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Given the importance of clients in service-oriented computing, and the ongoing evolution of distributed system and application realization technologies from client/service architectures, through distributed-object and service-oriented to cloud computing, there is a growing need to lower the complexities and barriers involved in the development of client applications. These range from large scale business applications and business processes to laptop programs and small "apps" on mobile devices. In this paper we present a unified conceptual framework in which the basic concerns and viewpoints relevant for building clients of service-oriented, distributed systems can be expressed and related to one another in a platform-independent, non-proprietary way. The basic concerns used to structure the framework are the level of abstraction at which a system is represented and the roles from which the software entities of a distributed system are viewed. Using the various models supported in the framework it is possible to customize each client developer's view and simplify the way in which service providers develop and maintain their services. This paper provides an overview of our framework and show how it could be applied using a small example.