Entries » Blog » Demystifying Intelligent Middleware Author: Tunde Williams
TETRA is a user-driven, digital mobile communications open standard for professional users. The standard supports a range of critical applications including voice, data and messaging services for simple one-to-one or complex group communications. As a founding member of the TETRA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Association, Motorola Solutions has been actively involved, along with other vendors, in the development of the TETRA standard since its inception, and we are committed to investing in future innovation.
TETRA hardware is easily understood - it is physical infrastructure. Similarly, TETRA software is simple to explain - the coded programs and other operating information used by the computers, like software for any other application. But Intelligent Middleware? That one continually stumps radio users and partners alike. Public Safety agencies need to understand what Intelligent Middleware is to fully realise just how much they need it. And to understand what Intelligent Middleware is, we need to understand where it came from.
Where did Intelligent Middleware come from?
Motorola Solutions originally introduced unified services for TETRA to provide a common source of information from which multiple applications could pull to get reliable, consistent data. For example, many applications might want to know the GPS location of a radio or if a specific radio was turned on and registered on the system. Rather than have multiple apps ping the radio for the same information, it would be more efficient for a service to ping the radio once and then disseminate the results to all applications needing that information. This reduces radio traffic, reduces battery consumption and provides consistent information across multiple applications.
What is Intelligent Middleware?
Simply put, Intelligent Middleware is the next generation of unified software that bridges across applications and networks to provide a suite of services that provide radio users with a consistent experience across devices, platforms and applications. Information such as talkgroups, location and presence is made available to any application regardless of the network or device type. For example, you may have multiple mapping applications, one for CAD, one for control room staff and another for the front line people. With Intelligent Middleware all your applications have access to the same data in order to plot the location for TETRA radios and LTE devices. As another example, you may have multiple applications that need to know the definition of a group (mapping apps, messaging apps, workflow apps, report writing apps). Allowing each app to create its own definition of a group introduces tremendous overhead as you on-board and off-board staff and change assignments. These types of changes would need to be made in multiple places. Failure to do this accurately could result in people not getting the communications they need when they need it resulting in inefficiencies and potentially decreases in safety. Centralising this ensures consistency across all applications.
Why is Intelligence Middleware important for my organisation?
Increasingly, public safety organisations are adopting smartphone technology to be more efficient and keep officers safe. However, these devices shouldn’t be outside of the normal organisational communication structures. Integration is key. The convergence of applications and services is a key step toward that convergence of TETRA and broadband. How you are connected becomes less important because your workgroups follow you as you move across different environments. Whether you are on a TETRA or broadband network, your workgroups are always available to you to collaborate. With middleware, abstracting your applications from various network interfaces, third party developers do not need to develop unique applications or interfaces for each network, simplifying integration.
Intelligent Middleware is compatible with DIMETRA TETRA systems shipping today which means you may already have the foundations of convergence today. To learn more about Intelligent Middleware, you can read our Intelligent Middleware White Paper or visit our Convergence Suite web page.
Tunde Williams is Head of Field and Solutions Marketing for Europe, Middle-East and Africa
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