Simplifying Services Testing: InfoWorld Reviews Five Tools

Loraine Lawson

One of the overlooked perils of SOA is that it really does require a new testing methodology, as I've mentioned here before. After all, for years the working model has been to code an application, test it, fix the code, deploy the application, find more code problems, send out a patch, offer an upgrade, and so on.


That's a far from perfect system, but, hey, it works. But when you start to take that code, bundle it as a service and deploy it willy-nilly across the organization -- well, it can be a big problem if it breaks, as you can imagine.


David Linthicum's recently wrote about the complexities of SOA testing on his InfoWorld blog. He points out there are really three dimensions to SOA testing: Services, processes and performance. I think he does a great job of summing up why you shouldn't underestimate SOA testing:

What's key here is to remember that you're testing architecture, and not an application. Thus, the complexity of the system, and the approaches and tools used for testing, goes way up.

While you're visiting InfoWorld, check out its review of five tools designed to test SOAP-based Web services. Obviously, Web services does not equal SOA, nor are all SOAs built with SOAP, but hey, it's a starting place and if that's your flavor of SOA, then check out the review. You'll find reviews of Parasoft SOAtest, AdventNet's QEngine, Crosscheck Networks SOAPSonar, iTKO's LISA, and Mindreef's SOAPscope Server. You'll also find a link to earlier review of open source Web service testing solutions.


The individual reviews are detailed and at the end of the full article. You'll find a quick sidebar summarizing how each solution scored on ease-of-use, features, scalability and so on. It also includes the price -- a nice to know -- and a "bottom line" wrap-up. But ultimately, reviewer Rick Grehan says which product you choose should depend upon a number of factors: Whether you're testing more than just Web services and use Java, whether you're only using SOAP-based Web services, or even on your testing philosophy.


(And a big shout out to Syns-Con Media, which ran a blurb on Parasoft SOAtest fared in the tests, or I would've missed this one.)


You might also want to read this IT Business Edge Q&A with Erik Josowitz, vice president of Product Strategy for Surgient, sells virtual lab management applications. He explains how virtualization can reduce testing time for SOA services.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 1, 2007 4:43 PM Jim Mackay Jim Mackay  says:
Loraine, while I appreciate you drawing attention to this comparison, I want to point out that the review was flawed and factually incorrect. Rick Grehan ended up using a version of iTKO LISA that was over a year old - a lot has changed since then as you can imagine. And some of the features Rick claims that the other products have are simply not there. I am not sure how he came to some of his conclusions.For a truly objective opinion, you have to go to the analysts such as Gartner, who take the time to truly understand these products and their differences.As far as the shout to SYS-CON, all they did was grab some of the material from ParaSoft's press release. The way that erroneous information like this is so quickly propagated around, without any fact checking, just kills me. True FUD.I encourage anyone looking at test tools to evaluate all 5 of these products against your real needs. Don't depend on shoddy reporting when it comes to the quality of your enterprise applications! Reply
Dec 10, 2007 1:20 PM Wayne Ariola Wayne Ariola  says:
As a rule, Parasoft only makes the most recent market ready version of our product available for review. This means that all materials regarding the Parasoft SOAtest release are in sync. If an innovation associated with enhancing the speed and efficiency of testing in a complex SOA environment is in beta stage and not ready for public consumption, this material would never be delivered for review. In summary, the materials drawn from Parasoft for this posting and the aforementioned articles are fair and accurate. Reply
May 19, 2008 9:18 AM Suri Suri  says:
Can you explain abt the differences between the Lisa4.03 and SOAtest5.5 Reply

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