SOAtest Bridges Web Services Gap

Tech Analysis: Parasoft's new release tests function and standards conformance.

Developers are like any other type of user, in that theyre far more likely to do what their tools suggest and make easy—or better yet, make automatic—in preference to being expected to follow guidelines and write reports without intuitive tool support.

Thats the proposition behind the spring 2006 release of Parasofts SOAtest 4.5, which helps Web services development teams transfer out of the woulda-coulda-shoulda school of inadequate testing to earn an Ivy-league degree in SOA (service-oriented architecture) governance.

/zimages/2/28571.gifA Java technologist says enterprises can have an open-source service-oriented architecture based on technologies available today. Click here to read more.

The SOAtest workbench generates and executes tests confirming function, standards conformance and scalable performance, but its single-license price of $3,995 represents an Ivy-league tuition bill as well. (A seven-day trial download is available at

Enterprises continue to pursue the flexibility and tolerance for platform heterogeneity that come from the effective use of Web services protocols. In particular, Java developers continue to appreciate the multiplatform support and the rapid evolution of frameworks and coding aids that make Java such a popular language.

Theres much more to creating an SOA, though, than the mere demonstration that Web services interfaces work.

What is also needed is a disciplined approach to designing, documenting, disclosing and demonstrating those services. Thats the path that leads to reliable governance, reputable security and robust scalability in the face of enterprise workloads and threats.

SOAtest 4.5 helps developers close that gap between Web services and full SOA with the updates policy enforcement features. It strengthens the connection of business process owners to the development cycle by letting developers generate test suites directly from BPEL (Business Process Execution Language).

It also offers integration with popular test frameworks from Mercury and Rational, as well as offering command-line control for custom-built solutions.

We drove SOAtest 4.5 through a series of exercises using its straightforward graphical interface.

We found it easy to learn and with accessible control and customization features.

Equally important are the products hooks for integration into automated test environments. Thats what will make SOAtest a real working part of the SOA infrastructure, not just another dead chicken to wave over the system when management wants to see people doing something.

Security and load testing options, combined with an expanded slate of available reports, make SOAtest 4.5 a useful contribution to the effort to demonstrate due diligence in meeting the growing list of mandates for process transparency and certification.

Peter Coffee can be reached at

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