Monday, November 17, 2008

Web Services Simulation

What should you do in your web services project when you're ready to start building your web services client, but your producer services is not ready? The answer is simple: Use Web Service Simulation. The obvious advantages of Service Simulation are as follows:

  • Reduce Overall development time by making simulated services available before they are built.
  • Tell the client whether it's sending the right messages to the service. For example, the service may be expecting a SAML token and the body of the message has to be signed. A service simulator can ensure that the client (consumer) is indeed following such requirements even before the producer services are built.

Here's a whitepaper that provides details on how to use service simulation to shorten your SOA projects while making your service invocations cleaner and more interoperable.

Accelerate your SOA Projects through Service Simulation

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The consequences of overlooking SOA testing blind spots

Colleen Frye, News Writer for published a valuable article on the consequences of overlooking SOA Testing Blindspots. Rizwan Mallal, quoted in this article, highlights a couple of solid technical points:

  1. HTTP 200 codes, although important in web site testing, are insufficient for web services testing that requires deeper content inspection to decide whether a request-response pair is successful.
  2. Simply sending the same message over and over again is Performance Testing is incorrect and flawed. Most endpoints enforce security that requires message uniqueness and detect for message replay-type attacks. Most testing tools that started as web application testing tools lack web services testing features and are inadequate for SOA Testing.

SOAPSonar from Crosscheck Networks, unlike other products in the industry is built ground-up for SOA/Web Service Testing and has all the XML, SOAP, WSDL, WS-Security, WS-Trust, MTOM type standards that are inherently available for functional, performance, interoperability and security testing with a very simple to use user interface that doesn't require an army of consultants to install and configure. Plus Crosscheck provides a Personal Edition of the product for free.

For a detailed article on SOA Testing Blindspots see: Watch your SOA Testing Blindspots

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

SOA Testing and Governance through WSDL Report Cards

Are all WSDLs created equal? SOAPSonar 4.0 by Crosscheck Networks bring this age-old question from the metaphysical domain to the emperical domain by providing an easy-to-use report card.

Based on configurable governance rules, Developers and QA professional can now live in relative harmony by reviewing WSDL report cards during the SOA Lifecycle.

For detail on WSDL Report Cards, read the following article published by Rich Seeley, SearchSOA:

WSDL gets a Report Card,289142,sid26_gci1329141,00.html#

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hardware-based SOA Testing

Crosscheck Networks released an industry-first, hardware-based SOA Testing by intergrating SOAPSonar with Smart Cards produced by A.E.T. Europe B.V.

SOA Testing for signatures, encryption, decryption, and X.509 client authentication is now seamlessly provided within the SOAPSonar testing framework. SOAPSonar provides the ability to use keys from a SmartCard to perform digital signatures, encryption, decryption, and SSL X509 mutual authentication. SOAPSonar provides a native integration with A.E.T SafeSign Client software to dynamically access the digital keying information on the card.

For details, see:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Webinar on SOA Governance using Service Simulation

On Wedneday, July 30 (11:00 am EST), Crosscheck Networks is scheduled to present a webinar on Design-Time SOA Governance using Service Simulation which basically means that you can mimic a web service before it is ready. Design-Time SOA Governance serves a number of key uses such as:

1) Web Service developers can start building consumer applications before the producer services are ready. SOA Testers can build their test suites even before the producer services are ready, thereby compressing the SOA Project Lifecycle.

2) Producer Service Developers can provide a portable serivce simulation with requirements that the consumers have to meet before consumer applications are allowed to invoke the producer services. The requirement can include message formats, security and identity standards expected by the producer services. Additional Business-level requirement can also be simulated such that for certain requests, a pre-set response is returned. Enabling a library of anticiapted request-response pairs for a service ensures that consumers can build robust applications before the services are available.

3) Generating WSDL report cards is essential in measuring the relative quality of WSDLs within a SOA deployment.

For details about the webinar, visit:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Techniques in Attacking and Defending SOA Web Serivces

I am excited to co-host the first of a new series of webinars launched by Crosscheck Networks and Forum Systems on Techniques in Attacking and Defending SOA Web Services. If you are interested in SOA, SOA Gateways, SOA Governance and Security, SOA Testing, XML Firewalls, SOAP,XML, WSDLs, SQL Injection, Denial of Serivice Attacks, and SOA Identity please consider attending the webinar.

Title: Techniques in Attacking and Defending SOA Web Services.
Date: June 19, 2008 (Thursday).
Time: 1:00 pm Eastern.
To register:

We are excited to see the level of interest and enthusiasm in this Webinar Series and look forward to exhibiting Attack and Defense techniques is SOA deployments.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SOA Testing Consolidation: Green Hat Software acquires Solstice Software

Green Hat Software, a London, UK-based SOA Testing company has acquired Solstice Software a Delaware, US-based SOA Testing company. The consolidation in the SOA Testing space is expected as larger companies add SOA Testing to their portfolio of SOA products. Although this is a private-to-private merger/acquisition, it's a good move that will give the combined companies European and North America coverage and will help them to effectively compete against established SOA Testing players such as Parasoft, Crosscheck Networks, iTKO and Mindreef.

HP and IBM have been touting SOA Testing products, however, they lack the functionality, maturity and and install-base within SOA Testing space. HP "SOA Testing" approach comes from a registry-based (Systinet acquisition) and web site testing approach (Mercury acquisition), whereas IBM's SOA Testing approach comes from its Rational UML modelling division. Both HP and IBM have yet to become serious contender is the SOA Testing space.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

SOA Testing considerations for SOA Gateways

SOA Testing touches a number of components within the IT Ecosystems including SOA Gateways. Since a SOA Gateway is usually deployed close to the corporate edge, rigorous SOA Testing ensures that traffic ingressing and egressing an enterprise are clean, secured and valid -backend systems should be able to parse them easily once the SOA Gateway has giving its stamp of approval about the quality of the message.

Download Paper (registration required):
SOA Gateways: Best Practices,Benefits & Requirements

This article published by Forum Systems - the pioneer of SOA Gateways - covers deployment best practices, benefits and requirements with a focus on service virtualization, message privacy and integrity, and message control and auditing. It will help the reader frame SOA Testing scenarios necessary for SOA Gateways.

"A SOA Gateway is a core infrastructure component of a SOA with the ability to integrate XML/SOAP-based services securely. Typically deployed as a hardware appliance, a SOA Gateway seamlessly controls access to services, protects information through data-level encryption, ensures the integrity of a message through signatures, and controls information flow."

Friday, April 25, 2008

New SOA Testing Tutorial Labs introduced at STAREAST 2008

STAREAST 2008 - the "Greatest Software Testing Conference On Earth" - is taking place May 5-9, 2009 is Orlando Florida. I had the pleasure of the first, day-long SOA Testing conference back in 2006 with the Crosscheck Networks' team. This year, the team will conduct their signature day-long tutorial: "The Art and Science of SOA Testing" with a set of hands-on Labs that cover topics such as:

  • SOA Functional Testing
  • Operation Chaining
  • SOA Identity Testing
  • SOA Performance Testing
  • SOA Interop Testing
  • Automation through external Data Sources
  • SOA Regression Testing

As the SOA Testing industry matures, this tutorial continue to align its material and labs to provide attendees a solid grounding in what aspects of SOA Testing are essential for a successful SOA deployment.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Crosscheck Networks Announces New Product: SOAPSimulator

Crosscheck Networks, the company that pioneered comprehensive SOA Testing through its product, SOAPSonar, has now launched a new "paradigm-shifting" product: SOAPSimulator that enables QA professionals and developers to start getting their work done even if the service endpoint is not ready or available.

For details on SOAPSimulator, see:

Make sure to download the white paper from the link above.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

SOA Testing using Parallels on MacBook Pro

I have finally moved over from XP to Mac and I am loving it. Now I do have a number of applications that I will probably not migrate away from - such as the MS Office Suite that I purchased for my MacBook Pro - it works like a charm and has a number of goodies that weren't available on my XP.

I also can't live without Visio and heavily use Crosscheck Networks products, SOAPSonar and SOAPSimulator - applications that are not available natively for Mac's, however, Parallels comes to the rescue. For $79.99, Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac has been a great investment. It is easy-to-use, fast and the images of your Operating Systems can be moved around easily. I don't know how it compares to VMWare, but I have no complaints about Parallels, yet. I like Parallels' Full Screen Mode and Coherence Mode that lets your Windows apps appear as if they are running natively within Mac OS X Leopard.

The image above shows SOAPSonar (a .NET-based SOA Testing Application) running in Parallels on a MacBook Pro.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Service Simulation - Help Jumpstart SOA Testing

Here's a paper that the folks at Crosscheck Networks have authored on how Service Simulation can accelerate your SOA Testing, Client Side Development while saving you money by eliminating the need to build an expensive "SOA Reference System."

I have seen others talk about this concept in terms of virtualization and confuse everyone - I guess using hot marketing jargon helps get attention at the expense of adding confusion. The key aspects of Service Simulation are portability and ease-of-use, without which it adds more to the project timelines than what it promises to reduce.

Here's what Service Simulation is and how it helps:

"Reusable services are the cornerstone of a successful implementation of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Service simulation can mimic producer services before they are implemented, an alternative to an expensive reference environment. In this paper, we cover SOA Project Lifecycle issues and how best to address them through service simulation."

For complete article, see:

Accelerate your SOA Projects Through Service Simulation

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Better Software Magazine Cover Story: Breaking Ground on SOA

SOA Testing has really become a mainstream discipline. Better Software Magazine, a publication for QA Professionals and anyone focused on Quality, published a coverpage article on Building and Testing your first Web Service.

This article will get you started on SOA Testing in no time and provide you a good overview on how web services are built and how they can be tested. It's great article to get your feet wet with SOA and SOA Testing.

You can read the full article here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Crosscheck Networks Announces SOA Testing Tutorial at Software Quality Engineering's STAREast 2008 Conference

Crosscheck Networks Announces SOA Testing Tutorial at Software Quality Engineering's STAREast 2008 Conference

SOA Testing is becoming a mature discipline. QA Professionals are now actively re-tooling themselves to adapt to web services-based SOA Testing requirements. For the second year running, Crosscheck Networks is conducting a 1-day intensive SOA Testing Tutorial. This is a hands-on class that starts off by first covering the fundamentals of web services-based SOA and then quickly goes into hands-on labs that cover functional, performance, interoperability, security, regression, automation and identity testing.

The course, hosted in Orlando on May 5, 2008 is limited to 30 attendees. To find out more, visit STAREast 2008 (

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Introduction to SOA Regression Testing: A Hands-on Approach

This article published recently highlights the importance of building a sound SOA Regression framework as a part of an enterprise-wide SOA Initiative. Here's a small snippet with a link to the entire PDF document:

Regress means to go backwards. Software Regression Testing is the means of identifying unintentional errors or bugs that may have been introduced as a result of changing a program module. The program module regresses by no longer working as it used to before. Software development is an iterative process in which program modules are continually modified by teams of developers to meet changing system requirements. Typical software systems with N modules have N2 dependencies. A flaw introduced in a modified module can have significant impact across the entire system.

Link to full article:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

SOA Testing Article: Compress SOA Lifecycle through Development & QA Collaboration

Web services, the foundation of modern SOA, are being rolled out today in ever increasing numbers across enterprises. The key benefit of web services is reusability of services across applications in a distributed environment. Reuse is especially valuable in exposing monolithic, legacy functionality as self-contained services. With the promise of SOA and web services come also the challenges for successful implementation and testing. These challenges fall directly on the developer and QA teams to meet deadlines while also deploying a robust,
resilient and reliable SOA solution.

The challenge of building robust and reliable services within a SOA exposes age-old fissures between Development and QA: Who is really responsible for testing across distributed environments.

In this article, we will explore the gaps and recommend ways of bridging such fissures to ensure greater efficiency in developing and deploying web services-based Service Oriented Architecture.

Get the Complete Article:

Friday, February 08, 2008

SOA Testing Tool: SOAPSonar v3.5 Released

Crosscheck Networks, the leading provider of SOA Testing Tools announced General Availability of SOAPSonar v3.5 with the following significant features:

  • Direct Database Integration for End-to-End SOA Testing
  • Dynamic On-Demand Binding for abstract types
  • Setting of Global Policies that can assigned to Custom Test Groups
  • JUNIT Integration that enables SOAPSonar to leverage JUNIT framework
  • Direct native Java key store PKI support
  • Optimization techniques to parse jumbo WSDLs and Schemas

SOAPSonar has become one of the most sophisticated SOA Testing tools in the industry without sacrificing ease-of-use. We have looked at many SOA Testing tools and find SOAPSonar loaded with a tremendous breath of features and the lowest cost.

In this latest release of SOAPSonar, the part that I find really significant is the ability to do end-end-to-end testing through integration with databases. Typical web services are developed using a web services container such as BEA WebLogics, Tomcat of IBM WebSphere. The web services usually make JDBC calls to backend Databases such as MySQL, Oracle, IBM DB2. For a SOA Tester to ensure that the web services call has successfully executed requires "independently" evaluating the impact of a web services call on the database. With SOAPSonar, one can now easily set evaluation criteria that not only makes sure that the SOAP Response is evaluated for success/failure but also the state of the back-end database is evaluated to make sure that the end-to-end transaction was successful.

To download latest version of SOAPSonar, visit

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

SOA Testing: BEA vs. Oracle

Oracle purchase of BEA for $8.5B is a strong indicator that the tech market is in a consolidation mood. I have SOA Tested both BEA WebLogics and Oracle OC4J. For details on SOA Testing both servers, see the following articles:

1) Getting Started with Message-Level Encryption on WebLogic Server 9.2

2) Amazon EC2 and Oracle SOA Suite a Strong Combo

Having SOA Tested Both Oracle OC4J and BEA webLogics extensively, here are some items that stood out:

1) Installing Oracle OC4J was easier than WebLogics.
2) The foot print of OC4J is smaller.
3) Configuring Oracle OC4J was much easier that BEA WebLogics
4) Setting security policies within OC4J was much easier than in WebLogics
5) BPEL Process Manager components were easily configurable in OC4J.
6) The documentation and examples for setting SOA Policies were more mature in OC4J.
7) The Web Services stacks are equally mature.

I expect OC4J to do really well within the BEA install base. Oracle SOA Suite is very well packaged and will be adopted by BEA customers. I love BEA's technology, however, for rapid mass adoption, Oracle has done a better job. With this acquisition, Oracle will have a better perception in the AppServer market and will be able to capitalize on this over time. But then again, there is the great Opensource market - Tomcat.

Through my SOA Testing endeavours, I found SOAPSonar from Crosscheck Networks to do a great job in exercising the web services stacks of both app servers. Other testing vendors fell short of providing the extensive testing capabilities required withing a SOA environment. For more information about SOAPSonar, visit:

Crosscheck Networks