Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Breaking Environment Limitations with Integration Testing - Part 3

Posted by Andrew Cullum on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 @ 18:03 PM

Part 3 of 3

Rapid integration testing is a key to delivering frequent, high quality software. But, environment availability is often a limiting factor. In Part 1 we took a look at the limitations on environments, in part 2 we looked at techniques to resolve the bottleneck and this week we will conclude this 3 part blog by looking at a realistic scenario that brings the techniques together.

A realistic scenario that brings the techniques together

The fictitious example of a major system called Marketplace shows how to use the tools together. Marketplace is made up of many pieces.

  • 60 web services that are somewhat tightly coupled. Four teams each own 15 services.
  • Mainframe components contribute to 20% of transactions; the components rarely change and are owned by another team.
  • The front end website, in front of the services, is owned by the dot-com team.
  • Data feeds from 2 third parties are used (via web service). One is metered on transactions, the second is not.

The Marketplace release team had one large Integration Test Environment (INT) and a Performance Testing Environment (PERF). Each of the six teams now has a small test lab where they can test some of the components, but they cannot test any integrated scenarios. Integration testing is on the release schedule and release management has governed access to the INT and PERF environments.

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Topics: Service Virtualization, IBM

Breaking Environment Limitations with Integration Testing - Part 2

Posted by Andrew Cullum on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 16:03 PM

Part 2 of 3

Rapid integration testing is a key to delivering frequent, high quality software. But, environment availability is often a limiting factor. In Part 1 we took a look at the limitations on environments, this week we will be looking at techniques to resolve the bottleneck.

Techniques to resolve the bottleneck

There are three techniques that smooth out the issues with integration test environments and promote their availability: Environment reservation, environments as a service, and service virtualization. Each technique solves different parts of the problem.

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Topics: Service Virtualization, IBM

Breaking Environment Limitations with Integration Testing - Part 1

Posted by Andrew Cullum on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 @ 17:03 PM

Part 1 of 3

Strategies to improve environment availability

Rapid integration testing is a key to delivering frequent, high quality software. But, environment availability is often a limiting factor. This article reviews several strategies to improve environment availability as well as when to use each strategy.

Integration testing is where the systems delivered are validated. It’s where the business can really see applications and determine whether or not development has built what was required. As software systems become increasingly componentized and are made of more and more services, the lag time from code change to integration testing is a key predictor of time to market and developer productivity.

The ideal process is simple. Every time a developer changes code, all tests are run quickly and feedback to the developer delivered. The changed components are built, unit tested, deployed to an integration environment, and all integrations test run in just a few minutes.

Unfortunately, that ideal is not reality for many teams. Automated tests can be too few or take too long. Continuous integration might not be set up. Automated deployments of complex applications can require special tools.

Solutions to these challenges are fairly well understood today. Tests should be automated with a heavy weight towards API testing. Setting up a continuous automated build processes is simple so there is no excuse for not having one. Deployment automation tools are now well established.

However, an increasingly common challenge for many organizations is a lack of integration testing environments. They may be incomplete. They may be inconsistent. There just may not be enough of them. This article looks at why these problems exist and what to do about it.

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Topics: Service Virtualization, IBM

Forrester Study of Service Virtualization at a Major European Bank

Posted by Paul Hancock on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

Forrester published an extremely powerful study into the Economic Impact of IBM Rational Service Virtualization and Test Automation Solutions at a large European bank. The customer received an ROI within 2 months and the cumulative financial benefit over a 3 year period of $6.2 million. This has been an extremely successful initiative for the bank given their investment of $433,149 over the 3 year period. It's also worth noting these savings continue for the bank at more than $2.5 million per annum.                   

The study highlights the benefits and costs of implementing IBM Rational Service Virtualization and Test Automation solutions. The customer, a large European bank with more than 30 million customers and 3,500 branches worldwide, implemented two of the IBM testing solutions — Rational Test Workbench (RTW) and Rational Test Virtualization Server (RTVS) — for one division’s software development group. The solutions were first implemented in 2009 by Green Hat Software, prior to its acquisition by IBM in 2012. 

Previous State

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Topics: GreenHat, Service Virtualization, test automation

UrbanCode Plugin for Rational Test Workbench (GreenHat)

Posted by Paul Hancock on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

UrbanCode is Application Release Software from IBM that enables organisations to release more software faster. Green Hat is software from IBM that enables organisations to virtualize services and systems which are for example unavailable or expensive to provision. This is often referred to as 'Service Virtualization' or Application/Component Virtualization.  

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Topics: GreenHat, Service Virtualization, UrbanCode, continuous delivery, DevOps, application release automation

A View on the Forrester Service Virtualization Report

Posted by Paul Hancock on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 @ 14:03 PM

In the last couple of years there’s been a real buzz around Service Virtualization (SV). The customer benefits are clear, quantifiable and achievable within a twelve month timescale. But does Forrester have the same opinion?    

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Topics: GreenHat, Service Virtualization, test automation

Integration Testing & Service Virtualization: Why should you do it?

Posted by Paul Hancock on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 @ 13:03 PM

What is Integration Testing and Service Virtualization?

Integration testing is a phase in software testing when individual software modules are aggregated and tested as a group. This phase occurs after unit testing and before validation testing. The inputs to the integration testing phase are the software modules that have been unit tested - they are combined into larger groups tests are applied to the groups as per their definition in an integration test plan. The output is the integrated system ready for system testing

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Topics: GreenHat, Service Virtualization, Integration Testing, test automation

Service Virtualization: Considerations at Implementation Time

Posted by Steve Green on Sat, Feb 8, 2014 @ 00:02 AM

The evolution of applications is accelerating. Applications are not discrete islands but build on complex, interconnected sets of services including disparate technologies, developers, deployment topologies and organizations. Developers are directed to deliver high-quality applications while testing expenses are often limited. A combination of automated integration testing and test virtualization can help test teams to improve quality and keep up with the rate of change.

Measuring success

A simple measure of success for a test manager is the ratio of captured defects versus escaped defects. However, success or failure is not simply determined by the number of defects that have escaped into production. Categorization of defects to determine where the defect should have been found can dramatically reveal the efficiency or inefficiency of your testing. For example, if a functional defect is found during end-to-end system testing, the costs of remediation would far exceed the costs of fixing the defect as it was introduced in an earlier development phase. The increased costs would be due to factors such as: more regression testing, more test resources, usage of more live-like environments and greater requirement for coordination.

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Topics: GreenHat, Service Virtualization, Integration Testing, DevOps