Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Testing

By Nagesh Kumar 3 min read

What is Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)?

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a software design that comprises of software components providing service to meet the requirements of business processes and needs of software users. These software components use communication protocols to talk to each other. In an SOA environment, all the components on a network are made available as autonomous services that can be accessed without knowledge of their underlying platform. A service is a separate unit of functionality that can be accessed, worked upon remotely, and updated independently.

Developing and implementing an enterprise SOA solution from zero requires a lot of time, effort, and capital. Therefore, re-using existing service components can be cost and time effective.

SOA Testing Overview

Software testing teams are not only expected to test individual products and their functionality, but also the overall integrated system. While testing Service-Oriented Architectures, software testers have to consider different individual units such as:

  • Service providers
  • Communication between SOA components
  • Integration and interoperability testing of components
  • Security testing
  • Performance testing

Many consider web services testing as SOA testing. However, SOA is not just limited to web services. It is about the complete architecture. Therefore, SOA testing should not be restricted to just web services testing.

SOA Testing Challenges

The conventional testing approach that is focused on coding and functional testing has evolved with traditional systems and web service architectures. Web application testing has initiated testing of business logic through the GUI, which has confirmed to be crucial with implementing of new systems. Some of the SOA Testing challenges are:

  • Complex SOA Architectures
  • Lack of GUI in many service components
  • SOA testing is driven by data over business logic
  • The need to focus on complete business scenarios vs. individual business logic
  • Usage of third-party services outside the organization
  • Security and performance to be considered

In SOA Testing, services are based on mixed technologies. Testers are expected to have multiple skills and expertise knowledge over different domains. Testers need to adapt the planning and scheduling from the architect’s point-of-view to work with multiple components and deliver a working business solution.

SOA Testing Insights

Unit (Component) Testing and Integration Testing

Testing SOA could become more complex, and the solution to these complexities is to tear down the system into smaller chunks, to make it more manageable and to ensure quality of deliverables such as Services, Adapters, Data flows, Business logics, GUI, etc.

Once each unit is tested and verified, these needs to be integrated and confirmation of information shared between these integrated services are working as expected business requirement.

System Testing

At this level a complete and integrated software is tested. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the system’s compliance with the specified business requirements.

Performance Testing

As the SOA system grows, there are chances that multiple components may get added and these integrated components should perform to support the business transactions. Therefore, key focus of the testing team is to recognize performance bottlenecks early in the system.

Security Testing

As mentioned earlier, SOA are comprised of mixed software components providing service to support the requirements of business processes. Since these components are heterogeneous and are used in conjunction with third-party components, questions and concerns will be raised on security. Software testing teams need to ensure the security of SOA testing right from the first phase till the implementation of the system.

Line up SOA Testing with SOA Development

SOA is a way of designing, developing, deploying, and managing enterprise systems where business needs and technical solutions are closely aligned. SOA Testing should be lined up with all the development activities right from design and development to implementation and maintenance. SOA Testing should be enforced in every phase of system development.

SOA testing tools

Having proper tools for SOA testing and automation is essential. Proper and effective tools will increase the productivity and quality, and also bring down the time to market significantly.

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