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The IEC 61499 standard introduces the function block (FB) model to support the development of open, interoperable, distributed control applications (DCAs). Currently available engineering support systems (ESSs) as well as those under development adopt traditional architectural styles and do not cover the whole requirements of the development process of FB-based DCAs. However, the major drawback of traditional ESSs is that of extensibility. This problem can be addressed by providing a public domain framework that can be easily extended. In this paper an approach that promotes the idea of service-oriented computing in the control and automation domain, is described. A service-oriented architectural framework is proposed to provide the infrastructure for the exploitation of service-oriented computing in the development process of factory automation systems. Features required in the development process will be implemented as services and published in the public domain. These services can be used on demand by control engineers to construct their projects' specific engineering support environments.