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IBM Service Virtualization

What is IBM Service Virtualization?

IBM service virtualization is a set of products that fits into the interfaces between components of IT systems, for example between an application server and a database, or an application server and an external system. The product can reproduce the network traffic between components and simulate an absent component. The product can simulate traffic in a wide range of network protocols including HTTP, middleware protocols such as TIBCO and database protocols such as JDBC. During setup it can record network traffic and can be programmed to respond to particular input in particular ways. IBM service virtualization comprises two primary products:

IBM Service Virtualization was originally developed by Green Hat a software company bought by IBM in 2012. Green Hat is sometimes used as a convenient label for this suite of products.

Why is it useful?

Corporate IT systems typically consist of collections of distributed components communicating with each other by interfaces. If the interface(s) to a component (e.g. a database, or external system) can be simulated, the system can run without that component. This is useful in several ways.

  • It is possible to build more and cheaper test environments. Only the components which must be tested need be included. The other components can be simulated by service virtualization. This raises quality and reduces costs.

  • The use of certain external interfaces (e.g. Bloomberg price feeds) costs money. Service virtualization can simulate them for test purposes, which avoids expenditure during testing or training.

  • During development, service virtualization can simulate the presence of components which have not yet been developed. This allows development and unit testing of components independently of each other, resulting in faster development.

  • In training, service virtualization can be used to simulate certain scenarios like declined or accepted credit card authorisations.

Key features

Web services: IBM service virtualization can record web services traffic and replay any traffic previously recorded. It can also load a WSDL file and respond in the correct format to any request.

Middleware: IBM service virtualization can simulate a wide range of middleware protocols including TIBCO, WebMethods, Websphere and JMS.

Databases: Database protocols can be simulated, and by recording database traffic, the tool can build up a picture of the data and structure contained inside a database. Once the database is removed, it can intelligently simulate it. The tool can connect to any database compatible with JDBC, which includes Oracle and SQL Server databases.

SAP: IBM service virtualization supports the communication between different SAP components. ECC and PI components are supported across ABAP (the SAP programming language) and Java.

Programming Logic: The responses given by IBM service virtualization can be programmed. Simple manipulations, e.g. substitutions of field values, can be done by point and click settings. More complex logic can be implemented by Javascript. Ultimately, external executables such as Java jars or .Net executables can be invoked.

Use as a Client or a Server: IBM service virtualization can act either as a client or as a server. When used as a client, it sends a sequence of traffic to another component and the responses of the component can be tested. When used as a server it waits for incoming traffic and responds to the traffic as programmed.

Use at Volume: IBM service virtualization can run tests at high volume, allowing it to simulate live systems and to be used in performance tests. This functionality is implemented by IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server, which is licensed by volume capability.

 

What is IBM Service Virtualization?

IBM Service Virtualization is a set of products that fits into the interfaces between components of IT Systems, for example between an application server and a database, or an application server and an external system. The product can reproduce the network traffic between components and simulate an absent component. The product can simulate traffic in a wide range of network protocols including HTTP, middleware protocols such as Tivoli and database protocols such as Oracle Net. During setup it can record network traffic and can be programmed to respond to particular input in particular ways. IBM Service Virtualization comprises two primary products:

  • IBM Rational Integration Tester - a tool for setting up interfaces and configuring their behaviour; and

  • IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server - a component which allows defined interfaces to run at high volumes and extended periods.

IBM Service Virtualization was originally developed by Greenhat a software company bought by IBM in 2012. Greenhat is sometimes used as a convenient label for this suite of products.

Why is it useful?

Corporate IT systems typically consist of collections of distributed components communicating with each other by interfaces. If the interface(s) to a component (e.g. a database, or external system) can be simulated, the system can run without that component. This is useful in several ways.

  • It is possible to build more and cheaper test environments. Only the components which must be tested need be included. The other components can be simulated by Service Virtualization. This raises quality and reduces costs.

  • The use of certain external interfaces (e.g. Bloomberg price feeds) costs money. Service Virtualization can simulate them for test purposes, which avoids expenditure during testing or training.

  • During development, Service Virtualization can simulate the presence of components which have not yet been developed. This allows development and unit testing of components independently of each other, resulting in faster development.

  • In training, Service Virtualization can be used to simulate certain scenarios like declined or accepted credit card authorizations.

 Key Features

Web Services: IBM Service Virtualization can record web services traffic and replay any traffic previously recorded. It can also load a WSDL file and respond in the correct format to any request.

Middleware: IBM Service Virtualization can simulate a wide range of middleware protocols including TIBCO, WebMethods, Websphere and JMS.

Databases: Database protocols can be simulated, and by recording database traffic, the tool can build up a picture of the data and structure contained inside a database. Once the database is removed, it can intelligently simulate it. The tool can connect to any database compatible with JDBC, which includes Oracle and SQL Server databases.

SAP: IBM Service Virtualization supports the communication between different SAP components. ECC and PI components are supported across ABAP (the SAP programming language) and Java.

Programming Logic: The responses given by IBM Service Virtualization can be programmed. Simple manipulations, e.g. substitutions of field values, can be done by point and click settings. More complex logic can be implemented by Javascript. Ultimately, external executables such as Java jars or .Net executables can be invoked.

Use as a Client or a Server: IBM Service Virtualization can act either as a client or as a server. When used as a client, it sends a sequence of traffic to another component and the responses of the component can be tested. When used as a server it waits for incoming traffic and responds to the traffic as programmed.

Use at Volume: IBM Service Virtualization can run tests at high volume, allowing it to simulate live systems and to be used in performance tests. This functionality is implemented by IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server, which is licensed by volume capability.

Main Components

IBM Rational Integration Tester

Work in Rational Integration Tester is carried out in a number of different perspectives, listed below. Each perspective highlights a different aspect of the work.

  • Architecture School: shows the system to be tested in diagammatic form. The user adds the main components of the sytem to the diagram and completes the links between them. This creates a high level model of the system under test within IBM Rational Integration Tester.

  • Requirements Library: a repository of requirements expressed as messages (requests) to be handled by IBM Service Virtualization.

  • Recording Studio: the Recording Studio is used to monitor and record events in the system under test. Recording Studio would typically be used to record events which would be replayed during a test with certain programmed alterations to simulate desired scenarios.

  • Test Factory: the perspective in which tests are created, together with any supporting data or other artifacts.

  • Test Lab: the perspective from which tests created in the Test Factory are executed. Note that tests carried out from Test Lab are limited in duration. To carry out extended tests it is necessary to use IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server (see below).

  • Results Gallery: shows the results of tests or suites of tests executed in the Test Lab. The results can be presented in a wide range of reports.

IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server

IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server is used to implement the bahaviour defined in IBM Rational Integration Tester as permanent, high capacity stubs which can be deployed to any available environment. The stubs are not, except by licensing, limited in capacity or in the length of time for which they can be left to run. The more licences purchased, the higher the capacity of the stubs which can be run.

IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server allows for the creation and simultaneous operation of multiple stubs, each running on an agent, in multiple environments.

 

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