Parasoft's SOAPTest should encourage developers of Web services to test earlier in the development life cycle and improve reliability.
On 24 April 2002, Parasoft announced SOAPTest, a tool that links systems within the enterprise to automate function, load and regression testing. SOAPTest aims to improve the reliability of applications used in Web services. It uses Web service standards, including Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL).
Many people mistakenly believe that Web services will allow objects and content to present themselves over the network in a standardized way. Many supporters argue that with Web services, the old cycle of code, build and debug will become obsolete. This notion is false. Like any other kind of software, Web services must be written and tested. Ideally, testing will occur early in the life cycle of the Web service application modules. In theory, the quality of a Web service must exceed that of other standard applications. Web services are loosely coupled and will engage with one another in a variety of ways. The reliability of applications built with Web services is therefore only as good as the weakest link.
Tools such as SOAPTest encourage testing earlier in the life cycle, with a focus on preventing problems. Parasoft's SOAPTest allows the creation of a virtual workbench to test the link between modules of an enterprise system. Key features include:
Client and server emulation
Rule Wizard to create and enforce XML
As in any application development effort, if developers don't test for bugs until the end of the cycle, quality and reliability suffer. Enterprises evaluating and building Web services should create strong processes to create reliable Web services. Tools such as SOAPTest will help deliver high-quality Web services.
Analytical Source: Theresa Lanowitz, Gartner Research
Need to Know: Reference Material and Recommended Reading
"A Vendor's View of the Software Product Life Cycle" ( COM-15-2918 ). Vendors and their customers that don't work in concert to determine the obsolescence of products risk alienating one another and falling behind in technology. By Theresa Lanowitz.
"Getting Started Tactics: Choosing ASQ Vendors and Tools" ( DF-09-1884 ). A decision framework for selecting the best automated software quality tools. By Theresa Lanowitz
(You may need to sign in or be a Gartner client to access all of this content.)