Open-source tools take hold in test/QA market
January 2, 2009 —
The software industry as a whole has embraced open-source tools in recent years, and the test and QA market jumped on the trend in 2008.
In particular, the year brought broader adoption of the Software Testing Automation Framework. STAF offers testers a multiplatform, multi-language function-testing capability with reusable components. The market also turned to HtmlTestCase, an open-source unit-testing tool that uses classes to simplify automation of HTML function testing. It was designed for QA staff members with technical skills and specifies tests with a high-level API.
Other open-source projects that gained popularity in 2008 were Systir (System Testing in Ruby), which performs system-level tests in a domain language, and Faban, created by Sun Microsystems for benchmark development. Faban includes a driver framework and a harness for automating the running of server benchmarks, along with a Web interface to launch and queue runs.
The year also saw the release of new products and updates for test.
Hewlett-Packard rolled out new versions of the HP Business Availability Center (BAC) for SOA, Diagnostics for SOA, SOA Policy Enforcer, Service Test and Service Test Management.
BAC’s new features include a topology view of Web services, synthetic transaction monitoring, and the ability to track the performance of a service from the perspective of a particular customer. Diagnostics for SOA works with BAC, gathering performance metrics, events and faults from services and the stacks on which those services sit. The new version of Service Test, which was made available as a standalone product, has broadened functional test capabilities and adheres to such Web standards as SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) 1.2 and WS-Addressing.
IBM released a new version of its Quality Management portfolio last year, adding a Generic Service Client to Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality that provides a single client to interact with any SOA service type. This can be done either by importing a WSDL (Web Services Description Language) or XML Schema Definition file, or by connection with a Web service endpoint.
For its part, iTKO added the ability to create services synthetically from WSDL models, databases, enterprise service buses and Java objects in a new version of its Lisa SOA testing and validation suite. Later in the year, iTKO integrated Lisa into Eclipse to automate unit, functional, regression, load and performance testing within the platform.
Targeting multithreaded applications, Coverity released Thread Analyzer for Java. The tool analyzes code as it is executed to identify deadlocks and issues, and a deadlock algorithm tracks the sequence of locking orders to create a complete locking reference.
The year also brought some consolidation of the vendor base. Mindreef, maker of the SOAPscope Server for SOA quality management and Web services testing, was acquired by Progress Software in June and is now a product unit of Progress.
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