Integration software. Middleware is the term coined to describe software that connects other software together. In the early days of computing, each software system in an organization was a separate 'stovepipe' or 'silo' that stood alone and was dedicated to automating a specific part of the business or its IT operations. Middleware aims to connect those individual islands of automation, both within an enterprise and out to external systems (for example at customers and suppliers). For a long while, middleware has either been custom coded for individual projects or has come in the form of proprietary products or suites, most notably as enterprise application integration (EAI) software. The emergence of industry-agreed web services specifications is now enabling convergence on standards-based distributed middleware, which in theory should allow all systems to automatically connect together on demand.