The purpose of the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI) is to develop, deploy and sustain a set of reusable and expandable middleware functions that benefit many science and engineering applications in a networked environment. Robust middleware services are especially important for enhancing scientific productivity and for facilitating research and education collaborations through sharing of data, instruments, and computing resources. The program encourages open source software development and distribution approaches, as well as the development of necessary middleware standards. Middleware refers to the software that is common to multiple distributed applications and is built atop the network transport layer and the operating system. Middleware manages interactions between remote resources and hides the underlying complexity so that rapid development of new networked
applications is enabled. Middleware services must, hence, provide high levels of usability and robustness on the individual desktop, the enterprise platforms and beyond. Middleware technology also addresses a variety of security and privacy concerns to support resource sharing and collaborations. Building on the successes of current projects, the FY 2004 NMI solicitation focuses on two areas for future funding: (1) integration of middleware technologies with domain science and engineering applications to create production environments; and (2) development and prototyping of new middleware functions and services. The intended environments for these areas are not tethered exclusively to high-end computing systems, and may include other platforms such as desktop and enterprise networks, as well as networks of embedded systems.
Who can apply:
Eligible functional categories:
Computer and Information Science and Engineering
NSF Publication 04-555
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