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Middleware in Action:
Industrial Strength Data Access

Another Technology Report from Ken North Computing LLC

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Understanding Middleware for Data Access

The move to client-server architecture for databases brought a division of labor when processing SQL queries, the details of which are often misunderstood. The complexities of distributed processing and the importance of best-of-breed middleware can elude even senior technical people, such as system architects, IT managers and consultants.

Parallel processing, commodity servers and high-bandwidth networks advanced the distributed computing model and the distribution of data. Tuning database applications involved fewer variables when the databases were on centrally managed mainframes being accessed by local users. Distributed processing introduced the network round trip for a query, concurrency issues and the need for sophisticated client programming. It also created a class of middleware specifically for accessing server databases. Today’s model for query processing introduced the performance effect of middleware, network latency and distributed data.

In a distributed processing environment, premium quality data access middleware can provide important functionality:

• Implementation of database-specific communication protocols
• Efficiency and security of network communications
• Type and state mapping
• Error checking
• Caching data and connections
• Authorization and authentication
• Scalability and load balancing.

This is the executive summary of an independent technology assessment white paper . This summary presents a top level view of the role of data access middleware and its importance. The complete report provides more detailed information than this summary.




Section 3 of this report discusses the defining characteristics of premium data access middleware, including features that affect performance and scalability.


Copyright © 2007, Ken North Computing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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