Integration and Middleware Domain

Purpose

The Integration and Middleware Domain specifies standards for interoperability and communication between applications operating on different platforms and databases. More specifically, middleware utilities support interactions between the clients and the servers and include messaging, transactions, synchronization, queue, event, inter/intra application communications, and resource management services. Middleware and integration tools will continue to provide DHS with the ability to change database platforms, infrastructure, and applications with minimal impact to DHS' application systems.

From a development standpoint, integration and middleware utilities insulate software engineers from having to understand the complexities of a particular computing environment. To programmers, middleware is a "black box," where understanding the specifics of what happens internally is not required. Just as high-level programming languages, such as Java, COBOL, and C insulate programmers from platform architectures, application communication middleware insulates programmers from the complexities of communication architecture, such as network protocols and message routing.

One principle that governs this domain is to deploy only a minimal number of industry-proven integration and middleware products, and to select these products before selecting application development tools, because of the impact of the integration and middleware products on application development tools. The middleware will provide a common interface around distributed applications, allow for a separation between the user interface and business logic, allow for shared components, conform to published security standards, and provide for scalability in the application developed. Lastly, in order to be fully effective, a middleware recovery plan is in effect to protect all components from possible disasters.

This section consists of the following areas: