|The development of software for distributed systems, e.g.
telecommunication services, is a complex activity. Numerous issues have
to be resolved when developing such systems, examples of which are language/system
heterogeneity and remoteness of components. Interface definition languages
(IDLs) are used as the basis for addressing some of these issues. IDLs
allow for the specification of the syntactic aspects of the interfaces
of the components in the system to be made. Whilst lending itself to issues
of heterogeneity and location transparency, dealing with IDL as the basis
for system development is not without its problems. Two of the main problems
with IDL are its lack of behaviour and its lack of abstraction. Thus designers
should not be constrained to work within the syntactic notations used to
implement their systems, nor should they be unaided in how they might better
design their systems. In this paper we show how these issues are being
addressed in the TOSCA project in its development of a service creation
and validation environment.