Service testing overview

The service testing capabilities of IBM® Rational® Performance Tester or IBM® Rational® Service Tester for SOA Quality automate the creation, execution and analysis of functional, regression and performance tests for SOAP-based web services, including support for Java Messagine Service (JMS), Websphere MQ, WebSphere Java MQ, and Microsoft .NET Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), as well as any service that produces XML, plain text, or binary data.

Informative test results rely upon sound test development. Each of the following stages contributes to generating meaningful test results:
  • Preparation. Set up your test environment with the libraries and configuration files required for SOAP-based web services or custom security algorithms. You can import Web Service Description Language (WSDL) definition files and digital certificates that are required by the web services to automatically generate your tests. You can create SOAP security profiles with security algorithms for the web service calls and message returns.
  • Test creation: Create your test by recording the service requests and responses either with the generic service client, or with an existing client or a web browser through a recording proxy. When you start the recording, you interact with the service by performing service requests and receiving responses. You can also create service tests manually or from a synchronous Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) model.
  • Test editing: After recording, you can edit the requests and responses in the test. You can use XML Schema Description (XSD) documents to facilitate XML edition. You can replace recorded test values with variable test data, or add dynamic data to the test.
  • Functional testing: You can run the test to ensure that service matches the expected behavior defined in verification points. During the run, each verification point is checked and receives a pass, fail or inconclusive status.
  • Performance testing: If you are using IBM® Rational® Performance Tester, you can specify an execution schedule and user groups to emulate a workload that is generated by a large number of virtual users. Then, you can run the schedule, deploying test execution on virtual users that can be hosted on remote computers. Each virtual user runs an instance of the test client. Response times are measured and recorded. Verification points are checked and recorded.
  • Stub simulation: Service stubs are functional simulations of an existing service. Service stubs are useful for replacing a service that is unavailable or impractical to use in a test environment. They can also be used to input specific data into a service under test or for prototyping. You can deploy stubs onto a stub server, which can replace the actual server in your test or development environment.
  • Evaluation of results: You evaluate the results that the tests produce through the performance and verification point reports that are generated during execution. You can also design custom reports by manipulating various counters. Functional reports provide a comprehensive view of the behavior of the service under test. Reports can be exported and archived for validation.

Service testing tools

The following tools are available in the product:
  • The generic service client enables you to manually perform service requests for a wide variety of transport protocols, authentication configurations and security profiles, making it an extremely versatile service client. It effectively replaces a dedicated client and can be used to record service calls or for manual testing and debugging a service during development. To open the generic service client, click the Generic Service Client WSDL Security Editor toolbar button.
  • The WSDL security editor allows you to set up sophisticated algorithm stacks for your service requests and responses. Algorithm stacks contain digital certificate information and the security algorithms that are applied to messages to perform secure communication with a web service. Algorithm stacks are made of blocks, which can be key definitions, encryption , time stamp, or signature operations which can be associated with any operation in the WSDL file. To open the WSDL security editor, right-click a WSDL file in your workspace and select Edit WSDL Security or click the WSDL Security Editor WSDL Security Editor button in the generic service client..
  • The test editor is where you develop your test. After recording, you can modify the test to add data correlation or verification points. You can also add loops and conditions and you can edit every detail of the service requests.
  • The stub editor enables you to create service stubs. With the stub editor, you can define multiple input conditions, which are similar to verification points. Each condition triggers a predefined simulated response, which is functionally identical to a response from the simulated service.
  • In Rational® Performance Tester, the schedule editor lets you deploy multiple virtual users on local and remote computers to generate a heavy load for performance testing. A schedule typically contains multiple tests and multiple virtual users.