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Services computing is both, an academic field of study looking back at close to 15 years of fundamental research, as well as a vibrant area of industrial software engineering. Industrial practice in this area is notorious for its ever-changing nature, with the state of the art changing almost on a yearly basis based on the ebb and flow of various hypes and trends. In this paper, we provide a look "across the wall" into industrial services computing. We conducted an empirical study based on the service ecosystem of 42 companies, and report, among other aspects, how service-to-service communication is implemented, how service discovery works in practice, what Quality-of-Service metrics practitioners are most interested in, and how services are deployed and hosted. We argue that not all assumptions that are typical in academic papers in the field are justified based on industrial practice, and conclude the paper with recommendations for future research that is more aligned with the services industry.
This paper is meant as a critical look at industrial practices in services computing through the lenses of an academic working in the field. Our goal is to foster discussion of the plausibility and realism of some assumptions that are often seen in the literature of the field, and to give a brief, empirical look at what challenges service-based systems, especially those that follow the current trend of "microservices", face (and which they do not face). This paper is currently under consideration at a peer-reviewed scientific workshop.