Currently available toolsets for the development of embedded systems adopt traditional architectural styles and do not cover the whole requirements of the development process, with extensibility being the major drawback. In this paper, a service-oriented architectural framework that exploits semantic web is defined. Features required in the development process are defined as web services and published into the public domain, so as to be used on demand by developers to construct their projects' specific integrated development environments (IDEs). The infrastructure required to build a web service-based IDE is presented. Specific web services are defined and the way these services affect the development process is discussed. Special focus is given on the device model and the means that such a modelling can significantly improve the development process. A prototype implementation demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of the proposed demand-led development process in the industrial automation domain.