glue together" separate, often complex and already existing programs. MWaaS has increasingly been replacing legacy middleware platforms, which have resided on mainframes, servers or both to supply the pipelines that connect applications, services, devices, data sources and businesses. MWaaS is often offered as part of a cloud-based suite. 

Key characteristics of MWaaS include:

  • An API-centric approach to integration to reduce development time and cost
  • Uniform UX across different middleware components
  • Integration between various components of the middleware suite
  • Ability to offer different combinations of cloud-based integration services

What's in MWaaS

MWaaS suites can include Integration as a ServiceAPI-centric integration and API management, B2B integration, mobile application integration, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The degree of integration between these MWaaS components varies from vendor to vendor.

MWaaS features provide traditional middleware capabilities coupled with cloud services. Inside MWaaS are standard cloud, application and B2B integration features -- including messaging and caching -- as well as Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) mobile backend as a service, API platform as a service, data-centric platform as a service and other cloud services.

MWaaS vendors

Top MWaaS vendors and partners include:

  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • eProsima
  • BirlaSoft
  • Axway
  • Dell Boomi
  • Jitterbit
  • MuleSoft
  • SEEBURGER
  • WSO2
  • Accenture
  • BIAS
  • BRYXX
  • Cognizant
This was last updated in August 2019

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