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A Research Agenda for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): Maintenance and Evolution of Service-Oriented Systems

March 2010 Technical Note
Grace Lewis, Dennis B. Smith, Kostas Kontogiannis

This 2010 report describes the agenda of an SEI-led group that was formed to explore the business, engineering, and operations aspects of service-oriented architecture.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


DOI (Digital Object Identifier):


Despite recent reports that it has failed, the reality is that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) remains the best option available for systems integration and leverage of legacy systems. The technologies to implement SOA will certainly evolve to address emerging needs, but its concepts will remain. To address those needs and the concerns that SOA is potentially being stretched beyond its limits, a significant and coordinated research program is needed.

The SEI has developed an SOA Research Agenda with participation from a broad cross-section of the research community. The core of the agenda is a taxonomy that classifies topics into the business, engineering, and operations aspects of service-oriented systems, along with a set of cross-cutting aspects. Based on this taxonomy, the agenda outlines research areas, each of which is identified with its rationale, overview of current research, and delineation of research challenges and gaps. This report outlines the SOA Research Agenda. It also provides detail on specific research challenges related to the maintenance and evolution of service-oriented systems. The report concludes with a discussion of next steps in the evolution of the research agenda.