I wrote about iTKO a few weeks back, SOA Virtualization, Validation and Testing at the Speed of Enterprise 2.0 - iTKO LISA. They provide enterprise application testing that can keep up with the speed of enterprise 2.0 and the rapid development opportunities that mashups open up. In this post I want to comment on their blog, The iTKO LISA Soapbox: SOA Testing, Validation & Virtualization. It provides an excellent resource on the topic. For example, a recent post, Can Virtual Environments take Performance & Load Testing?, by Jason English covers the simulation of software behavior or service oriented virtualization (SOV) as they refer to it.
SOV can break that dependency of waiting for all applications to be in place before performance labs can get a test window. Jason writes that ”the initial uses of SOV were to allow the development and testing team to regain agility much earlier in the lifecycle - so they could do their needed functional and regression testing against Virtual Services instead of constrained live applications -- the essential services, databases and mainframes in the environment.”
He goes on to add that now you can apply virtualization to the performance lab for serious load testing in the later stages of application development. With SOA you are working with services and underlying systems that are distributed and constantly changing. This makes replication of whole environment very costly and time consuming. Virtualization can ease this burden by covering the applications not ready to align. I used to develop a lot of enterprise software training and we had to wait even longer to accurately portray the target software. Virtualization could be very useful with training development.
A bit earlier John Michelsen wrote a four part series on virtualization, starting with An Intro to SOA and Virtualization: Part 1 of 4. The series covers the different aspects of virtualization. Part 2 overviews hardware virtualization and part three covers virtualized access to service or virtual end points. John writes that virtual end points allow developers to manage and model how they want their consumers to hit the services that they produce. The series concludes with virtual services. In this case you can simulate the service’s existence, without actually creating it. John writes that “this means that before your development group has even shown up to build the actual service, our product virtualizes the service and creates a simulated version of the real thing (which doesn’t exist yet) – such that your consumers can invoke this service as if it already existed.” This can accelerate the testing process.
Now they are running a series reviewing the blogging communities of leading integration and SOA platform software firms, starting with the SAP Community Network Blogs. A second one on TIBCO Community Blogs recently appeared. This is a good blog to follow if you want to keep up with the innovations in SOA testing.