by Christophe Ponsard, Gautier Dallons, Stéphane Mouton and Philippe Massonet
Many companies are currently moving or considering the move to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) model. This model holds the promise of flexibility and cost reduction by enabling business-level integration across organization boundaries. While this supports large companies by allowing them to better structure both internally and externally, it is also of benefit to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as their highly value-added expertise can be made available more easily and with fewer overheads. However, achieving this vision still requires a number of challenges to be solved: management of quality of service, accounting, security and trust, interoperability and so on. CETIC, a Belgian research and technology transfer centre, is taking an active part in this work though a number of projects at both European and regional levels. Here we describe how the above challenges are presently being addressed, both at research level and within real-world deployments occurring in connection with that research.