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Lifecycle support of a process from conception, implementation and evaluation can be enabled in a distributed cross organisational environment using service orientated architectures (SOA). In the automation domain the development of such lifecycles are both vital for the competitiveness of European manufacturing and challenging due to the environments they exist in. This paper explores the main innovations needed to achieve SOA based application lifecycle management in the automation sector initially looking at a successful lifecycle implementation in the eScience community. This highlights the need for clearly defined standards architecture and ontology building methodologies for emerging SOA communities to achieve lifecycle management around clearly defined and managed metadata.