What's new in IBM Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality Version 8.0

A summary of the new capabilities and updates in Version 8.0

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Brian Bryson, Technology Evangelist, IBM

Brian BrysonBrian Bryson joined Rational Software in 1995 with a strong background in Quality Assurance. Currently, he is a member of the product team that plans and delivers the IBM Rational automated toolset. A former instructor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Mr. Bryson has taught the Rational approach to quality automation to college students as well as employees of organizations such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle.



28 October 2008

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Software quality assurance teams use IBM® Rational® Service Tester for SOA Quality to validate Web service functionality and performance. This article explores some of the key advancements introduced in Version 8.0.

New generic service recorder

The most significant change in the V8.0 release of Rational Service Tester is the introduction of the new Generic Service Client, which is shown in Figure 1. It provides a single client to interact with any service-oriented architecture (SOA) service type, either by importing a WSDL (Web Services Description Language) or XSD (XML Schema Definition) file or by direct connection to a Web service endpoint for an HTTP, Java™ Message Service (JMS), or IBM® WebSphere® MQ call.

Recording is a familiar three-step process of editing the input data for the Web service, invoking the service, and viewing the results. Overall, the new Generic Service Client greatly simplifies the process of creating tests because it provides a consistent interface for all types of Web services, so that you can create tests quickly.

Figure 1. Generic Service Client view
image of workspace

Updated test editor

Not only was the test recorder updated in this release, but the test editor was also enhanced. There is a new form view that better organizes Web services and their parameters. There is also a new interface that simplifies the process of working with header information (see Figure 2), such as authentication or reply-to addresses, based on WS-Addressing, WS-Reliable Messaging, and WS-Coordination standards.

Figure 2. New interface for header information
image of workspace

Service test distinguished from performance test

Also new in the Version 8.0 release is a clearer delineation between the functionality of Rational Service Tester and IBM Rational Performance Tester. Previous customer feedback had indicated that, although they are similar, performance testing and service testing had become too closely intertwined within the tool. The updated interface more clearly separates functionality for Rational Service Tester and Rational Performance Tester. Most of these changes are simple, such a separate menu item for Rational Service Tester on the Start bar. But sometimes it's the simplest changes that make the biggest difference.

Environment updated to support more protocols

JavaScript Object Notation support

Part of the challenge of testing modern SOA architecture is keeping tool support on par with the constantly evolving Web service-related technologies. JavaScript Object Notation, or JSON, is one such technology. When you use IBM Rational Service Tester, you can now test applications that use the JSON message format in the same manner that you test XML-based Web services. There is no automatic correlation of JSON messages; however, with JSON messages, you have access to the source view in SOA Tester for message editing and manual correlation.

Asynchronous communication enhancements

Support for asynchronous service calls was introduced in the Rational Service Tester Version 7.0.2 release. The V8.0 release adds a wizard for using one of the WS standards to create asynchronous calls with specific headers and callback structures.

NTLM protocol support

Starting with the V8.0 release, Rational Service Tester includes authentication protocol support for Microsoft® Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM) support, as Figure 3 shows.

Figure 3. Protocols Configuration tab
image of workspace

Integrated test management

The IBM Rational portfolio of products now includes a new Web-based, centralized test management environment called IBM® Rational® Quality Manager. It provides a collaborative and customizable solution for test planning, workflow control, tracking, and metrics reporting that is capable of quantifying how project decisions and deliverables affect and align with business objectives.

You can launch IBM Rational Service Tester V8.0 tests from IBM Rational Quality Manager.

To learn more about these new features, as well as about existing capabilities of IBM Rational Service Tester for SOA Quality, and to download a trial version, check the citations in Resources.

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