Service Oriented Computing and Service Oriented Architecture describe a way to design businessarchitecture, with a strong focus onto IT. A key objective of the underlying concepts consists inincreasing the flexibility and agility of the business, and to align IT and the business needs. From atechnical perspective, this results in loosely coupled services based on standardized communicationprotocols like SOAP or REST based on web-services. The increase of the technical complexityconstitutes a drawback as soon as a heterogeneous composition of services is considered. Due to thisincreased complexity, the adaptability of existing production services decreases, which again has anegative impact onto the flexibility and adaptability of the complete IT landscape. The importance ofmaintainability, flexibility and agility directly depends on the size and relevance of the deployed servicesand increases with the maturity of the operational SOAs. The project addresses these aspects by definingan adequate architectural framework.An interesting research topic to address these issues consists in introducing meta-services into SOAs.Meta-services do not offer business operations, but act as helper services trying to optimize and simplifybusiness services and their design. Concrete instances of meta-services can be for instance orchestrationservices, offering service composition functionalities, or monitoring services, controlling the correctexecution of other services, and so on. Meta-services centralize common functions used by multiplebusiness services. These common functions are externalized from existing business services and managedindependently. Meta-services help to improve the efficiency and flexibility of SOAs and also have apositive impact onto occurring costs.Some authors inThe scientific literature distinguishes between meta-services (also called infrastructureservices or monitoring services) and business services. However, this distinction cannot be found whenconsidering the underlying architectural patterns. The research activities of the TIMSOA project willfocus onto this field by following two objectives. On one hand, the project team will define, design andimplement a set of meta-services that address common requirements of business services and improve theflexibility of the SOA. On the other hand, an IT architecture that enables a seamless integration of bothbusiness services and meta-services will be elaborated. The deployment and configuration of metaservicesin existing environments will become transparent for business services. Meta-services willdecouple the technical evolution of the IT environment from the evolution of deployed business services.Modern modular architecture technologies (whether they are SOA specific or not) such as JBI and OSGi,and research in the domain of new architectural patterns will provide valuable input required to realizethis decoupling. The robustness and added value of the proposed solution is validated in real worldscenarios where changing requirements have to be implemented in an existing SOA.The result of the project will lead to guidelines and best practices, which improve the IT architecture ofSOAs. A reference implementation, based on standards and open technologies, will illustrate the benefitsof the TIMSOA project for SMEs or SMAs.