Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs - 13

SOAtest lives up to its new name ... Trendnet keeps an eye on things ... Tome covers TCP/IP routing.

SOAtest Lives Up to Its New Name

Finally, theres a product to help developers test and debug their service-oriented-architecture projects, Parasofts SOAtest.

Actually, SOAtest isnt a new product, its just a renaming of Parasofts SOAPtest tool. But the name change is warranted—SOAPtest was always about a lot more than testing SOAP.

SOAtest 4.1, which was released in October, is priced starting at $3,995. It isnt a massive upgrade from the previous SOAPtest 4.0, but it is a welcome update that assists in the full spectrum of testing Web-services-based applications and systems.

Probably the most welcome new feature in SOAtest is its ability to test services sent over enterprise messaging systems such as IBMs WebSphere MQ and TIBCO Softwares Rendezvous. SOAtest 4.1 also has improved reporting in its load testing features and boasts additional command-line testing options.

In addition, this release includes a detailed tutorial, which is useful for learning what can be a complicated Web services testing process.

For more information, go to www.parasoft.com.

--Jim Rapoza

Trendnet Keeps an Eye on Things

Those needing to keep an eye on people, places or things in hard-to-cable locations should check out Trendnets Wireless Advanced Pan & Tilt Internet Camera Server, the TV-IP400W.

The TV-IP400W camera can rotate 360 degrees and tilt 135 degrees and features a 4x zoom. Trendnet also offers a wired version of the device, the TV-IP400. I especially like the easy placement and installation of the 802.11g-compliant wireless model.

The TV-IP400W includes a built-in Web server from which I could view the live video feed and control the camera via a Java applet. Camera controls are also supposed to be available via an ActiveX-based control, but I could not get the ActiveX control to load correctly during my evaluation.

Although I could configure user accounts to log in to the Web console, theres no SSL-based encryption, so passwords could be compromised unless wireless encryption is used. (WEP and WPA-PSK are both supported.)

Using the Java applet, I could rotate and tilt the camera, and I could program as many as 24 preset coordinates to easily reposition the camera.

The TV-IP400W has several available compression rates and includes simple brightness, contrast and saturation controls.

The TV-IP400W comes with a PC-based software application, IPView SE, which allowed me to back up video clips to a PC from as many as four cameras. I especially liked the motion-based trigger that allowed me to automatically record only when something was actually happening.

The TV-IP400W, which started shipping last month, is priced at $340. For more information, surf over to www.trendnet.com.

--Andrew Garcia

Tome Covers TCP/IP Routing

"Routing TCP/IP," Volume I, Second Edition, by Jeff Doyle and Jennifer DeHaven Carroll, has found a spot on my bookshelf right next to my beloved second edition of "Internetworking with TCP/IP" by Douglas Comer. I keep the Comer book, published in 1991, for historical purposes: The revised 936-page tome by Doyle and Carroll is more for day-to-day reference and study.

That said, the Comer book isnt as dated as it might appear—even the new edition of "Routing TCP/IP" has Windows 95 screen shots illustrating RIP troubleshooting techniques. Not much has changed in RIP for a very long time.

"Routing TCP/IP" focuses on interior routing protocols including RIP, RIP 2, EIGRP, OSPF 2 and 3, and IS-IS. Each chapter contains case studies, plenty of diagrams, theoretical discussions of the technology and review questions. Configuration exercises are presented, and an appendix provides the final answers to the configuration problems.

"Routing TCP/IP," priced at $80 and released in October by Cisco Press (www.ciscopress.com), does a good job of laying out concepts. Beginners can easily grasp the well-explained concepts; pros will get a good refresher.

Comers book might have to squeeze up a little to accommodate the girth of "Routing TCP/IP," but both will be within my reach for years to come.

--Cameron Sturdevant