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What is ‘true cloud’ software and why does it matter?

Woman typing on laptop computer

Some cloud software providers use the word cloud to describe software that is actually a combination of cloud technologies and other applications installed on your desktop, called middleware.

This is not true cloud, and means you or your IT provider will need to perform additional maintenance actions. True cloud solutions, like Gentu, eliminate the need for outdated middleware.

What is middleware? 

Middleware is an additional application installed on your computer to act as a bridge between your database and applications, so your practice management software can work as intended. In a cloud environment, middleware is used as a “quick fix” as it requires less development effort than a full integration.

An example of this would be an application downloaded to send pathology results from their diagnostic provider’s system to your software, rather than a full integration being built into the software itself.

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to say all middleware is inherently bad – it’s just different. So here is a short summary of the pros and cons of middleware.

Pros of using middleware

  • Enables real-time flow of information with and among separate systems – ie scanning and secure messaging between your practice and a lab
  • It can work like a glue to connect a wide array of software systems, from disparate components to application support, secure messaging, and more in the one place
  • It can help streamline processes

Cons of using middleware

  • Harder to update and more expensive to maintain – particularly as your practice grows
  • Unlike true cloud software, there are no benchmarks for real-time performance
  • Dependency on applications external to your software provider risks both security and reliability.

If you’re considering moving to the cloud, you can read more below:

If you have questions on moving your practice to the cloud, our team is here to answer them.

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