Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), an emerging paradigm for designing and
implementing business collaborations within and across organisational
boundaries, are currently of interest to both software vendors and scientists.
In this paradigm, the functionality provided by business applications is
encapsulated within web services: software components described at a semantic
level, which can be invoked by application programs or by other services
through a stack of internet standards including HTTP, XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.
Once deployed, web services provided by various organisations can be
interconnected in order to implement business collaborations, leading to
composite web services. Ultimately, these composed services are there to
support business processes. Therefore, the relationship between business
process management, workflow technology and SOAs is highly relevant. This is
illustrated by the interest in the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)
standard. Therefore, this Special Issue of the International Journal of
Business Process Integration and Management addresses the link between
processes and services. This paper introduces the papers in this Special Issue
and provides an overview of the domain.