Service Virtualization and API Testing

Cynthia Dunlop

Subscribe to Cynthia Dunlop: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Cynthia Dunlop: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn

Related Topics: Virtualization Magazine, Agile Software Development, Mergers & Acquisitions on Ulitzer, VDI and Application Virtualization

Blog Feed Post

Service Virtualization: Freedom to Test When You Want, How You Want

Tired of delays and configuration hassles? Service virtualization can help

The number and complexity of test environments that need to be accessed for an organization's various projects has become overwhelming. The challenge of providing rapid access to the necessary test environments with the appropriate configurations has recently escalated for a number of reasons:

  • When testing transactions across today's composite applications, it's nearly impossible to avoid interacting with dependent applications that are evolving, unavailable, or difficult to access for testing.
  • Organizations leveraging more iterative or agile development methods have multiple projects evolving dependent systems on different timelines.
  • Some dependent applications, such as third-party applications and mainframes, are not feasible to virtualize or stage; they can be accessed only at tightly-controlled timeframes, with little time or freedom to configure them for the necessary testing needs.

service virtualization freedom

Accurately assessing the application under test's (AUT's) functionality typically requires testing against myriad permutations of dependent component behaviors (expected responses, unexpected responses, delays, etc.).

Coordinating convenient and simultaneous access to the various staged, virtualized, and/or live dependent components for just one test environment is a daunting task. Provisioning all the different environments required across an organization or a division—each with the necessary configuration—is often overwhelming. And when the cost and effort required to create all these test environments outweighs the perceived benefit of performing that testing, testing is shortchanged.

The Missing Piece: Service Virtualization
Service virtualization alleviates these pain points by enabling easy, rapid creation of the various test environments needed—with dependencies eliminated. It promotes the creation of what are essentially "disposable" test environments: environments without any impact or cost to the organization…or to the other teams vying for their own test environments.

Service virtualization steps in where traditional server/hardware virtualization leaves off. When server virtualization is not feasible, service virtualization enables you to emulate the behavior of dependent applications. Unlike stubs or mocks, virtual assets are simple to create, represent a broad range of realistic behavior, and are easy to update as the dependent applications evolve.

Even when server virtualization is possible, it's not always the most practical approach in the context of a test environment. Typically, only a small percentage of the dependent application's functionality is involved in the test scenario. Yet, this low utilization does little to diminish the cost or time required to acquire these applications, configure them, and make the adjustments needed for each requested test environment.

With service virtualization, you don’t have to virtualize an entire system when you need to access only a fraction of its available functionality. Instead, "virtual assets" emulate the AUT's specific interactions with the dependent applications, then stand in for the actual components in the test environment. The result is not only reduced costs, but also faster, more flexible access to the exact behavior that the team needs to test against.

With the constrained components replaced by virtual assets, the feat of accessing all of the required system components at a single, convenient time is significantly simplified.

Rapid Test Environment Creation, Management & Provisioning
Parasoft's unique integration of service virtualization with test environment management helps teams accelerate and simplify the process of creating the diverse and complex environments required for thorough testing. It enables organizations to give development, QA, and performance test engineers easy access to the very specific combinations and configurations of virtual assets that they need for different test environments.

Parasoft Service Virtualization was designed to help development and QA teams create and access any environment needed to develop or test an application. It allows teams to capture the necessary system behavior of dependent applications and instantly provision virtual assets in order to execute complex test scenarios. These easily-configurable virtual assets then stand in place of the actual dependent applications, giving team members the freedom to perform their expected development and testing tasks whenever they want, as extensively as they want.

Simplifying test environment provisioning, Parasoft enables developers and testers to instantly stand up the specific test environment configurations they need to access for any given test scenario. They can rapidly define and provision test environments with all necessary permutations of dependent application behaviors, then start testing immediately.

Freedom From Dependent Applications & Test Constraints
Here's a one-minute introduction to how Parasoft service virtualization gives developers and testers the freedom to access the exact test environment they need—anytime, anywhere:

Service Virtualization Resources
Want to learn more? Here are some additional service virtualization resources:


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Content Strategist/Writer at Tricentis, writes about software testing and the SDLC—specializing in continuous testing, functional/API testing, DevOps, Agile, and service virtualization. She has written articles for publications including SD Times, Stickyminds, InfoQ, ComputerWorld, IEEE Computer, and Dr. Dobb's Journal. She also co-authored and ghostwritten several books on software development and testing for Wiley and Wiley-IEEE Press. Dunlop holds a BA from UCLA and an MA from Washington State University.