Issues on developing interoperable cloud applications: definitions, concepts, approaches, requirements, characteristics and evaluation models


  • Elias Nogueira ICMC-USP, São Carlos, Brasil
  • Ana Moreira NOVA LINCS FCT-UNL, Almada, Portugal
  • Daniel Lucrédio DC-UFSCar, São Carlos, Brazil
  • Vinícius Garcia CIN-UFPE, Recife, Brazil
  • Renata Fortes ICMC-USP, São Carlos, Brasil


Cloud computing, Software engineering, Lock-in, Interoperability, Multi-cloud, Federation, Inter-cloud


Among research opportunities in software engineering for cloud computing model, interoperability stands out. We found that the dynamic nature of cloud technologies and the battle for market domination make cloud applications locked-id, i.e, proprietary, non-portable and non-interoperable. In general context of cloud computing, interoperability goes beyond communication between systems like in other fields, it goes in direction of more dynamic, heterogeneous, complex and composed applications that take advantage of best features from different providers and services simultaneously. Interoperability in cloud constitutes a great challenge that must be overcome for that, in the future, software be more dynamic and improved.

Objective: This paper aims at identifying how interoperability in cloud computing has been addressed in the existing literature, offering an up-to-date view of concepts relate to how to develop interoperable software that takes advantage of different cloud models. Thus, providing a basis for further research in the field and consolidating e better exploring existing concepts.

Method: To fulfill this objective, we surveyed literature. We defined six research questions and conducted the study according to a protocol that included planning, and execution.

Results: A first result of the review is that there is no well established definition for cloud interoperability. This study also identified cloud interoperability concepts (e.g., cloud brokers, multi-cloud and cloud federation), requirements for interoperable applications and existing cloud interoperability solutions, showing that these are either too specific for particular situations. Finally, the survey found no evaluation models for cloud interoperability solutions. We also present a discussion on the findings of this study.

Conclusion: Since the study observed that there are no well-established cloud interoperability solutions yet, we conclude that the issues raised by lack of interoperability persist. Selecting one interoperable solution or even a cloud standard can free the system from the underlying providers, but it would still be locked into the selected particular solution.



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How to Cite

Nogueira, E., Moreira, A., Lucrédio, D., Garcia, V., & Fortes, R. (2016). Issues on developing interoperable cloud applications: definitions, concepts, approaches, requirements, characteristics and evaluation models. Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development, 4, 7:1 – 7:23. Retrieved from



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