Research in Service Oriented Computing has been based on the idea that software applications can be constructed by composing and configuring “software services”, i.e., software utilities that can be used but that are not necessarily owned by consumers. A key aspect has however been dramatically underestimated in this research, namely the fact that – in most cases – software services are software components that provide electronic access to “real services” (e.g., a software service for travel booking allows us to access the actual service behind it, namely “the possibility of traveling”). Our claim is that the “Internet of Services” should focus on real services, rather than software services. In particular, we investigate the new role of Internet, which is a supporting infrastructure in the case of software services, but becomes a key enabler for real services, offering a unique capability to communicate in real time changes in real services and allowing for immediate reactions by service consumers. In the paper, we illustrate the project we are undertaking to demonstrate that Internet can become the service delivery platform of the future. We illustrate, in particular, the research challenges this vision produces in the areas of service usage, representation, engineering, and delivery, as well as the results we have already achieved.
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