Agile development and composite applications are a hallmark of SOA these days, but they are not without their difficulties. The push to rapidly deploy composite apps complicates the life of the QA team, whose members must now create test beds to work with a mishmash of services.
Some of these services are complete and in operation, while others are under development. All of them, unfortunately, are usually undergoing versioning.
The open source community has created mock services architectures to deal with this symptom of SOA. Too, vendors have fielded tools to deal with the new paradigm. ITKO (now a CA company) Parasoft, GreenHat (now an IBM company) and Hewlett-Packard Co. now support simulation of services. These are often called “virtualized services” as well.
While there is a certain natural solidity to enterprise back-end systems, the Web, with its constant change, is influencing the need for virtualized testing.
“People need to have an e-commerce experience that is extremely dynamic. Expectations change almost every week,” said Kelly Emo, director, Applications Product Marketing, HP. “This places demand on the developer team, and potentially, on the scalability and elasticity of back-end services.”
Application owners help drive the use of services virtualization tools, she noted, saying, “They see the costs in waiting and the problems that arise with limited testing.”
HP entered the virtualized services fray about a year ago, and has recently updated its HP Service Virtualization offering with support for REST services, now found widely in cloud and Web APIs. Native support is also available with this release for IBM WebSphere MQ services, which has been seeing a lot of demand, she said.
Cloud computing, too, is a driver of the move to virtualized services testing, according to Emo.