Whitepaper: How to Choose the Right Service Virtualization Solution

Service virtualization is key to any test automation project, but there are multiple approaches and tools available. As long as you know what to look for, you’ll maximize ROI and positive impacts to the software team.

Discover the key capabilities necessary for making your organization successful in today’s test environments.

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Download the whitepaper to identify the critical key features and capabilities you’ll need for successful adoption of service virtualization.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding service virtualization
  • Service virtualization tooling breakdown
  • How to choose the service virtualization solution that’s right for you

Service virtualization is an effective way to simulate dependent services that are out of your control for testing. By creating stable and predictable test environments, your test automation will be reliable and accurate.

Service virtualization tooling breaks down into two types of solutions:

  1. Lightweight tools

Free or open-source tools (i.e. Traffic Parrot, Mockito) are great tools to start with because they help you get started in a very ad hoc way. You can quickly learn the benefits of service virtualization.

  1. Enterprise tools

More heavyweight tooling is available through vendor supported tools, designed to enable power users that want daily access to create comprehensive virtual services. These solutions are often designed with deployment and team usage in mind.

It’s not necessarily about lightweight or enterprise. Rather, you need the best of both worlds, which means the best way to choose a service virtualization solution is to look at the different features and capabilities you require and ensure your tooling choice includes them. Plus, you might identify other areas of capability you could need in the future. Consider this white paper a checklist to determine the capabilities that are most important to you now and in the future.

First, let’s take a look at the primary capabilities you should be looking for in your service virtualization solution of choice. Don’t forget: whether lightweight or enterprise, ease of use is critical.

  • Scriptless functionalities
  • Ability to rapidly create virtual services before the real service is available
  • Intelligent response correlation
  • Data-driven responses
  • Ability to reuse services
  • A custom extensibility framework
  • Support for authentication and security
  • Configurable performance environments
  • Support for clustering/scaling

Optimized workflows

  • Record and playback

Creating virtual services from actual transactions in your environment is the best way to build virtual services that emulate the real behavior of live services. To do so, your service virtualization solution should be able to capture traffic from your environment either natively or through integrations with solutions like Wireshark or Fiddler, enabling non-technical users to capture specific use cases into virtual services without intimate knowledge of the real back-end services.

  • AI-powered asset creation

If your service virtualization solution has intelligence built into the asset creation process, it will be able to make decisions about things you commonly do when creating your virtual services.

  • Test data management/generation

Often the services that are identified as candidates for service virtualization are actually suffering from data challenges, so test data management and service virtualization go hand-in-hand.

In addition to creating virtual services, your service virtualization solution can generate the test data you need, tightly coupled with your test data management/generation solution so that you can capture data from your environments, mask that data for privacy reasons, abstract transactions into a data model, and then generate and subset data in those models.

Supported technologies

  • Rest API virtualization

Your service virtualization solution should be able to emulate APIs using Representational State Transfer (REST). This includes support for service definition such as Open API (OAS 3), Swagger, or RAML. Your tool should also be able to simulate URL, method, path, parameter, query, and JSON payload information as well as emulating headers, mime-types, attachments and so on.

  • SOAP API virtualization

Your service virtualization solution must be able to interface with SOAP APIs, including support for service definition such as WSDL and schema/.XSD.

  • Asynchronous API messaging

Especially for reactive microservice environments, your service virtualization solution should be able to act asynchronously (send requests and responses without waiting for a corresponding reaction.

Automation

  • CI integration

To dynamically deploy virtual services as a function of code check-in, your service virtualization solution should be able to integrate into your existing CI process.

  • Build system plugins

Many CI pipelines take advantage of build systems such as Jenkins, Microsoft’s Azure DevOps, Atlassian’s Bamboo, Jet Brain’s Team City and many more.

  • Command-line execution

If your service virtualization solution can execute via command-line invocation, you will be able to dynamically start and stop your virtual servers as needed when running your test cases.

Management and maintenance

  • Governance

As your service virtualization initiative scales, it will be important to set up a governance process around usage, defining roles, responsibilities, access levels, policies, procedures, SLAs, naming standard and more so you can build a center of excellence that can handle a large volume of incoming virtualization requests without becoming a bottleneck.

  • Environment management

Once you’ve built a large inventory of virtual services, your service virtualization solution should help you manage virtual test environments with a self-service interface. Users should be able to define what virtual services are connected to particular workflows, as well as what configuration is required to enable test automation of that flow.

  • Monitoring

Successful service virtualization is based on users trusting that their virtual services are behaving the way they expect, so monitoring is essential.

When testing is at a standstill because systems are still evolving, difficult to access, difficult to scale or difficult to configure, you can rapidly create virtual test environments with Parasoft Virtualize. Use Virtualize to create, deploy and manage simulated dev/test environments, plus minimize constraints that ordinarily arise from inadequate test data.

About Parasoft

Parasoft’s software testing solutions support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way. Parasoft's unique analytics platform aggregates data from across all testing practices, providing insights up and down the testing pyramid to enable organizations to succeed in today's most strategic development initiatives, including Agile/DevOps, Continuous Testing, and the complexities of IoT. Parasoft’s automated software testing innovations fuel software development organizations, helping teams reduce the time, cost, and effort of delivering high-quality software to the market.