Chapter 19. Service Orientation


  • To understand the essentials of service orientation

  • To know the characteristics of a service-oriented architecture (SOA)

  • To know how Web services implement services

  • To know the essentials of service-oriented software engineering (SOSE)


In service orientation, a system is made up of services that are discovered dynamically. The use of services gives rise to a typical overall architecture: the service-oriented architecture (SOA). The usual implementation of a service-oriented system is via Web services that make heavy use of open standards. Service orientation is more than just a technology. It marks a shift from producing software to using software.

My wife and I like to visit the local Italian restaurant. It provides an excellent service. There is an elaborate menu to choose from. You can either pick individual dishes or select one of the suggested menus. The waiters are vintage Italian, but understand the orders if articulated carefully. The orders are communicated with the kitchen by yelling the number on the menu (I guess, because my Italian is quite bad). It seems to work, since invariably the dish asked for arrives at our table.

The Italian restaurant provides a service. The above story uses the three basic ingredients of services:

  • services, which may consist of other services (the restaurant service consists of a choice of menus and drinks)

  • service descriptions (the details listed on the menu)

  • service communication (the yelling ...

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