WS-I Readies New Testing Tools

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2003-08-13
 
 
 
BOSTON—With the Web Services Interoperability Organizations (WS-I) Basic Profile 1.0 now available, the next step will be to test for conformance to the profile and WS-I is working to deliver that, officials said.

Jacques Durand, director of industry relations and standards at Fujitsu Software and chair of the WS-I Test Tools Working Group, said the organization is slated to ship tools and sample applications to help users test conformance in the fall.

"We are currently in the QA [quality assurance] phase, and we have been for about a month now," Durand told eWEEK at the XML Web Services One conference here. He said WS-I is working on tools to test both Java- and C#-based Web services.

"If all goes well, well freeze it [the test tool code] on the 24th [of August]," he said.

Rob Cheng, principal product manager at Oracle and a chairman of WS-Is communications effort, said although the Basic Profile 1.0 was announced Tuesday and the tools to test conformance will not be available for another month or more it still gives users the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the profile before they actually need to begin putting their Web services through the tests for compliance.

Durand said his group has developed more than 100 test assertions. He said the entire group of 10 companies contributed technology to devise the test tools and sample applications, but that Microsoft Corp. was the main contributor in the tools arena. Other companies in the group included IBM Corp., Oracle Corp., Fujitsu, BEA Systems Inc. and others.

Tom Glover, chairman of WS-I and an IBM engineer, said the WS-I tools are intended to be a benchmarking mechanism. He said there is room to innovate on top of the base toolset the organization will deliver. One company that has heeded this call is Mindreef Inc., Hollis, N.H., which announced the availability of its Web services testing tool, SOAPscope 2.0, at the conference.

Later at a birds-of-a-feather session, Durand said the WS-I tools will support WS-I Profile Conformance testing as well as interoperability testing. And profile conformance is a prerequisite for further interoperability testing, he said.

Though the tools come in two versions to cover the Java/Apache environment and the C#/Internet Information Services (IIS) environment, "you can mix and match" Java and C#-based Web services for testing.

However, the WS-I tools do not cover referenced specifications, interpretation issues and architecture singularities, Durand said.

"The next challenge for Jacques and his team will be how to deal with security," Glover said.

Chris Ferris, chair of the WS-I Basic Profile working group and a software architect at IBM, said Durands group will next take on the WS-I Basic Profile 1.1, which includes support for attachments, and then deal with creating a testing environment and tools for a basic security profile for Web services interoperability.

The toolset consists of two main elements: a message monitor and an analyzer, Durand said. It also generates detailed reports on whether the application passed or failed the tests and why (for failures), he said.

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