Service Engineering: Definition & Process

Instructor: Olu Adesida

Olu has a Master of Science degree in Business Information Technology.

In this lesson, you will learn about the service engineering methodology. The lesson will also introduce you to the characteristics of services, the actors in a service-oriented environment, and the three stages of service engineering.


Service engineering, also called service-oriented software engineering, is a software engineering process that attempts to decompose the system into self-running units that either perform services or expose services (reusable services). Service oriented applications are designed around loosely-coupled services, meaning there are simple standards and protocols which are followed by all concerned, while behind them are a wide variety of technological services which can be far more complex. The reusable services are often provided by many different service providers, all of whom collaborate dynamically with service users and service registries.

The Actors in Service Engineering

There are three types of actors in a service-oriented environment. These are:

  • Service providers: These are software services that publish their capabilities and their availability with service registries.
  • Service users: These are software systems (which may be services themselves) that use the services provided by service providers. Service users can use service registries to discover and locate the service providers they need.
  • Service registries: These are constantly evolving catalogs of information that can be queried to see what type of services are available.

Characteristics of Services in Service Engineering

  • The provision of the service is independent of the application using the service.
  • Services are platform independent and implementation language independent.
  • They are easier to test since they are small and independent. This makes them more reliable for use in applications.
  • Since services are individual pieces of functionality rather than a large piece of code, they can be reused in multiple applications, therefore lowering the cost of development of future tools.
  • Services can be developed in parallel since they are independent of each other. This reduces the time it takes to develop the software.
  • Since the location of a service doesn't matter, the service can be moved to a more powerful server if needed. There can also be separate instances of the service running on different servers.

The Three Stages of Service Engineering

As in all other software engineering methodologies, there are several stages in service engineering. The three stages are:

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