Automated Software Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 3–4, pp 313–341 | Cite as

A journey to highly dynamic, self-adaptive service-based applications

  • Elisabetta Di NittoEmail author
  • Carlo Ghezzi
  • Andreas Metzger
  • Mike Papazoglou
  • Klaus Pohl


Future software systems will operate in a highly dynamic world. Systems will need to operate correctly despite of unespected changes in factors such as environmental conditions, user requirements, technology, legal regulations, and market opportunities. They will have to operate in a constantly evolving environment that includes people, content, electronic devices, and legacy systems. They will thus need the ability to continuously adapt themselves in an automated manner to react to those changes. To realize dynamic, self-adaptive systems, the service concept has emerged as a suitable abstraction mechanism. Together with the concept of the service-oriented architecture (SOA), this led to the development of technologies, standards, and methods to build service-based applications by flexibly aggregating individual services. This article discusses how those concepts came to be by taking two complementary viewpoints. On the one hand, it evaluates the progress in software technologies and methodologies that led to the service concept and SOA. On the other hand, it discusses how the evolution of the requirements, and in particular business goals, influenced the progress towards highly dynamic self-adaptive systems. Finally, based on a discussion of the current state of the art, this article points out the possible future evolution of the field.


Service-oriented computing Services Adaptive systems Self-adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabetta Di Nitto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlo Ghezzi
    • 1
  • Andreas Metzger
    • 2
  • Mike Papazoglou
    • 3
  • Klaus Pohl
    • 2
  1. 1.Politecnico di Milano, DEIMilanoItaly
  2. 2.University of Duisburg-Essen, SSEEssenGermany
  3. 3.Tilburg University, INFOLABTilburgThe Netherlands

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