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Accelerate API Testing With Parasoft Continuous Quality Suite Version 2021.1

Accelerate API Testing With Parasoft Continuous Quality Suite Version 2021.1 Reading Time: 6 minutes

The latest release of the Parasoft Continuous Quality Suite of API testing tools is now available with updated versions of Parasoft SOAtest, Virtualize, and CTP. In this release, we focused on four primary areas.

  1. Requirements view added in SOAtest to correlate tests with traceability workflows.
  2. Increased accuracy when creating virtual assets by applying a service definition.
  3. Enhanced cloud and CI/CD integrations to streamline automated testing in a distributed world.
  4. Support for additional industry standards such as Kafka, NDJSON, ICE, and an enhanced TCP listener available on the Parasoft Marketplace.

An Unprecedented Year Calls for Innovation at Speed

Following the success of the 2020 releases, Parasoft has continued to focus energy on making it easier for software test professionals to build meaningful and manageable functional tests. In this release, the central theme was speed.

Testing tools across the industry have matured significantly in the last few years, particularly in this past year, fueled by our necessity to rapidly move into the cloud and to building testing processes that fit into those ecosystems, as well as testing new digital experiences that came about because of our inability to interact face-to-face.

Parasoft is no stranger to rampant innovation. In the last few years, the Continuous Quality Suite has made significant strides, leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver solutions such as the smart API test generator for AI-powered test creation, smart test execution to significantly reduce the total time required to execute test cases, and AI-powered self-healing for running and maintaining Selenium UI tests.

Accelerate Testing With Artificial Intelligence

All the tools in the Continuous Quality Suite use the latest and greatest in advanced reporting and analytics to deliver on the promise of low cost and maintainable test automation. But wait, there’s more! This release is focused on prioritizing workflows that testers can use to maximize their automated test efficiency.

New Requirements-Based Workflows

To reach continuous quality goals, you first need to understand your application’s test coverage and how it correlates to the actual code as well as the defined requirements. In the latest release of Parasoft SOAtest, two new capabilities have been added in support of requirements-based workflows for testers.

UI Solely Dedicated to Managing Requirements

SOAtest has a new UI solely dedicated to managing requirements and linking those requirements to their associated test cases. The workflows enable testers to import their requirements from the build system and then automatically drag and drop the associated test cases to those requirements. This creates a mapping between the test and the requirement that allows testers to see which requirements have test cases and which ones are uncovered. From this, testers can execute the tests associated with specific requirements and create a report indicating the coverage and quality of their projects.

Enhanced Smart Test Execution Framework

Taking this to the next level, Parasoft has enhanced its smart test execution framework with requirements-based execution, as an extension to the existing test impact analysis aligned with the code. With requirements-based execution, users can choose specific requirements and then execute only those test cases that are associated with those requirements.

Screen capture of Parasoft SOAtest showing requirements-based execution as an extension to existing test impact analysis aligned with the code.

A typical use case of this would be designating specific requirements to be validated for a particular sprint. Traditionally, this would be a very manual process where you would have to find the test cases associated with those user stories. In Parasoft SOAtest, you simply specify those requirements either in the desktop UI or through the command line execution. SOAtest will execute the appropriate tests and provide results associated with the initial requirements. This allows teams to get immediate feedback on the tests for the new functionality during the sprint without having to wait for the entire test process to run overnight or for even longer periods.

More Accurate Virtual Services for Continuous Testing

When your API testing gets stalled due to constraints with downstream dependencies, service virtualization clears the bottlenecks with simulated versions. Parasoft Virtualize creates virtual services to replicate the behavior of those that are out of your control or unavailable, to avoid wasted cycles and delivery delays. Virtualize offers several ways to record the traffic and behavior of a service.

In the latest release, by specifying a Service Definition in the Traffic Wizard options, you will enable the virtual asset to be created more quickly and accurately.

Screen capture of Generate Parameterized Messages window. Generate messages parametrized with data using a Parasoft Data Repository.

When a service definition is provided in the traffic wizard, Virtualize uses the file to understand the resources included in the API, creating virtual assets that more closely align to the service implementation, which means you won’t need to do extensive manual modifications to optimize them.

New Plugins for Automated Test Execution in the Cloud

The pandemic forced many companies to look at software development and delivery in a new light. Organizations need to focus on their digital experiences to provide their brand to consumers that can’t physically interact with their products. This drew our attention to the already growing cloud ecosystem.

For organizations, it’s not enough to simply provide cloud-based digital experiences for their customers. Many have seized it as an opportunity to migrate the entire development and delivery system into the cloud. This expedites the delivery process to the cloud and significantly reduces the expenditures of physical infrastructures.

GitHub has made significant strides in our industry to enable testers to not only have a consolidated build system and pipeline but to host those architectures in the cloud. To enable automated testing in this new cloud-based world, Parasoft has focused on the expansion and enhancement of our cloud-based DevOps plugins, specifically those existing on the Azure DevOps marketplace and the creation of a new one in the GitHub marketplace.

Screen capture for GitHub Deploy Environment.

These plugins allow testers to orchestrate their test executions and to deploy/destroy virtual test environments as a part of the build or release pipelines. The new plugins present as tasks in the Azure marketplace and as actions in the GitHub marketplace. Users can simply add these new plugins into their existing pipelines and control their automated testing infrastructure during the build process.

Support for Additional Industry Standards

Parasoft has long been the go-to standard when working with a vast array of message formats and protocols for use in your automated testing. Continuing this energy, the latest release has support for several additional protocols and message formats aimed at enabling testers using these additional industry standards.

As is usual, each of these standards is presented as an easy to plug and play extension for the functional testing platform. Customers gain on-the-spot support for new message protocols from the extensibility framework available within the Parasoft Continuous Quality Suite. Specifically, the following technologies were added.

Kafka Listener

Kafka is an asynchronous message-based communication protocol seen in microservices. Kafka is often chosen because of the speed at which the protocol operates. This is essential when looking at microservice environments that have complex event sequences negotiating large volumes of data. The challenge that can arise in these types of architecture is missing services or services that are unavailable. Through simulation, Parasoft can emulate a Kafka-based service and allow you to stub out the services in your ecosystem. The Kafka extensions are included in the optional IoT/Microservices Pack for Parasoft SOAtest and Virtualize in the Parasoft Marketplace.

NDJSON Message Format

NDJSON or new line delimited JSON is a new flavor of JSON that is gaining traction in the industry. It allows you to specify multiple delimited lines in your JSON payloads. It seeks to create a simpler approach to retrieving multiple records as an object. This message format is included in the Parasoft Functional Essentials Pack that is available at no charge with your Parasoft SOAtest or Virtualize license.

ICE FIX Support

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is a particularly challenging dependency due to the short test windows for integration and verification. By adding ICE 4.8 data service support, Parasoft extends its support for the Financial Information eXchange (FIX) format and its variants to enable increased transformation capability, data capacity, and security for financial transactions. The new ICE component is included in the Advanced Financial Services Pack through the Parasoft Marketplace, which is available as an optional add-on for Parasoft SOAtest and Virtualize.

Enhanced TCP Listener

Sockets are cool. No matter how far we’ve come with new message formats and protocols you’ll still see many systems that have socket- or TCP-based communication inside of the legacy architecture. Quite often these systems, while required for your testing, don’t actually belong to your organization, but you’re still bound to those systems being available in order to do your full integrated testing.

Systems with sockets are great targets for virtualization because you can eliminate your dependency on a backend system by simply simulating the service that’s behind the socket. However, while sockets are simple in concept, the actual transmission details can get quite complicated.

In this enhanced TCP socket listener, Parasoft has added a whole array of new configurable options that allow you to indicate when a message has finished transmission.

Screen capture of TCP socket listener (ValidateListener). Showing new configurable options allow you to indicate when a message has finished transmission.

This will make it easier to simulate more types of socket connections because you can specify those details in the simulated service. The unique capability is offered as an optional Marketplace add-on to a Parasoft Virtualize license.

Keep Your Quality Continuously Flowing

Learn more about adding continuous quality to your CI/CD framework with Parasoft SOAtest, Virtualize, and CTP 2021.1.

Here’s a quick video for you to check out, too!

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Written by

Wilhelm Haaker

A senior solutions architect with expert level knowledge across Parasoft’s entire suite of products, Wilhelm specializes in test automation strategies for open systems, web applications, and microservices, along with SOA for developers and functional and performance test engineers.

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