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Middleware is a software layer situated between applications and operating systems. Middleware is typically used in distributed systems where it simplifies software development by doing the following:
Middleware is similar to an operating system because it can support other application programs, provide controlled interaction, prevent interference between computations and facilitate interaction between computations on different computers via network communication services.
A typical operating system provides an application programming interface (API) for programs to utilize underlying hardware features. Middleware, however, provides an API for utilizing underlying operating system features.