Last month, I began a discussion on the various types of enterprise application integration (EAI) software with a look at message-oriented middleware. This month, I'm going to continue that discussion with a look at database-oriented middleware technology. I use the term technology because database-oriented middleware (DOM) is not really a separate software product, but a set of technologies and standards included in most EAI products to simplify data retrieval from multiple types of databases. In this column, I will discuss these technologies and standards at a high level.

We need to start with a good working definition. Database-oriented middleware is a technological function bundled with most EAI software that enables access to databases of different types, on different platforms and/or in multiple locations. DOM is defined by various connectivity standards such as product- specific, open database connectivity (ODBC) and Java database connectivity (JDBC). It uses access drivers that function to create data integration at a virtual level.

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