The Middleware API Layer in a B2B E-Commerce System is the layer that drives various processes of integration, customization and incorporating external resources. There can be two approaches that can be taken for a Middleware layer: the robust or the flexible way. If a robust middleware layer is created then integrations with other systems, automation of various applications and providing customized screens for their Customers are challenging. If Unified Business Functions using a customized middleware layer will enable use of APIs to connect and update different systems and other critical business functions in real time. Middleware work like a telephone switch board to initiate various events / activities but the difference is that, the switching is done automatically and at great speeds (almost instantaneous). The more switches that are to be required controlling and integration to different applications, and improving individual user experiences means that the middleware shall be made more robust to handle all these capabilities. Some notable features of equipping a middleware would include efficient pricing and inventory integrations with minimum latency, real-time updates, faster disaster recovery due to less sync time of middleware between older and newer systems, better authentication protocols along with automated monitoring systems, a customized workflow for automation and scalability that can reach any level.
Depending on the functionality and usability, middleware technologies can be of various types which could range from database middleware, application server middleware, message-oriented middleware, transaction-processing monitors and Web middleware. Database middleware, doesn’t allow for two-way communication between servers and clients. Servers can’t initiate contact with clients, they can only respond when asked. Application server middleware is a Web-based application server that provides interfaces to a wide variety of applications and is used as middleware between browser and legacy systems. Messaging-oriented middleware provides an interface between client and server applications, allowing them to send data back and forth intermittently. Messaging middleware is similar to an e-mail system, except that it sends data between applications. If the target computer isn’t available, the middleware stores the data in a message queue until the machine becomes available. Based on requirement and use case of the B2B E-Commerce Firm, the ideal configuration of the middleware layer can be setup and allow those companies to easily integrate backend applications with the new e-commerce systems.