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Understanding service-oriented software

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4 Author(s)
N. Gold ; Univ. of Manchester Inst. of Sci. & Technol., UK ; A. Mohan ; C. Knight ; M. Munro

Many hail service-oriented software as the next revolution in software development. Web services' capabilities are constantly expanding from simple message passing toward the construction of full-fledged applications such as those envisaged by the UK's Pennine Group in their Software as a Service (SaaS) framework. These new, service-oriented approaches appear to many to solve the significant issue of software inflexibility that arises during maintenance and evolution. While they address sonic aspects of the problem, however, understanding the software still poses some difficulty. This shift toward service orientation compels us to consider its implications for software understanding, which is potentially the primary cost in software engineering. Using an example of on-the-fly software services construction, we discuss the problems software engineers still face when working with service-oriented software. We also introduce some new issues that they must consider, including how to address service provision difficulties and failures.

Published in:

IEEE Software  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )