Completing the trio of IBM Rational v8.1 updates is our look at IBM Rational Service Tester v8.1. In terms of updates, the primary enhancements in this release are:
- Updated integration with IBM Rational Quality Manager Express Edition and IBM Rational Quality Manager Standard Edition V2.0 and V1.0.1
- New Service Stubbing enables testing of SOA applications prior to the development of all components
- Automatic stub creation from Web Services Description Language files
- Visual editor to modify stub behavior
- Automatic stub deployment prior to test execution
- Expanded environment support for NTLM and Kerberos authentication and support of attachments using the DIME format
The first and third items in the list are architectural features. The updated integration ensures continued compatibility with the upcoming Rational Quality Manager 2.0 release. The third item shows Rational Service Tester’s continued commitment to supporting all Web Service protocols and technologies.
Service stubbing is a very powerful technique for unit and component testing which enables developers to start testing portions of their applications before the entire application is complete. A service stub is temporary replacement for a web service. It returns a preset value for a given input, without really performing any computing. As an example, consider a web service that validates a credit card. The true web service would take as input the credit card number and expiry date, verify this information, confirm it’s validity and return a “valid/invalid” result. However, during development, this complex piece of code may not be available on day 1, but it may be required in order to start testing a order processing use case. In order to enable testing of an order, a developer could create a stub credit card validation service that would simply return a “valid/invalid” result for a given credit card number. No processing would happen in the stub, just a simple lookup that would return valid for a given credit card number, and invalid for another.
Service stubbing with Rational Service Tester enables the testing of your SOA application prior to the creation of all services. Stubs are automatically generated from WSDL files and will be automatically deployed before test execution. After the generation of service stubs, the Visual Editor can be leveraged to modify stub behavior to meet specific testing scenarios. For example, simulation of error conditions such as an external service being unavailable or answering with a fault message are typical uses. This enables web service testers to test incomplete systems, or put another way, to test their applications sooner.