Friday, August 04, 2006

How on Earth Do We Test SOA?

More than once on my SOA journey I have wondered to myself and out loud "How on earth do we test this stuff?" with the "stuff" meaning an SOA infrastructure or an SOA-based application. Intuitively I have always thought that the testing strategy must have to be different. One of my numerous email newsletter subscriptions ( IT Business Edge Hot Story )caught my eye the other day with the catchy title "The Pitfalls of SOA Software Testing." Its worth taking a look:

There's not a lot of talk about software testing in an SOA, maybe because it's so complicated. Even in a simple database that's part of, say, an order processing application, you have to expose the application code as a service, make sure it does what it's supposed to do, make sure it doesn't do anything you don't know about, regression test the original database, stress test the service, acceptance test it—and that's only one service. It gets worse with composite applications.Read "SOA and Software Testing" at

Copyright © 2006 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.

1 comment:

Jason English said...

Hi Phillip, I can certainly understand the frustration. This is just about ALL we ever talk about around here at iTKO.

My prediction is that while the past couple years have seen an acceleration in the ability to create and deliver SOA, the testing tools were just not there (or we were unaware of the need for them as being a necessary part of an SOA initiative.) Testing tended to stay at the "acceptance" level of a UI, which is totally irrelevant to an SOA where most of your services need no fixed UIs. Alternately we see companies doing more unit testing. Good if you are coding a new component, but not so useful for integration without basically writing your own test framework.

This will create a little "hangover" effect as companies struggle to get reliability out of these new systems they just committed to. Fortunately 2007 should be the "year for Quality" for SOA...

Good luck and come chat with us at - Jason