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Service Versioning and Retirement

After a service has been implemented and used in production environments, the need may arise to make changes to the existing service logic or to increase the functional scope of the service. In cases like this, a new version of the service logic and/or the service contract will likely need to be introduced. To ensure that the versioning of a service can be carried out with minimal impact and disruption to service consumers that have already formed dependencies on the service, a formal service versioning process needs to be in place.

There are different versioning strategies, each of which introduces its own set of rules and priorities when it comes to managing the backwards and forwards compatibilities of services.

The service versioning stage is associated with SOA governance because it can be a recurring and on-going part of the overall service lifecycle. Governance approaches that dictate how service versioning is to be carried out will have a significant influence on how a given service will evolve over time. Because this stage also encompasses the termination or retirement of a service, these influences can further factor into the service's overall lifespan.