Service Virtualization: The Secret Sauce to Building Great Apps

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Sreenivas Vemulapalli

October 25, 2022

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Accelerate Application Development with Service Virtualization

The journey to exceptional software development is riddled with roadblocks. Developers are primarily challenged by the need to ensure perfect integration of multiple third-party services and APIs. Without seamless integration, software development is prone to stagnation, extended deadlines, and delayed releases. Not to mention some of the other issues that forever plague the life of a software developer –

  1. Increased architectural complexity
  2. Unavailable test data
  3. Time-consuming data creation for end-to-end environments
  4. Short testing windows
  5. Lengthy API testing cycles

The software engineering team is tasked with the need to fill in development gaps and simplify activities for software testers, while maintaining an increased scale of collaboration. A simplified technical architecture and resource optimization goes a long way in amplifying software development.

Service Virtualization: A Must-have in Modern Software Development

A GARTNER SURVEY of 500 companies indicates:

  • A dramatic increase in test rates using service virtualization
  • 33% of companies reduced their test cycle times by at least 50%
  • Nearly half of the respondents saw a reduction of total defects by more than 40%

In software engineering, 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.

It is the best mechanism to transform how an organization develops and releases platform versions and updates as part of a continuous delivery approach. Service virtualization also empowers platform teams to become self-sufficient, meet deadlines, follow timelines, and release updates on schedule. This enhanced agility and technical competency also earn them increased support for a continuous testing/delivery model and helps them deliver new services to stay ahead of the competition.

What’s more, with the aid of service virtualization, platform development teams can save enormous time and costs. Early development and testing cycles pave the way for enhancing team performance and generating better value.

The biggest advantage of using service virtualization is the reduction in time ti complete one test cycle – from 5 to 6 weeks to 2-3 days.

Apart from impacting the organizational big picture, service virtualization can provide numerous technical benefits too. Whether it’s engineers, product designers, software testers, quality assurance managers, or project managers, service virtualization has something for everyone. By reducing third-party and external dependencies, here are a few ways service virtualization accelerates product timelines –

  • Eliminates waiting times for multiple stakeholders to provide “finished” services
  • Provides the ability to work in independent and on-demand environments
  • Performs 100 percent of planned functional testing with better development code quality
  • Eliminates system test and integration testing gridlock due to available environments
  • Enables creation and execution of tests in a microenvironment
  • Covers all negative testing scenarios that can’t be replicated in a live environment
  • Helps stabilize automated tests
  • Enables test data virtualization i.e., simulation of test data and UI behavior

Multiple Challenges, One Solution

In the speedy and competitive technology space market, with new start-ups, products, and models being developed at the speed of light, service virtualization is a boon like no other. Every organization faces enhanced dependencies on technology and IT vendors and components, and service virtualization assures technical teams of consistency and stability in usually lengthy and bumpy development journeys. Technically ambitious organizations need enhanced abilities to seamlessly integrate components better and faster. Technical teams can develop and offer more sustainable, flexible, user-friendly, and successful product features/platforms to their users using service virtualization.

Data security, a crucial aspect of personally identifiable and sensitive data can be achieved by virtualizing your API itself and saving costs while doing so.

Just like costs matter for an organization, experience plays a significant role in a consumer’s journey of buying and using a product. In the case of an application, it is the digital experience. Service virtualization enables the collaboration of developers, testers, sysadmins, and business stakeholders and pays heed to the software quality in terms of UI for a pleasant and seamless UX.

According to a survey, companies implementing service virtualization have witnessed a 67% reduction in the overall cost.

The Role of Service Virtualization in Shift Left Testing

Service virtualization is a welcome innovation for software testers. It helps testers with increased competencies and benefits by accelerating and improving the expanse of software testing. Along with accelerated testing, it enables the shift left approach.

Shift left testing approach is the integration of testing activities with development, commencing sooner in the SDLC, unlike traditional testing methods. You simply move testing to the left in the project lifecycle. The aim of service virtualization is to compress the defect curve and deliver quality products to end users.

  1. Reduced development and testing costs: Catch bugs and errors early, save big on fixing effort and cost
  2. Enhanced automation: Less human errors, more test coverage
  3. Increased efficiency: Monitor software performance to welcome challenges and generate more value
  4. Reduced load: Simplified software environment for reduced development and testing load for a thorough software release to the test environment

Next Steps

Lo Giudice, Vice President and Principal Analyst, at Forrester says –

While much about service virtualization has gone unchanged over the last years, much has changed. Developers are choosing open source more, deciding they don’t need all the sophistication vendors are providing. “I’ve got data that shows the adoption of service virtualization has never really gone over 20%,” he said. “When you ask developers and testers, what is it that you’re automating around in 2022, I think the system integrators” are the only ones for whom this is key.

“It’s actually very useful” in integration projects, Giudice said. “If you think about Lloyds Banking, a customer that’s got a complex landscape of apps, and you’re doing integration work with good partnerships going on,” service virtualization can be quite beneficial. “If you’ve got an app and it interfaces another 10 big apps, you’d better use service virtualization to automate that integration,” he said.

Service virtualization is an essential method to accelerate development and assure improved software quality. A technical assessment of your software architecture, choosing the right service virtualization tool, and building a successful Proof of Concept will help you go to market faster.

Emtec Digital’s pre-built service virtualization accelerator allows the creation of mock endpoints to elicit the same responses as the desired application. It can mock various APIs and enable you to thoroughly resolve numerous technical challenges and provide tangible business benefits in return.


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Author

Sreenivas (Sreeni) Vemulapalli

Associate Vice President, Emtec Digital

Sreeni is an accomplished technology leader with over 25 years of experience building highly scalable enterprise applications using the latest digital technologies and handling pre-sales, technical and solution architecture, project management, and delivery. For the last 5+ years, Sreeni has been instrumental in establishing the RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) and growth of the Intelligent Automation practice at Emtec Digital. From design and development to delivering and enhancing automation solutions for clients, Sreeni has a passion for helping firms across industries realize the benefits of RPA.

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