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A service is a unit of solution logic to which service-orientation has been applied to a meaningful extent. It is the application of service-orientation design principles that distinguish a unit of logic as a service compared to units of logic that may exist only as objects or components.

Within SOA projects, a service is commonly conceptualized during the service-oriented analysis phase, at which time it is referred to as a service candidate.

Subsequent service-oriented design and development stages implement a service as a physically independent software program with specific design characteristics that support the attainment of the strategic goals associated with service-oriented computing.

Each service is assigned its own distinct functional context and is comprised of a set of capabilities related to this context. Therefore, a service can be considered a container of capabilities associated with a common purpose (or functional context).


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