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Simply put, middleware is a software platform that sits between an application/device and another application/device. It makes the connection between any two clients, servers, databases or even applications possible; it is not used directly by end users. Cloud middleware, however, is always accessible to the user in the form of remote software platform for communication or management of data.
Typically situated between the operating system and an application, cloud middleware provides a number of functionalities to the user. It helps in the creation of business applications; facilitates concurrency, transactions, threading and messaging; and provides a service component architecture framework for creating service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications. Web servers, application servers and databases are examples of cloud middleware.
Middleware programs generally provide communication services and serve the purpose of a messenger so that different applications can send and receive messages. Different applications situated at different physical locations can be "tied" together to perform a task through cloud middleware.