Besides directing and controlling communications, the middleware platform has another important purpose: abstraction. It allows combining different hardware and operating system platforms, networks, field buses and I/Os with a multitude of tools and programming languages.
The Layer Model
Looking at a contemporary computer system, be it a desktop PC, an embedded module or a control computer for an industrial facility, we can roughly discern certain layers: The hardware sits at the "bottom", the operating system sits above the hardware, and the actual application on "top". The operating system is linked to the hardware via drivers, and the applications communicate with the operating system through programming interfaces (APIs). Since different OSes have different APIs, applications have to be programmed specifically per operating system. Any functionality that is not handled by the OS has to be programmed into the application. This leads to redundancies and unnecessarily high development efforts.
An Additional Layer
Put simply, a middleware acts as another layer that inserts itself between operating system and application. At the same time, it can connect directly to the underlying hardware. Since the middleware also includes its own set of APIs, these do not vary from system to system, so developers can program applications in reference to a unified set of interfaces that are independent from the operating system. This makes the resulting apps easily portable to other systems. The middleware handles all calls to the hardware and communications between processes and systems. This simplifies the application immensely.
Your Practical Advantage
Through its abstraction abilities the Gamma V platform becomes the connecting link between the heterogeneous participants of complex systems. Application developers can choose from a wide range of tools and programming languages while engineers and procurement agents have more choice when it comes to choosing hardware. Distributed systems are easily implemented through TCP/IP based networks or a choice of appropriate field buses. Powerful interfaces with comprehensive documentation facilitate data access and visualization. Application developers can choose from a multitude of programming languages like e.g. C/C++, Structured Text, Matlab Simulink or the scripting language Python as well as numerous development tools and environments.