Emerging Technology : Benefits of Middleware (API/ NodeJS) in Digital Transformation
THE BENEFITS OF USING MIDDLEWARE
This post will start with a little bit of my experience working with large organisations holding very sensitive data that could cost lots of ‘bitcoin’ tokens if compromised!
Firstly, many large organisations hold data that they would never want visible to the outside world, even though many of the back-office systems utilised may have the ability to do so.
There are 2 main reasons why any back-office system should never be directly exposed to the internet.
- Any incoming transactions to the system would directly compete with the performance to run your day to day operations, including Denial of Service attacks and general ad-hoc hackers
- All actions from outside your organisation to a back-office system should be segregated by using a single system that controls your data in an audited and controlled fashion.
However, in the modern world you will always have to allow integration with your clients and customers to achieve a positive business experience.
RESTful services to allow integration between systems have been around for a long time, but most companies do not use this to their full advantage.
There are many technical options to achieve a singular point of access from the outside world that can respond with messages to, for example a mobile application or a cloud-based application.
In this post I will use the example of NodeJS.
NodeJS has the ability to receive incoming JSON RESTful calls that may need to be responded to by your organisation. NodeJS can implement a high level of security in that initial request ensuring no harmful messages could ever reach your important data on a back-office system. This can be achieved using stringent security protocols such as HMAC to validate that you trust that message before processing is continued.
Internally NodeJS can interact with multiple internal systems or databases based on internal security polices using a wide variety of messaging technologies, RESTful JSON, XML SOAP, SQL etc.
To begin to discuss the benefits of this to emerging technologies – all current and future applications will be designed as standard to use JSON and REST.
Mobile technology will always use JSON to communicate with its source system due to the size of the message and performance between request and response.
Cloud based systems that need to access your internal data will need a secure, fast and auditable way of accessing your important data.
Emerging technologies hosted in the cloud such as chatbots would need to communicate with your data in an industry recognized fashion.
Protect your important systems, think of middleware as a single point of auditable access and let your own technologies emerge
Ray Paul Bsc