What is Service Oriented Architecture?

Service Oriented Architecture is a design practice that considers individual software modules as discreet services that are developed to address a specific function. Each service will comprise of single or multiple operations that are logically collated to address a specific function of the entire solution.

How to approach Functional Testing for SOA and web services?

It’s important to understand the breakdown of each of the web services and that information can be derived from the service definition documents. The service definition documents are an equivalent to the low level design document, which provisions information to the test team in relation to the details pertaining to each of the web services, the function, the accepted input parameters, the data structures, and the error codes etc. The WebServiceDescriptionLanguage (wsdl) is developed by the development team and is also on the back of the service definition document.

Prior to approaching system testing, the focus should be on testing each of the critical and prioritised web services in isolation. This phase of testing is usually referred to as Service Level Testing to ensure that an individual operation within a web service is functionally behaving as per the web service definition document, and the baseline defined requirements.

Post service level testing, it’s important to indentify and validate the architecturally significant scenarios which is essentially touching upon the minimum key scenarios that will validate the integration of the web services. If the service level testing phase is completed by validating the right exit criteria then the next phase of testing in relation to the integration of the web services should have minimal functional defects. This is because all of the web services although built in isolation are derived and based on the same web service definition document. This will allow the focus to shift onto the alternate and negative flows and parameters.

What are the commonly used Test Tools?

The most commonly used tools are SOAP UI and SOA Test Tool which gives the testers the capability to upload a wsdl and provision a skeleton XML  request with the mandatory parameters, via the auto population of the relevant fields.

This request is then triggered to the end point of the deployed service and the response received in xml format is then validated by the test team. Validations should not be restricted to just the response xml but should be extended to the log files for the EnterpriseServiceBus (ESB)* and BusinessProcessManagement (BPM)* also the associated database if applicable.

* EnterpriseServiceBus (ESB) -is a software architecture model, used for designing and implementing the interaction and communication between mutually interacting software applications in service-oriented architecture (SOA).

* BusinessProcessManagement (BPM)-is to manage and execute complicated business processes within the SOA suite.

Managing Consultant, with 11 year of Test Delivery and Management experience in Telecom, Healthcare, Online and Retail domain

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