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The rapid adoption of SOA in many large-scale distributed applications requires the development of adaptive service-based software systems (ASBS), which have the capability of monitoring the changing system status, analyzing and controlling tradeoffs among multiple QoS features, and adapting its service configuration to satisfy multiple QoS requirements simultaneously. In this paper, a performance-model-oriented approach to developing ASBS is presented. This approach consists of the establishment of performance models for SBS through controlled experiments, the development of QoS monitoring and adaptation (M/A) modules based on the performance models, and the validation of ASBS design through simulations. In our approach, four QoS features: timeliness, throughput, accuracy and security, which are important for many critical applications, are considered.