Free White Paper Walks You Through Hazards of SOA Testing

Loraine Lawson

At the beginning of this year, I shared 10 SOA tips from 2007 for success in 2008. For those of you who missed it, tip number eight was, "Revamp your testing process."

If you're not sure why, here's a long list of reasons why SOA requires a new approach to testing.

In the past, I've found precious little about how to do SOA testing. But this week, I found what's easily the most comprehensive free resource I've ever seen on SOA testing.

"Key Strategies for SOA Testing" is a 40-page handbook that walks you through the issues you need to address when testing services. It's co-written by SOA guru David Linthicum of ZapThink and Jim Murphy, the vice president of Product Management for Mindreef, a vendor that offers tools for deploying Web services.

You will need to be a Gold Member with ebizQ to download it, but don't let the "gold" part fool you. It's a free registration process that involves filling out a basic information form.

The idea for the handbook apparently emerged after Linthicum interviewed Mindreef's founder and CTO, Frank Grossman, for Linthicum's SOA Visionaries podcast. You can download the podcast or read the transcript.

I've "flipped" through the PDF and I must say, it's an impressive piece of work, particularly given that it's free. True, it does include a plug for Mindreef's products, but there's still a chunk of vendor-neutral information on how to do SOA testing.

The handbook begins by outlining seven issues you need to consider when testing:

  • Service distribution, or how services are distributed through the enterprise;
  • Service data, which takes into account that testing data is different in the context of services;
  • Service behavior, or ensuring the service works as it should, especially if its behavior should vary by context;
  • Service integrity, the service's ability to hold up in real-world usage;
  • Service design, as it relates to design patterns and how the service functions in those designs;
  • Service Level Agreements and performance, obviously, this means measuring how the service performs against service level agreements; and
  • Adherence to holistic architecture, or ensuring the services add up to a functioning architecture.

It then walks you through creating a testing strategy and the implementation of that strategy. It's surprisingly detailed and thorough for a free white paper. In fact, I give it two thumbs up and a "better than Cats."

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