Continuous testing environments with service testing and virtualization
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If you are looking at continuous testing, do you have a plan for efficiently setting up your test environment? For complex applications, there are many components to stand up, including ones which you are not responsible for testing. Once you are done with your build and are ready to deploy, how do you focus on only deploying and configuring the pieces that are necessary? This is where service virtualization can help. Suppose your application needs an external credit card processing web service. Every time you stand up a test environment, you don't have to set this piece up, or even worse, work with a third party to set up a test service. You could use a virtual service to replace it and then add this to the deployment plan. For every iteration, you will most likely have a mix of real services and virtual services. Even better, if you want to revert a virtual service to a past baseline to mimic and older environment, this is easy to do. On the flip side, testing individual services is also important. Especially when you are in an agile project, base level services might be ready long before the UI is ready. In these cases, your continuous testing plan should include a way to run a battery of tests against these individual services. This allows you to discover issues early in the lifecycle.