SmartBear Updates API Readiness Tools to Accelerate Service Virtualization and Performance Testing
August 18, 2015
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SmartBear Software updated its API tools, ServiceV for API service virtualization and LoadUI NG for API load testing, to accelerate development and testing processes in Agile teams.

Updates to ServiceV enable software teams to rapidly build advanced mocks from real-time API traffic and quickly switch between virtualized “mock” services and actual APIs during diagnostic, load or integration testing in the continuous delivery lifecycle.

“SmartBear's skills in application quality management, and its unique focus on API testing in particular, make it the go-to vendor for such purposes,” says Carl Lehmann of 451 Research in a recent report about API testing. Since the initial release of ServiceV Pro, SmartBear has continued to improve API-related development through strong support for service virtualization based on customer feedback and industry demand.

Developers often use mocks, simple stand-ins for service components, to accelerate the API development cycle. A mock Web service (or virtual API) enables developers to build new functionality and fix bugs faster on parts of a system that otherwise are out of their ability to control, like third party APIs. Not just development, but the processes of testing and user interface design are also sped up by using virtual APIs (“virts”) that can quickly be spun up before the development of the actual API is complete.

New recording features in ServiceV 1.4 allow developers and testers to rapidly build virtual APIs from real-time traffic between an app and one or more APIs. Acting as a high-performance proxy between an app and an actual API, ServiceV Pro virts can now capture real-time traffic as a model and later respond to actions against those endpoints. This feature simplifies the process of synchronizing traditional mocks by hand, typically a time-intensive developer task prone to error especially when a third party service makes changes to their service without prior warning.

Rate-limited APIs are also a particular challenge for testing and development teams in that work is halted when subscription limits are reached, causing teams to miss deadlines in a classic trade-off of time or quality. Because ServiceV 1.4 allows professionals to rapidly craft virtual versions of these APIs and share them amongst their team, third party Web services no longer represent a bottleneck during development and testing, returning the control over making deadlines and minimizing subscription costs.

Control is only as good as how fast a team can exercise it, which is why ServiceV 1.4 also simplifies the process of switching from testing against a virtual API to testing against a real service, either in a QA/staging environment or against production APIs during integration testing. Tests built for one environment can easily be flipped between environments as part of rapid integration testing, saving valuable time during increasingly tight release cycles. Switching comes in particularly useful when running load tests, since third party API involvement can be precisely controlled during a real-time load test, acting as fault isolation.

“Allowing major concurrency bugs or infrastructure bottlenecks to make it to production is a risky and often costly gamble,” said Paul Bruce, API Product Marketing Manager at SmartBear. “Instead, pre-emptive and continuous spot checking through load tests in multiple environments ensures that major performance problems are caught and addressed early on in the software delivery lifecycle. API virtualization compliments all phases of the SDLC, having a powerful impact on reducing time to design, develop, test and diagnose API components in the enterprise.”

ServiceV and LoadUI NG are part of SmartBear’s API Readiness platform, Ready! API, a unified set of testing tools that includes SoapUI NG (functional testing), LoadUI NG (load testing), ServiceV (API service virtualization) and Secure Pro (dynamic API security testing).

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