Saturday, February 17, 2007

Testing SOA Applications: App Labs Article

AppLabs Technologies is a Sequoia Funded testing company based in Hyderabad, India. AppLabs services encompass Functional, Performance, and Quality Testing with a distinctive SOA Testing focus. They published a good article on Approach to SOA Testing Applications. This article does a great job on detailing issues associated with Functional and Performance Testing.

On functional testing, it points out that most testing tools are focused on unit testing and are incapable of building composite interdependent tests across technology platforms, languages and systems.

On the performance testing front, this article takes the position that:

"Once the appropriate performance scenarios have been defined, multiple test tools/techniques are required because of the presence of different platforms and technologies. During test execution, monitoring application performance and collating data would be a challenge since there is no “one stop shop” tool which gives insight into the overall big picture."

Although obtaining a composite functional & performance picture may require source code access to figure out root bottlenecks, in modern, web services-based SOAs, the atomic web service "producer" API is what is being tested for performance characteristics. The web service operation internals are a black box operation that may internally call other web services. If all dependent contracts are advertised and available to a SOA Tester, then overall big picture performance characteristics are readily available from existing SOA Testing Tools.

The visibility does stop at the WSDL API level that is provided to the SOA Tester however. For more detailed view into performance and functional characteristics, white box testing is required. This may not be feasible with the proliferation of SaaS. The next closest view into functional and performance characteristics of a web service may be obtained through Grey Box testing. See SOA Testing using Black, White, & Gray Box Techniques for details.

With the proliferation of web services-based SOA within Enterprises and SMBs, AppLabs is focused on the right space and is positioned to capitalize on the increasing testing needs of complex SOA deployments.

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