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Parasoft virtualizes apps for testing



Jeff Feinman
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November 30, 2009 —  Parasoft is, in a sense, stuffing applications through the copy machine in a new version of its testing and analysis suite.

Parasoft SOAtest 6.2, released in November, provides what the company calls application behavior virtualization, according to Rami Jaamour, Parasoft’s SOA solutions product manager. In order to make application behavior easy to repeat, SOAtest automatically takes a snapshot of an application and collects the runtime environment data. Jaamour said SOAtest can create copies of both applications and back-end systems so a developer can reference such applications or systems when developing software.

Team members can then deploy and develop using emulated versions of their applications. Jaamour said this is important because, nowadays, there are often different systems that depend on each other, and a user might not have control over all those dependencies.

In explaining application behavior virtualization, Jaamour brought up an example involving someone working on an online banking interface.

“You’ve got the Web app with different things for customers to do: transactions, deposits, checking their accounts, and so on,” he explained. “And you are given the task of adding new capabilities to this online banking application, but it talks to another back-end system that actually maintains the account.

“When you work on your piece of that banking application, you might not have access to that back end. With application behavior virtualization, you are able to emulate the behavior of this back-end system that has the account. Your online banking application can talk to the emulated version of the back end so that you can run your use case scenarios and do your development work on it.”

Another new feature in Parasoft SOAtest 6.2 is that users can load test any component even if it was created on another testing framework such as JUnit.

Jaamour said Parasoft SOAtest’s new load testing capabilities also allow users to find concurrency issues in their applications. For instance, if someone writes a JUnit test case for classes in his or her Java code, SOAtest can simulate threads accessing the code simultaneously to expose issues.

“Today’s applications are more and more multi-threaded and concurrent, and it is quite challenging for developers to ensure that their code can function reliably under concurrency,” Jaamour said. “So we provide the ability for you to test the concurrency out of any pieces of your Java code to ensure it will be reliable.”

Parasoft SOAtest now has tighter integration with IBM WebSphere and can integrate with RFH2 headers, which are used for exchanging messages over the application server. Jaamour said this feature is part of Parasoft’s strategy to integrate with specific platforms such as WebSphere, rather than just standard APIs and protocols such as HTTP and XML.




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