We study operator spaces, operator algebras, and operator modules, from the point of view of the `noncommutative Shilov boundary'. In this attempt to utilize some `noncommutative Choquet theory', we find that Hilbert C$^*-$modules and their properties, which we studied earlier in the operator space framework, replace certain topological tools. We introduce certain multiplier operator algebras and C$^*-$algebras of an operator space, which generalize the algebras of adjointable operators on a C$^*-$module, and the `imprimitivity C$^*-$algebra'. It also generalizes a classical Banach space notion. This multiplier algebra plays a key role here. As applications of this perspective, we unify, and strengthen several theorems characterizing operator algebras and modules, in a way that seems to give more information than other current proofs. We also include some general notes on the `commutative case' of some of the topics we discuss, coming in part from joint work with Christian Le Merdy, about `function modules'.