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by Benedikt Liegener last modified Apr 29, 2012 15:48
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Domain: Cross-cutting issues
Engineering and Design
Adaptation and Monitoring
Quality Definition, Negotiation and Assurance
(domain independent)

Business Process Management

Service Composition and Coordination

Service Infrastructure

(domain independent)

Software services are not just pieces of software; instead, they represent the functionality that the underlying pieces of software offer. Rather than building a software system from scratch, or developing it by selecting and gluing together off-the-shelf components, now designers can realize applications by composing services, possibly offered by third parties. This shift from adopting the piece of technology (the software) to using the functionality (the service) offers us a valuable tool to design those software systems that we call service-based applications at a higher level of abstraction, possibly building new value-added composed services. Services have taken the concept of ownership to the extreme: not only, as off-the-shelf components, their development, quality assurance, and maintenance are under the control of third parties, but they can even be executed and managed by third parties. [DiNitto et al. 2008].

A Service is a mechanism to enable access to one or more capabilities, where the access is provided using a prescribed interface and is exercised consistent with constraints and policies as specified by the service description. A service is provided by an entity – the service provider – for use by others, but the eventual consumers of the service may not be known to the service provider and may demonstrate uses of the service beyond the scope originally conceived by the provider. {SPC: Stateful Service, Stateless Service, Software Service} [OASIS]

Abstract resource that represents a capability of performing tasks that form a coherent functionality from the point of view of provider entities and requester entities. To be used, a Service must be realized by a concrete provider agent. [Gridipedia]

A Service is the non-material equivalent of a good. A service provision is an economic activity that does not result in ownership, and this is what differentiates it from providing physical goods. Services are explicitly described in a Service Description. This Service Description allows the users to access a service regardless of where and by whom it is actually offered. It specifies the way the service can be accessed together with any behavioral model, constraint, and policy according to which the service must be provided.

A service is opaque in that its implementation is typically hidden from the service consumer except for (1) the information and behavioral models exposed through the Service Descriptions and (2) the information required by service consumers to determine whether a given service is appropriate for their needs. [CD-IA-1.1.1] {SPC: Stateful Service, Stateless Service, Software Service}



External Competencies





  • [DiNitto et al. 2008] Elisabetta Di Nitto, Carlo Ghezzi, Andreas Metzger, Mike Papazoglou and Klaus Pohl. A journey to highly dynamic, self-adaptive service-based applications. In Automated Software Engineering, 2008.
  • [CD-IA-1.1.1] "Comprehensive overview of the state of the art on service-based systems"
  • [OASIS] "OASIS Reference Model for Service Oriented Architecture v1.0"
  • [Gridipedia]


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