Cloud computing can become more valuable if the semi-automatic creation and management of application layer services can be ported across alternative cloud implementation environments so that the services remain interoperable. This core TOSCA specification provides a language to describe service components and their relationships using a service topology, and it provides for describing the management procedures that create or modify services using orchestration processes. The combination of topology and orchestration in a Service Template describes what is needed to be preserved across deployments in different environments to enable interoperable deployment of cloud services and their management throughout the complete lifecycle (e.g. scaling, patching, monitoring, etc.) when the applications are ported over alternative cloud environments.