Gartner Research

Decision Point for Selecting Communication Middleware

Published: 05 March 2012

ID: G00227088

Analyst(s): Anne Thomas , Richard Watson


Middleware comes in many flavors. Each middleware technology supports a particular set of features and capabilities, and no single type of middleware supports all use cases. As a service provider, your goal should be to provide interfaces that support the needs of your consumers. How do your consumers want to interact with the service? Which formats and protocols do they need? What quality of service features do they require? This Decision Point provides structured guidance for selecting middleware based on requirements and constraints.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point

Decision Context

  • Business Scenario
  • Architectural Context
  • Related Decisions

Evaluation Criteria

  • Requirements and Constraints
    • Interfaces
    • Quality of Service
    • Programming Models
  • Principles


  • Web Services Framework
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • Atom Publishing Protocol
  • RPC and RMI
  • Message-Oriented Middleware

Future Developments

  • Growing Adoption of REST and JSON
  • MOM Market Transformation
    • AMQP Standardization
    • Cloud-Based Messaging as a Service
  • IM Interfaces

Decision Tool

  • Decision Filters
    • Consumer Diversity Filter
    • Project Scope Filter
    • Consumer-Specific Requirements Filter
    • Interface Patterns Filter
    • QoS Filter
  • Summary of Alternatives

Decision Justification

  • Use WSF
  • Use HTTP (REST or POX)
  • Use AtomPub
  • Use RPC or RMI
  • Use MOM

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