Announcing the 2020.2 Release of SOAtest, Virtualize, & the Continuous Testing Platform
By Chris Colosimo
October 29, 2020
6 min read
Jump to Section
It’s hard to believe that it’s already October. 2020 has seemed like such a blur. There’s been a lot of interesting activity in the continuous testing space as organizations deal with the “new normal” of Covid-19. And Parasoft has been hard at work creating the next wave of the enterprise functional testing products. In this release, we focused on three primary themes:
- Low-Code Applications: Enhancements to increase test coverage and quality.
- Workflow: Improvements to gain forensic insights into test asset modifications.
- Performance: Optimizations and performance improvements of the overall functional solution.
Covid-19 & Artificial Intelligence
For all the negatives that Covid-19 has brought, there have been several major advancements in test automation since organizations are facing resource constraints and must continue to enable quality with a smaller workforce. AI has been gaining traction in the industry for the past few years. It has reached a point where AI-assisted workflows can help cover the gaps that appear due to constrained resources, lack of access to physical environments, and the accelerated transformations to enable exceptional digital experiences for customers.
In 2016, Parasoft introduced the SOAtest Smart API test generator. This technology utilizes artificial intelligence to convert manual UI test scenarios into automated API tests. And it enables organizations to require fewer resources when creating complex API test scenarios because artificial intelligence looks for patterns and relationships in API calls and automatically links the dynamic data. This technology reduces the effort required to create API tests. The addition of the machine learning models enables users to train the underlying AI with new rules depending on how their APIs interact.
The AI system was received positively by the community. Many organizations currently use it to continue to deliver high levels of API test coverage while contending with the constraints that Covid-19 brings. Last year, Parasoft introduced advanced AI for the UI testing of low-code applications such as Salesforce and Guidewire. In this release, those capabilities extend into the Smart API test generator.
Low-Code Applications: Enhancements to Increase Test Coverage & Quality
In this 2020.2 release, Parasoft has extended the AI capabilities of the API testing solution by adding built-in domain-specific templates for testing low-code applications such as Salesforce and Guidewire. This was a natural evolution for SOAtest, which introduced basic support for Salesforce few years ago. These enhancements are all aimed at navigating the challenges of authentication, authorization, and session management present in low-code application APIs.
Specifically, in this version the Parasoft recorder has options for selecting Salesforce and Guidewire applications. SOAtest will use new strategies for creating tests in these ecosystems. Things such as CSRF tokens will now be automatically extracted from HTML responses for use in parameterization for subsequent API calls.
There have also been modifications to existing low-code tooling in SOAtest to make extractions in HTML much easier through the use of regular expressions. In short, these enhancements will increase the accuracy of API tests created for low-code environments by understanding the rules applicable to the platforms. And as always, through the machine learning module, those rules can be updated to customize the AI.
Smart API Test Creation
There have also been enhancements to the built-in traffic wizards used to create Smart API tests. There are supplied templates for general usage, Guidewire, and Salesforce. And users can create their own test templates for different releases of their development platforms and use them on the fly. The traffic wizard automatically detects the new test templates. Users can select them as they go. You can read a lot more about these workflows by checking out our documentation.
These enhancements for testing low-code environments will simplify API test creation in low-code platforms. That acceleration will enable organizations to ensure reliable user experiences and fast-track the delivery of applications through automated continuous testing.
Workflow: Improvements to Gain Forensic Insights Into Test Asset Modifications
Collaboration and communication are vital when delivering software. A clear manifestation of this is in the QA space because we, as testers, need to monitor changes in the test ecosystem due to changes in the application. This provides tracking information that can be used by the team to adjust its test framework as needed.
Without these insights, tests can fail due to infrastructure modification and produce false positives. These false positives can distract us from finding real bugs in the software. Since many of us are still working from home, this collaboration becomes challenging. We can’t just walk over to each other’s desks and find out why the build failed.
The Parasoft Continuous Testing Platform (CTP) is a web-based ecosystem for the functional testing solution. It provides developers, testers, and DevOps engineers with a place to come together to plan, create, and execute test automation. It facilitates collaboration through an environment-based view of test execution where users can diagram out test environments and associate test cases, mock services, and test data to test execution flows. This allows geographically separated users to understand, at a glance, how test environments are configured and what tests are executing with which data.
Platform Usage & Modification Tracking
In the latest release of the CTP, we expanded the modification history capabilities to enable users to track platform usage and modification. These changes enable you to gain forensic insight into who has modified assets, tests, environments, and so on. The modification history has a new look and feel and now allows users to select the timeframe for investigation. This data can then be viewed in the web table or can be exported to CSV for auditing in the user’s system of choice.
Tool governance and ownership of any enterprise testing solution requires high levels of auditing and traceability in order to scale effectively. The modification history in combination with asset utilization enables users of the platform to easily understand who is using (or not using) the solution. From that, managers can establish chargeback models to increase the ROI and lower TCO of the testing tool.
Modification history enables users to easily understand who is changing test artifacts and rollback those changes if they are disruptive. Through this, users can have a more scalable collaboration mechanism for their test ecosystems.
Performance: Optimizations & Performance Improvements of the Overall Functional Solution
Did you know Parasoft SOAtest has been around for over 18 years? Yes, it’s true. First released in 2002, SOAtest continues to be the number one codeless functional test automation tool with a relentless focus on message format and protocol support. And the first to market with AI-powered API testing.
SOAtest and its sister product Virtualize have evolved a lot. We spent some time in this release doing some underlying housekeeping. These optimizations fall into two categories:
- An improved installer process
- A reduction of defunct legacy capabilities in the core product
Improved Installer Process
We improved the Parasoft installer. The internal version of Eclipse has been updated to 2020-06 and you can now install multiple 202X.X versions side-by-side. Additionally, the product is now purely running on OpenJDK, so organizations need not worry about the implications of Oracle’s ever-changing licensing structure.
Reduction of Defunct Legacy Capabilities
Over the last 18 years, we’ve collected some antiques such as old source control and ALM systems. We also streamlined many UIs by removing deprecated components. With these updates, the tools have a nice new look and feel that we hope many of our users will appreciate.
For existing customers, since this is a major version, be sure to back up your workspace and partner with Parasoft support before performing your upgrade.
Additional Enhancements to SOAtest, Virtualize, & CTP
There are additional enhancements to all tools in the suite, including numerous resolved bug fixes and performance optimizations. Read the full release notes for more information.
Looking Into 2021
As we look forward to 2021, we will continue to see the Parasoft functional solutions evolve. There are exciting advancements to come in the areas of AI-powered testing, not only for the API testing solution but other tooling such as API simulation with Parasoft Virtualize and UI testing with Parasoft Selenic. We will keep you up to date as new and exciting capabilities come onto the roadmap.
If you’re interested in how current users are taking advantage of the functional testing solutions, register for our virtual summit on Nov 17, 2020. You’ll hear customers talk about their journeys through continuous testing.
Existing Parasoft Users
Head on over to the Parasoft Customer Portal and download the latest release of the Parasoft Continuous Quality suite. Also, check out the release notes in the technical documentation.