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Design models for service-based software application

Context: The use of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) offers a new and distinct approach to creating software based applications (SBAs) around the idea of integrating distributed autonomous computing resources. A widely available realisation of an SOA exists in the form of web services. However, to date no standard techniques have emerged for developing SBAs. There is also a lack of consistency in describing the concept itself, and the published literature offers little evidence derived from the experience of developing `real world examples. Aims: The objective of the work described in this thesis was to conduct a series of studies to explore systematically the concept of what constitutes an SOA by using the published literature, to employ this to construct a proof of concept SOA design model based on a real world problem, and in doing so, to investigate how well existing design notations are able to support this architectural style. Method: The research described in this thesis has been conducted in an evolutionary manner by employing a range of empirical methods. A mapping study was performed to investigate how the concept of SOA is interpreted by the research community. Based upon this model of SOA, a participant-observer case study was employed to construct an SOA design model and a use case model for an energy engineering application to demonstrate use for a real world problem. Finally, expert knowledge was employed for evaluation of the case study through the use of walkthroughs. Results: From the mapping study we created an integrated model of what constitutes an SOA for the use with the case study. The case study outcomes include a design for a renewable energy control system together with codified experience of constructing and recording the SOA design model. The experience of employing the walkthrough method for evaluation, and the outcomes of the evaluation are also discussed. Conclusion: From this research we conclude that the SOA research community needs to develop a clearer shared understanding and agreement on the model of what constitutes an SOA and the vocabulary used to describe the SOA concept. This will aid designers to communicate their mental models more effectively and will provide the semantics needed for devising the new notations that this study implies are needed for SBA design. Further, some lessons about SBA design have been derived from the case study experiences.
Date January 2013
CreatorsAnjum, Maria
PublisherDurham University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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