Return-Path-Data Lexicon: Middleware

CIMM is taking a proactive role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both its Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with return path data measurement) and Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset terms). These documents form the basis of this column, which offers a common language for RPD nomenclature that can expedite the rollout of the data for its many industry applications.

Middleware is ubiquitous to computing infrastructure, but also holds special importance in the world of return-path data and measurement. RPD middleware not only provides a range of data capabilities including interactivity and addressability, it also may contain strains of usage data that need to be captured and merged with other collections of data from the box and associated streams. Let’s look at the terms and definitions associated with middleware:




CIMM DEFINITION: General term for software programming that serves to connect to or communicate between two or more software applications so they can exchange data.

2: Software that resides on a set-top box that enables viewer measurement and advanced advertising capabilities, including interactivity and addressability. Middleware software additionally enables return-path data to be sent back to the distributor platform or to third-party research companies. (Source: Nielsen)

3: In the digital cable context, it is a standard software platform on which MSO and 3rd party applications can execute identically, irrespective of STB or operating system software. The emerging standards are now EBIF for all STBs, and also Tru2Way on advanced STBs. (Source: FourthWall Media)

NOTE - Middleware sits between the system software (OS or firmware) and the application. (Source: Invidi)

Middleware Layer

See also: Middleware

CIMM DEFINITION: Another name for middleware, since middleware is a layer on the system applications that form the set-top box.

Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.


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