A model-based service customization framework for consumer variability management in service-oriented architectures

In today‘s service-oriented business environments, the standard Publish-Find-Bind model as embodied by the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) paradigm presents a new strong challenge in the consumption and applicability of services to its consumers. This is because services in SOA-based environments are not built and published for predefined consumers; rather they are advertised for potentially many unknown consumers. Thus, they could be (re) used by various anonymous consumers with varying requirements and business needs. Hence, to increase service applicability and efficiency in the consumption of services, as well as to stay relevant in today‘s global market economy, service providers are expected to provide services covering such a wide variety of demands. However, they are still faced and have to deal with a number of problems which need to be balanced. Consequently, this research work addresses the problem of how to deliver customizable software services, as a way to address and/or increase the applicability and efficiency in the consumption of software services. In particular, this research proposed a service customization framework called FreeCust, which exploits the feature modeling concepts or techniques from the Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) discipline. The FreeCust framework as suggested in this research was constructed, validated, and evaluated through practical use case scenarios, proof-of-concept prototype implementations, experiments, and a comparative (static) analysis. This was to show its utility, technical feasibility, functional correctness, and business benefits. The evaluation and validation results demonstrated that the FreeCust approach has the potential or is appropriate for minimizing the complexities involved in consumers‘ service customization processes and increasing service applicability.
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Science and Agriculture in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Masters of Science in Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2014
service oriented architecture --consumers --software