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Middleware testing gets tougher

From one SOA test expert’s perspective, 2011 saw a notable rise in agile development and related open source test software. Meanwhile, middleware testing continues to grow more complicated.

“What I saw this year was a rise of open source testing as an alternative to proprietary testing, as well as the continuation of service-oriented architecture,” said Frank Cohen, CEO, PushToTest, speaking with

Both the Agile drive and the open source drive may soon impact middleware more widely, Cohen indicated.  But a failure to come up with a common business interface pattern continues to challenge the user community.

“The IT industry has failed to create a standard for business integration. You can trace that back to Sun, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle not reaching an understanding on JBI [Java Business Integration],” he said, referring to a Java standards undertaking that is widely seen as having faltered.

“Without JBI, there is no way to model what the outcome of a business process is – nothing to write a test to, if you don’t have a standard that says what it does, ” said Cohen.

“The IT industry has failed to create a standard for business integration. So there are software developers building middleware either by hand coding at the language level using Java or building out a [proprietary] model,” he suggested.

PushToTest implemented a multi-step business workflow on Oracle, IBM and Tibco platforms to try and discern developer productivity and application performance differences end users might encounter. Involving Web services, the benchmark defines and implements a use case, adds HTTPS/SSL security, makes a change to a message schema and implements an asynchronous message delivery, and then runs a functional and performance test. PushToTest packs this all up in a SOAKit.

Cohen presented SOAKit performance results at a Tibco-sponsored presentation at this week’s Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in Las Vegas, Nev. PushToTest offers the software test suite as open source, available for free from its site as the SOAKit.

Jack Vaughan

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Still waiting for a tool that can help in customizing the test suite according to different messaging styles and formats. Regards, Vivek