Thursday, January 31, 2008

SOA Testing-A look at products you can use

SOA is such a buzzword since late 2006 ,that it made me sit up and realize its virtue & importance in Enterprise application development.And having been involved with SOA for a while now,like implementing couple of applications,somewhere down the line I was thinking about how best I can test my SOA application put together in enterprise integration.And as expected by Gartner that by mid 2009 ,nearly 80% of the enterprises development and integration budgets & effort will be devoted to SOA applications alone,that doubled my efforts to get to know about some products and tools for effectively(both unit & integration) testing my SOA applications suite,be it the front end,services layer ,message exchange(ESB layer) and database ,thats when I came across "LISA",the product I would like to share with everyone and give a brief overview.

iTKO LISA,The LISA 4 Complete SOA Test Platform is a comprehensive testing solution that reduces the effort and cost of SOA test creation and maintenance, while allowing your team to drastically improve quality levels over time through test reuse.LISA will carry developers, QA teams and business analysts from unit testing, to regressions, functional testing, end-to-end integration, load testing, and monitoring after deployment.LISA is a complete no-code software testing solution that supports the entire team's development lifecycle for dynamic web apps, web services, ESB messaging layers, enterprise Java, .NET, data and legacy objects, and more.

Why you need LISA?

To deliver quality SOA applications, enterprises need to achieve Complete, Collaborative, and Continuous TM SOA testing (The "Three C's"):

  1. Complete testing of business workflows across every heterogeneous technology layer of the SOA, at both a system and component level.
  2. Collaborative involvement of the whole team in quality. Enable both developers and non-programmers to define and share test cases that prove how the SOA meets business requirements during the entire application lifecycle.
  3. Continuous validation of a changing SOA deployment as it is consumed at runtime, ensuring that business requirements will continue to be met as the system dynamically changes.
LISA was built to specifically meet the above criteria.
  • Continuous testing at every phase. LISA can be used to automate unit and functional tests early in development, then leverage the same tests in regression builds, load tests and performance monitors that run over time. In addition to typical test data such as pass/fail or response times, LISA gives you real functional validation every time you test. So LISA gives you "black box" testing, "white box" testing, and every color "box" in between.
  • Every technology. LISA tests web applications, but can go way beyond "screen deep" in validating whether or not they are working as planned. In the same test case as your web apps, you automatically gain the protocols to directly instrument web services, messaging layers, databases, J2EE servers and more, without coding. And LISA's extensibility to test your custom apps is second to none.
  • At any scale. LISA supports incredibly complex, multidimensional test workflows with drastically reduced effort and very low system overhead. Using LISA Load/Performance Server, you can schedule your tests to automatically run at any time interval, or trigger them with any system event. And LISA's efficient load engines can simulate hundreds, or 100s of thousands of users, with full functional validation and reporting of every transaction.
There are three different versions of LISA,here is an overview of each of them
1)LISA Enterprise Edition SOA Testing -This edition provides provides a test client to directly invoke and verify business requirements at the service component level, at the integration layer, and across the entire workflow that makes up a business process.Using this,you can do functional testing of your web user interfaces and the data residing below the UI.And it does provide support for ensuring interoperability, predictable project delivery and end-to-end quality for all major integration platforms, including IBM MQ-Series, TIBCO, webMethods, Oracle FUSION, Sun JCAPS, Sonic MQ, Fiorano and other leading providers along with Business Process validation.
2)LISA Server-LISA Server automates and schedules LISA test cases and suites, providing sophisticated staging, user simulation and continuous build and performance test orchestration capabilities for a constantly evolving SOA application environment.LISA allows for testing individual components, process, and workflows during design and development, during integration, and in deployment. Capability for Individual functional tests and system-wide business processes load testing.
3)LISA Extension Kit(LEK)-Many complex enterprise applications, even those that are based on open standards, are built within a custom framework or developed on non-supported platforms that LISA does not yet know about. Using LEK allows LISA users to test custom systems just as natively - without writing test code - as the existing technologies that LISA tests out of the box.

And coming to the benefits ,LISA provide in SOA testing,here is the brief synopsis.

SOA Platform Support enhancements provided by LISA include:

  • ESB Native Integrations: When you need to test an ESB, you should to be able to test every aspect of your integration layer - and LISA natively tests against every access point of ESB systems in ways that no other solution can, whether those are JMS messages, Web Services running on the bus, or connection databases. LISA provides out-of-the-box support for IBM MQ-Series, TIBCO, webMethods, Oracle FUSION, BEA AquaLogic, Sun JCAPS, Sonic MQ, Fiorano and other leading ESB/integration providers.
  • Governance Platform support: LISA tests provide an excellent way to check in SOA Tests as enforceable and verifiable SOA Policy example alongside services in the repository. Leading enterprise and public sector customers are using LISA as a quality certification platform to ensure trust across multiple services, and the divisions and teams that build, support, and leverage them. LISA supports both the process of Publishing services to a larger community with verifiable service levels, as well as Consuming services with well-defined requirements.
  • Virtual Endpoint Testing & Lookup: As SOA Governance practices evolve, the Registry/Repository is becoming a system of reference for flexibly building and managing the services that inhabit a loosely coupled environment. LISA interoperates with Type 2 and 3 UDDI registries and service repositories from leading providers such as CentraSite, Infravio, Systinet, BEA/Flashline, and others, providing a way to leverage them for lookup of the most recent services during test design, and dynamic "hookup" of services during test runs through the registry.
And it does provide support for RIA(Rich Internet Applications) testing, SOAP/WSDL testing,JMS testing to name few more benefits.

Having gone through the docs and some webinars myself,I became more curious to get to know about this product and Iam in the process of evaluating this great product by iTKO and I do feel most of the SOA developers/architects should have a look at this product and see how best it reduces the bottlenecks and decrease head aches for SOA initiation.It does have user forums and lots of white papers and documentation to make you feel at home and help you out in choosing best practices ,installation guide,faqs etc

Note : LISA is a java application and runs on a JRE 1.4.2.x or 1.5.x LISA has production customers on Windows, LINUX, HPUX, AIX, Solaris and OSX

Suggested Reading

LISA Webinars

Java Boutique's Article

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