Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Software technology design, implementation, deployment, runtime verification, and experimental evaluation are of paramount importance for satisfying not only the functional but also the nonfunctional properties of distributed systems. Among the many different software layers in a system, the communication middleware is critical to provide overall efficiency and interoperability among heterogeneous systems. The increasing complexity of current and future distributed systems requires that middleware solutions be carefully designed to meet essential properties such as timeliness, efficiency, reliability, and scalability. In this paper, we describe the challenges and the role of software technologies and communication middleware for reliable distributed systems. We provide a short, non-exhaustive survey in the context of systems with varying non-functional requirements such as cyber-physical system, mobility, and cloud, with the primary objective of exposing some of the main challenges that these systems bring to the design and operation of middleware. Finally, we present a set of contributions that make up a new special issue on the middleware for reliable systems, which represent a fresh perspective on the state-of-the-art solutions that approach the problem of reliable software technologies and communication middleware from complementary view points. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.