With the service-oriented paradigm, some established ways of thinking about software quality and its assurance seem to change. But things do not necessarily become more difficult. Some considerable advancements to traditional ways of quality management can be introduced through the use of service-based systems, leading to largely reduced efforts and increased quality. In this article we identify the main challenges and opportunities for software development that evolve out of the transition to service-based systems, derived from both theory and the documented experience gained within a large-scale SOA application development scenario. Our research shows that there are significant benefits with respect to interoperability and changeability, while other quality attributes such as performance raise concerns. Within a third group of attributes, including security and testability, we see contradictory evidence. Especially regarding testing our field work reveals considerable advancements whereas literature reports concerns. Some of the challenges we identified, however, may be temporary as tools and methodologies are evolving.
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