“What I saw this year was a rise of open source testing as an alternative to proprietary testing, as well as the continuation of service-oriented architecture,” said Frank Cohen, CEO, PushToTest, speaking with SearchSOA.com.
Both the Agile drive and the open source drive may soon impact middleware more widely, Cohen indicated. But a failure to come up with a common business interface pattern continues to challenge the user community.
“The IT industry has failed to create a standard for business integration. You can trace that back to Sun, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle not reaching an understanding on JBI [Java Business Integration],” he said, referring to a Java standards undertaking that is widely seen as having faltered.
“Without JBI, there is no way to model what the outcome of a business process is – nothing to write a test to, if you don’t have a standard that says what it does, ” said Cohen.
“The IT industry has failed to create a standard for business integration. So there are software developers building middleware either by hand coding at the language level using Java or building out a [proprietary] model,” he suggested.
PushToTest implemented a multi-step business workflow on Oracle, IBM and Tibco platforms to try and discern developer productivity and application performance differences end users might encounter. Involving Web services, the benchmark defines and implements a use case, adds HTTPS/SSL security, makes a change to a message schema and implements an asynchronous message delivery, and then runs a functional and performance test. PushToTest packs this all up in a SOAKit.
Cohen presented SOAKit performance results at a Tibco-sponsored presentation at this week’s Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in Las Vegas, Nev. PushToTest offers the software test suite as open source, available for free from its site as the SOAKit.
The marriage of software development and service-orientation especially continues to confront testers with new challenges, says Wane Ariola, Vice President of Strategy for Parasoft Corp. The company has recently updated its Parasoft SOAtest suite to address issues SOA practitioners find as they embrace messaging integration middleware, composite applications and new REST architectures.
Messaging middleware is still new to many testers, and it is found in many a SOA. The ”headless” nature of composite applications – often, there is no client interface with which to interact – also challenges the test team.
Meanwhile, SOA services have expanded from WSDL to include WADL, said Ariola. They have also expanded from mostly SOAP to include JSON and REST alternatives. That makes SOA testing more complex for QA, too.
Ariola said new visual analysis features in the latest release of Parasoft SOAtest help organizations quickly pinpoint the root cause of failures within complex composite architectures. Another new analysis feature he points to allows Parasoft SOAtest to connect to a JMS or MQ broker to retrieve the list of message queues – again, to enhance pinpointing of flaws. Core message testing enhancements related to JSON, WADL, REST, WS-I, EDIFACT are also part of the new parcel.
”Said Ariola: When you test composite apps, it’s somewhat of a black box. What we have done is extend the event detail perspective. This gives you the ability to really understand what the specific point of failure is.” – Jack Vaughan]]>
Such an apparent case of ”if you build it, they will come” is described by Sergey Sadovnichiy, manager for enterprise solutions at a large Canadian financial concern.
“What was happening was that services, when they were originally built, were few in number and typically had one consumer. Now the number of consumers has gone up dramatically, as well as the number of Web services themselves, and the complexity of the services has risen,” said Sadovnichiy. These are usually large applications, linking enterprise back-ends to the Web.
To deal with the increased volume and complexity, Sadovnichiy and his team have turned to SOAPSonar tools from Crosscheck Networks Inc.
“We do regression tests of each service from the point of view of each consumer type. We now have automated scripts for major consumers,” he said, adding that the scripts can quickly adapt to each use case.
“A Web service may have, for example, 350 elements. But every user will not use all the elements. In each case we can use a different set of scripts.”
Sadovnichiy said SOAPSonar is used for endurance testing and performance testing, along with regression testing. He also sees 100% test coverage, versus earlier scenarios that were risk-based test schemes covering not more than 20% of code.
Crosscheck CEO Mamoon Yunus said the industry has reached an inflection point in terms of services. “Services are getting like Web sites in terms of traffics. There are more trading partners talking to more systems,” he said.
Meanwhile, more able and interactive front-ends are creating more traffic. These RESTful elements do not directly employ XML or SOAP. Crosscheck tools measure JSON and JQuery REST element performance along with traditional SOAP and XML performance.
“People are using more widgets – AJAX widgets, JQuery widgets. From the browser now you hit these services directly. It is not application-to-application anymore as XML, SOAP and Web services were at first. They were more a classic “machine-to-machine” thing. Now, it is “portal-to-apps. The services now are portal driven.”
Yunus said Crosscheck has just released SOAPSonar 6.0. It allows emulation of a virtually unlimited number of concurrent users, and supports demographically disparate loading agents for cloud computing needs.]]>
The latest release aims to improve customization and control. It includes the option to maintain separate settings for separate operating modes. Users will also be able to specify which runtime properties will be used when launching programs from the Eclipse-based isCOBOL integrated development environment.
Among other changes, isCOBOL now has a graphical user interface (GUI) which is intended to streamline migration to isCOBOL. The GUI can also be used to move data from indexed file systems to relational databases. Veryant has also made a Graphical Indexed File Editor (GIFE) available. The GIFE is designed to help developers read, modify, add, or delete individual records in an indexed file via a graphical interface.]]>
“When you have all these individual pieces that are put together, often they have little monitors for each one but nothing is giving you the full worldview,” said Ed Horst, VP of product strategy at AmberPoint. “Customers can now see how different business processes are linked together.”
While monitoring various processes, AmberPoint analyzes both performance speed and failures. This can be useful when a process is functioning at optimal speeds but is returning data that causes some transaction to fail.
AmberPoint’s list of supported process managers includes Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Oracle WebLogic Integration, Microsoft BizTalk Server and TIBCO BusinessWorks.
The company has also worked to optimize its offering for Oracle systems. Horst said AmberPoint now provides deep visibility into BPEL process flows in Oracle BPEL Process Manager, including individual process flows and a wide variety of interactions – such as those with databases, files, manual workflows, JMS, EJB, e-mail and Web services.]]>
The benchmark group is interested in hearing from enterprise architects and other users of SOA techniques to ensure that the working group understands customer needs and “can develop the best possible benchmarking solutions.”
The group plans an initial benchmark designed to cover Web services running on top of application servers, Enterprise Service Buses (ESBs) technologies that connect and mediate services, and composite applications choreographed through BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) technologies.
SPEC is a non-profit organization formed in 1988 to measure engineering workstation performance. The effort to achieve objective performance standards branched out in recent years to include benchmarks that cover Java (JVM and J2EE) systems. With its SOA effort, SPEC hopes to build on that earlier J2EE benchmark work.
“We want to do the same thing with SOA infrastructure that we did with [SPECjAppServer2004],” said Andrew Spyker, an SOA runtime architect and chair of the new group. “The SOA space is being used by just about [everyone] out there, but there is no standardized benchmark.”
Of course, benchmarks are challenging. We suggested to Spyker that services, which still seem to be something of a craft – if not an art – may be particularly hard to codify. Spyker does not disagree.
“We realize it is going to be a challenge to support all of the approaches that people have to a SOA. There are multiple ways to implement a service, an ESB, or a business process choreography. It is by definition, not a specification.”
“We have to try to audit what is an acceptable implementation and make sure it is something that a typical customer would do. A well described WSDL service is a good standpoint.”
According to a published statement, the SPEC benchmark group invites comments from enterprise architects and other users of SOA techniques as they work to understand needs and “develop the best possible benchmarking solutions.”
What do you think? Can SOA be benchmarked. Use the ”Comment” icon to share your opinion. Thanks!]]>
The new release takes the form of SOA and Java EE management packs. A central part of the release is a Composite Application Monitor and Modeler component. In fact, this represents the first fruition of Oracle’s 2008 purchase of APM suite maker ClearApp.
The Composite Application Monitor and Modeler, or CAMM, automatically goes out and discovers Java components and SOA services and creates models that represent business processes and transactions. The models provide a view into the workings of complex transactions, helping developers to pinpoint performance issues in production, and providing a basis for discussion between the various stakeholders that must ‘have a scrum’ when significant performance problems are encountered.
The Oracle Management Pack Plus for SOA discovers BPEL processes as well as Oracle ESB services.
“When you look at things end-to- end, it is very hard to tell what happened. Unless you have the code and usage profile of a specific user, it is hard for admins to know what to do with a problem,” said Moe Fardoost, director of product marketing for Oracle’s Enterprise Manager line. This causes a lot of thrashing about for causes.
“CAMM has a model-driven engine,” he said. “You turn it on. It looks and discovers all the SOA components. It then constructs a model of your application environment from end-to-end.”
With a transaction map in hand, and a useful console that provides a view into complex systems, problems of performance can be more effectively addressed, Fardoost indicated.
In Oracle hands, the model-driven approach to discovery and management could very well go further in the market than it would have with start-up ClearApp. That, of course, was part of Oracle’s thinking when it bought the distributed application performance management expert.]]>