Globalization and rapid technological change elevates the role of the Internet in terms of business service offering and procurement. At the same time, companies specialize on core competencies on the one hand, and on the other hand, integrate with other firms into “service ecosystems” in order to serve market needs in a flexible manner. One challenge in this setting is how to develop and describe novel business services within service ecosystems for efficient trade in services over the Internet. This work proposes a method for describing business services that integrates into business service development processes. The development of such a method leads to three major challenges: Firstly, it is necessary to determine which properties are appropriate for describing business services. This work analyzes existing approaches in the marketing, information systems, and computer science domain and develops a model for a formal description that facilitates offering and discovering of business services. Secondly, business service description elicitation, documentation, and communication must be provided for the whole business service development process. This work’s approach includes the development of an appropriate modeling notation as an extension of the Unified Modeling Notation (UML). Thirdly, there is a need for transforming business service descriptions into software realization languages that are suitable for the Internet. This contribution offers an automatic transformation of business service descriptions into Web Services Description Language (WSDL) documents using model-to-model transformation scripts. The method for describing business services was evaluated by implementing an integrated modeling environment along with related transformation scripts as well as by two case studies in the insurance and IT outsourcing industry.
Recently, service orientation has strongly influenced the way enterprise applications are built. Service ecosystems, which provide means to trade services between companies like goods, are an evaluation of service orientation. To allow service ordering, discovering, selection, and consumption, a common way to describe services is a necessity. This paper discusses existing approaches to describe certain service aspects. Finally, a Service Description Framework for service ecosystems is proposed and exemplified.