In the context of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, cyber-physical systems (CPS) build the technological foundation for the increasing digitalisation of our world. Because guidelines to overcome challenges of building such systems (e.g. security concerns, missing know-how, and lack of standards) are scarce, researchers and practitioners alike have begun to analyse the role of the mature paradigm of service-oriented architecture (SOA) in implementing CPS. However, the relationship between SOA and CPS is not entirely understood. To close this gap, we analyse SOA’s role for CPS based on a concept-driven literature review. The analysis of 12 publications that address the interrelation between SOA and CPS yielded four groups of CPS benefits that can be achieved by leveraging SOA. Combining these benefits with architectural layers and SOA’s design principles, we identify logical links that explain the role of SOA for CPS. Future research might concentrate on dominant patterns to scrutinise how a specific benefit can be achieved by leveraging SOA. Designers of CPS can leverage the identified patterns to understand the importance of specific characteristics of SOA to address the unique requirements of their CPS.

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