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Service-oriented thinking, which is becoming popular in both the business and the information technology (IT) communities, is based on the concept of service as a well-defined, self-contained function that does not depend on the context or state of other services. In the IT community service-oriented architectures (SOAs) have emerged as the main approach for dealing with the challenge of interoperability of systems in heterogeneous environments. SOAs also hold the promise of additional benefits, such as reuse of components, improved reliability, and reduced development and deployment costs. In the business world, the service-oriented approach helps automate the managing of business processes by enabling the “orchestration” of services in order to achieve the needed functionality.
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