Service-Oriented Computing Applications (SOCA) Development Methodologies: A Review of Agility-Rigor Balance

Service-Oriented Computing Applications (SOCA) Development Methodologies: A Review of Agility-Rigor Balance

Laura C. Rodriguez-Martinez (Tecnológico Nacional de México/IT Aguascalientes, Mexico), Hector A. Duran-Limon (CUCEA, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico) and Manuel Mora (Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4165-4.ch004
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Software development methodologies (SDMs) have had an accepted evolution (i.e., the replacement of SDMs of one era to the next) through the pre-methodology and early-methodology eras to the methodology era. But in the last 20 years, the transition of the methodology era (rigor-oriented) to the post-methodology era (agile-oriented) has led a debate on benefits and drawbacks of rigor vs. agile orientation. Regarding the general software-engineering evolution, the service-oriented software engineering (SOSE) that studies service-oriented computing (SOC) development approaches, which are widely used to develop software-oriented computing applications (SOCA), has emerged. SOSE developers then face the problem of selecting and adapting a SOCA SDM. This chapter compares 11 SOCA SDM on agility-rigor balance by a framework of Boehm and Turner addressing the rigor-agility conflicts by defining three factors and their methodological characteristics. Each characteristic is evaluated for each SDM with a novel agility-rigor 45-point scale. Results suggest three of such SDMs are agility-rigor balanced.
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Software development tasks have used methodologies that can be tracked from four eras (Avison & Fitzgerald, 2003; Rodriguez et al., 2008). The pre-methodology era where no software engineering methodology was available only supported a generic programming approach. In the early-methodology era the first software engineering methodologies such as Waterfall (Royce, 1970) and SADT (Dickover, McGowan & Ross, 1977) emerged. The methodology era included more comprehensive and rigorous software engineering methodologies such as Spiral (Boehm, 1988), RUP (Kruchten, 2004), and MBASE (Boehm et al., 2004) . Lastly, the post-methodology era involves the agility approach (Dyba & Dingsoyr, 2009), which emerged in the last 20 years with Scrum (Sutherland & Schwaber, 2011) and XP (Beck, 1999) as the main development methodologies.

According to Avison and Fitzgerald (2003) and Rodriguez et al. (2008), the transition and evolution from one era to the next one has been well-accepted from developers and project managers because an era advanced on new development technology paradigms (e.g. object-oriented programming languages) and/or advanced on new required project management knowledge for a better project control over the previous era. This seamless evolution occurred from the pre-methodology era toward the early-methodology one, as well as from this one toward the methodology era. However, the last transition from the methodology era (based on a rigorous approach) toward the post-methodology era (based on an agile approach) has had some methodological conflicts and debates (Boehm, 2002; de Marco & Boehm, 2002).

The methodology era prescribes the need of rigorous methodologies to control and document practically “everything” that occurred in the project. However, such rigor (also called heavy-process methodologies) approaches imply a heavy weight processes, which can be complex to follow. Such methodological difficulties fostered the emergence of a counter-approach based on agility. Nevertheless, this emergent agile development approach, while reducing drastically the “everything” is in control, has been identified as a hard practice to perform it correctly. According to Beck and Boehm the agile development approaches rely on a “technically premier team” (2003), and thus “agility is only possible through greater discipline on the part of everyone involved.” (Beck & Boehm, 2003; pp. 44). Consequently, current software developers and software project managers face on one hand the difficulty to correctly execute an agile development process -regarding its proper characteristics, like implicit quality controls, and the need of high creativity programmers-, and on the other hand the difficulty to execute a rigorist -heavy or highly planed or controlled- development process that emphasizes the documentation and the control of tasks rather than the creativity on the development process and the evolvability of the developed product (Sommerville, 2005). Additionally, Beck & Boehm (2003) reported that a lack of rigor on development methodologies lead to failed software projects although agile development methodologies avoid the bureaucratic documentation issues. Given that both the rigorous and agile approaches have presented benefits and drawbacks, balanced methodologies for software development have been proposed (Beck & Boehm, 2003; Boehm & Turner, 2004). As Beck and Boehm (2003; pp. 46) report, there are required “efforts to synthesize the best from agile and plan-driven methods to address our future challenges of simultaneously achieving high software dependability, agility, and scalability.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

SOCA: Service-Oriented Computing Applications is synonymous of SOSS.

Orchestration: It defines the service collaboration at business process level.

MDA: Model-Driven Architecture regards to some levels of abstraction of the models to construct software systems, and that facilitates the transformations of ones into others. Such models are Computation Independent Model (CIM), Platform Independent Model (PIM), Platform Specific Model (PSM) and Executable Platform Model (E-PM).

SOC Approach: Is a methodology or process model for developing service-oriented software systems.

SOA: Service-Oriented Architecture expresses an architecture that define the use of software services.

Choreography: Define the service collaboration at service-computing level.

SOSE Paradigm: Service-Oriented Software Engineering paradigm. Is a way to construct systems whose building blocks are services.

SOSS: Service-Oriented Software System is a system constructed as a set of distributed services with loose coupling. Also defined as a software system based on SOA or SOC Application.

SOC: Service-Oriented Computing is an emerging paradigm for distributed computing.

CBSE Paradigm: Component-Based Software Engineering paradigm is a way to construct software systems whose building blocks are components.

Workflow: It defines the tasks and its order to complete a business process.

Lean Development: It is a way to work similar with DevOps. The Lean development (or engineering) cycle promotes Continuous Delivery, Continuous Analytics, and Continuous Feedback.

Edge and Fog Computing: An early and incipient definition could the following: It is a distributed computing paradigm to provide services by the cloud to the edge of the network.

Service Composition: Regards a suite of services that as a set and under a defined collaboration, conforms a service or a complete workflow.

Microservices: It is a specific way of decomposition of services in a greater granularity. Also, microservice represents a capability of the business process in a lesser level of abstraction than a service, Then, a microservice is a service but with greater granularity or in a lesser level of abstraction.

OOSE Paradigm: Object-Oriented Software Engineering paradigm is a way to construct software systems whose building blocks are objects.

DevOps: It is a way to work were the software is rapidly developed and immediately deployed for operating in a computational productive environment. It is continuous delivery product development lifecycle. It must automate the development process. DevOps is both a culture and a set of technologies and tools used for automation.

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