Fungibility: Message Oriented Middleware

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Fungibility: Message Oriented Middleware

When it comes to MOM, there are questions you need to answer. Build it yourself? Outsource it? How interchangeable is it? Here's what you should keep in mind.

· Integration Zone ·
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Businesses that build real-time distributed software depend heavily on message oriented middleware (MOM) for their software to be successful. It is a prerequisite for developing mission critical distributed smartphone, desktop, and enterprise software.

MOM is typically purchased by businesses and not by individual consumers.  Businesses incorporate MOM into their software when developing distributed applications. Incorporating this type of middleware provides the necessary functionality to share information among application instances.

Because a MOM product is similar to a traditional commodity, meaning it is interchangeable, one product can be substituted for an existing competing product. Providing that the middleware product has comparable features and performance, it can replace an existing competitor’s product during a single software development cycle.

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Pre-startup companies forming an idea for a distributed software product need to decide whether to develop their middleware in-house or to outsource the development.  The same is true for established companies wishing to streamline their legacy software. 


If a corporation assumes the task of developing the MOM functionality of their distributed software, then they will have to devote a significant amount time and resources to complete the task.

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Network programming, when designed and implemented from the beginning, is deceptively easy. If the data distribution functionality is developed without broad foresight, then an implementation is susceptible to flaws related to scalability and adapting to future changes in design, requirements, and technology. Because of this, a corporation can unwittingly create burdensome development and maintenance issues. Ultimately, a corporation will need to spend a significant amount of time and resources developing the real-time MOM functionality to achieve an acceptable level of software maturity.

Also, it is notoriously difficult to garner developers with applicable skills. Developing the data distribution functionality associated with MOM requires a broad set of advanced skills and substantial experience requiring at least five years to accumulate. 


There are a few dozen MOM products competing in the market, indicating that this type of product is in high demand. Also, because of emerging technologies, such as IoT, the MOM industry is evolving and growing. This environment will typically offer a competitive price to pre-startups and established companies wishing to streamline legacy software. 

But a company will lose some control when they outsource MOM development. Performance, features, and functionality of the middleware are predetermined by the provider. Java-based solutions suffer from performance overhead while other high-performance solutions can be costly. Also, outsourced MOM tends to be a mostly a monolithic solution. Because of this, typically only 10% of the middleware functionality is used but the whole package must be purchased. 

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Message oriented middleware is a layer of software responsible for enabling a collection of independent computers to act as a single coherent system. Businesses that build real-time distributed software depend heavily on MOM for their software to be successful. 

By incorporating the correct distributed data flow mechanisms, your software can be efficiently developed into a sustainable and revenue generating product.

Regular unavoidable software development situations afford MOM providers an opportunity to penetrate the middleware market. This affords businesses, who require MOM for their distributed software development, an extensive selection of MOM products. These opportunities occur when:

  1. Small companies are eager to bring their software product to market.

  2. Large companies streamline or update their legacy distributed software.  

  3. Emerging technologies force a change in the network middleware market.  

  4. A MOM product is similar to a traditional commodity in that it is interchangeable.


Exchanging data efficiently is of paramount importance when developing distributed software.  The data must stream seamlessly between components and be marshaled as needed for disparate platforms. The solution must offer low latency for increased data throughput, provide an intuitive and flexible interface to conform to your software, and provide appropriate data communication models/schemes (publish/subscribe, queues, transactional, load balancing, etc.) to transmit and receive data.

In order for software to be successful, these issues must be addressed. The data processing, which is unique to your application, depends on the successful exchange of distributed data streams. Development challenges exist but, if the correct decisions are made early, they are not insurmountable.  

middleware ,real-time

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