you are in the market to improve your QA team's relevance in the face of IT initiatives like Cloud, Agile, mobile, composite applications, and application modernization in general, then you need to consider service testing. As I've also argued before: it's not enough for developers (bless their hearts) to validate services from a unit test perspective. And it's not enough to rely on GUI testing to expose all the functionality of a service either, especially a shared service. Bottom line, testing services allows your QA team to:


Test More! By testing services, you can test non-functional aspects like security, performance, integrationsand the like. You can also test the increasing number of scenarios that include both GUI and non-GUI components.


Test Sooner! This is not strictly limited to Agile, but valuable for any phased approach to application development where non-GUI elements are available before the GUI. This allows the team to get a strong jump on finding bugs at the API level closer to the date of injection, instead of waiting for late-stage GUI testing when the defect is more “baked in” and harder to fix.


Test Faster! Naturally early automation is key to efficient regression testing that pays off multiple times over the duration of the application lifecycle. *Pause for product plug…* And with HP Service Test’s visual, modular approach to service testing, you can go from zero to testing services in half the time compared to more scripting-centric solutions.


Reduce Risk! I almost shudder when I write reduce risk, as some jargon-o-meter would surely choke on it, but the nature of services and non-GUI components demands some attention to it. No GUI to help articulate what you need to test or how to interface with the service. Potential for multiple consumers, creating a lovely single point of failure. And a development approach that may encourage a more rapid rate of change. And if you don’t have SOA governance in place, it falls on QA to manage the dependencies and sufficiently validate the services layer. Products like HP Service Test Management, an add-on module to HP ALM/QC, can help you manage the overall testing effort of your headless components.


Read on to hear more about the new HP Service Test release…


HP Service Test 11.1 provides some important new functionality, including:

  • New database activities available in the Toolbox, giving you the opportunity to easily make database calls within a service test flow. Any ODBC-compliant database is also now supported as a data source.
  • Ability to update a test after a service changes. With Service Test 11.1, you can re-import the service and the tool will map what needs to be remapped, and step you through any changes that need to be made. Existing investments in test design and custom code handlers are preserved.
  • In addition to database activities, there are new XML activities for validating the correctness of an XML document in relation to a schema file, and for transforming an XML document from one format to another, using XSLT.
  • HP Business Process Testing 11.0 integration. You can now create BPT business components for service tests in addition to functional tests. This integration will become increasingly important as today’s functional automated testing teams take on more non-GUI testing work.
  • Service Test Management 11.0 release – This add-on module to HP Quality Center/ALM 11.0 (currently sold separately from HP Service Test) allows for greater management of your services and components.