In this Q&A, ITS Middleware Services Manager Patrick Casey explains what Middleware is, why the team has been growing and what the group is working on.
This Q&A is the first of five posts in a Getting to Know series about ITS Middleware Services.
What is Middleware?Middleware, in the simplest terms, is the space above the core operating system up to the user presentation tier, which is typically via web servers.
What does the Middleware team do?The ITS Middleware team provides infrastructure support services for many of the critical systems that ITS delivers. These include support for Sakai, Splunk, Carolina CloudApps, web hosting (web.unc.edu and sites.unc.edu), Single Sign On, Infoporte and SAS.
Why is the Middleware team expanding?As our service portfolio has grown, so has the team. In 2009, the team was comprised of four employees supporting four services. Today, we have 10 employees who support about 25 services.
What’s the biggest misconception about Middleware?Probably the biggest misconception is exactly what our responsibilities are. We often get requests and/or questions about a variety of things that we don’t do, such as databases, ldap, Active Directory, etc.
What can we expect from Middleware in 2017?Carolina CloudApps v3, including the approval to process and store sensitive data, was released in January. By summer, we will likely announce a freely available source code repository for campus and/or ITS use. Allowing greater usage of our wiki technology (Confluence) will also be forthcoming. We are constantly looking for other opportunities to help the UNC-Chapel Hill community where we do not have service offerings.