Service Virtualization is a method to emulate the behavior of specific components in heterogeneous component-based applications such as API-driven applications, cloud-based applications and service-oriented architectures. Service virtualization emulates the behavior of software components to remove dependency constraints on development and testing teams which enable end-to-end testing of the application as a whole.
Test environments can use virtual services in lieu of the production services to conduct integration testing earlier in the development process. Service virtualization can be useful for anyone involved in developing and delivering software applications. Integration testing of these applications is often delayed because some of the components the application depends on aren’t available. Service virtualization enables earlier and more frequent integration testing by emulating the unavailable component dependencies.
- Application emulation: Virtual components can simulate the behavior of an entire application or a specific component.
- Multiple test environments: Developers and quality professionals may create test environments by using virtual components configured for their needs.
- Same testing tools: Developers and quality professionals can use the same testing tools that they have used in the past — the tools can’t tell the difference between a real system and a virtual service.
- Reducing costs: Test lab infrastructure costs can be pricey. Instead of provisioning large servers or mainframes, a virtual test environment can run on low-cost commodity hardware. The environment can easily be reconfigured for different testing needs or projects.
- Improving productivity: With service virtualization you don’t have restraints in the way you do testing or development. Virtual components are available 24/7. This means that productivity can be greatly increased, and resources can be freed up for other value add activities or additional testing process improvements like the inclusion of exploratory testing.
- Reducing risk: Service virtualization can also help reduce risk. You can test software earlier in the process, which means defects can be addressed earlier, producing fewer surprises toward the end of the schedule. The final product may be put into production earlier and with fewer errors.
- Increasing quality: Service virtualization can improve the overall quality of the application because it increases the efficiency of any testing being performed. As a result, teams are able to do a more thorough job of testing their applications and get higher quality software to market faster.