Interactive Entertainment Middleware, Interactive Television Middleware, Interactive TV Middleware, Television Related Middleware, Set-top Box Software.) - Middleware is a general term for software programming that serves to "glue together" or mediate (communicate) between two or more separate programs and/or manufacturers. Just as people who speak different languages often need a translator to communicate, applications running different types of software, or operating on different computerized platforms, often need help communicating with eachother. Middleware is software that connects two or more software applications so they can exchange data. If it's middleware on the client side (versus the server side), it's the software that allows clients and network operators to talk to each other. Middleware can support open or proprietary standards, or a combination of both. Middleware often includes an application manager, the virtual machine (such as Java Virtual Machine™), the interactive engine, the libraries and databases. Middleware becomes particularly handy if there are a number of different programs, platforms and software in use. If the set-top box has a Resident Application, it’s often thought of as middleware. In this case a Resident Application is a program or programs that are built into the memory of the set-top box (or equivalent device.) These are updated, often automatically, by the network operator via the data stream (signal) that the set-top receives from the network operator.
IPTV software for set-top boxes contains more functionality than middleware.
Some say middleware is in the category of "Enterprise Application Integration".
Middleware may also be referred to as "middleware layer" as it is a "layer" on the software "stack".
MediaHighway is/was a major middleware solution by NDS, which became part of CISCO:
Network Middleware can be software that integrates the network elements of an network with customer-support solutions. This includes permission of specific customers to receive service, view content, as well as the integration of billing capabilities with network elements, and the general services management from a central network point of view.
Open Standards Middleware
Platform (Interactive TV)