The difference between “speed” and “velocity” can be debated in physics classrooms and baseball stadiums till the cows come home (the latter term, by the way, refers to speed with direction).
For the purposes of your software development, we’re going to assume you want both (along with exceptional quality, of course).
This brings us to service virtualization, an increasingly sought-after method to help developers test earlier and more often, improve application quality and, perhaps most importantly, enable Agile transformation.
Service virtualization allows developers to emulate the behavior of specific components in heterogeneous, component-based applications (such as API, MicroService and cloud-based applications), and in service-oriented architecture.
Less technically speaking, service virtualization is fundamentally about speed—accelerating faster delivery and reducing time to market.
By reducing dependencies on other teams, you can test in isolation, without waiting for other teams to be ready. As businesses shift to Agile, even a one- or two-day delay in testing can have a significant impact on delivery.
DevOps platform doing more
That’s why we’re excited about the recent expansion of the Accenture DevOps Platform to include service virtualization.
We’ve recently worked with CA Technologies to integrate their DevTest Service Virtualization product into our DevOps platform. In our open-sourced version of our DevOps platform, we included SmartBear’s ServiceV.
Why are we doing this? Demand for greater velocity is a critical driver. As our clients’ DevOps maturity improves, they’re hitting bottlenecks that hamper them from doing as much testing as they want.
Service virtualization helps smooth over potential potholes as your development teams gain more flexibility to test in isolation, allowing them to work in parallel to other teams. By integrating service virtualization into a Continuous Integration pipeline, you’re able to achieve a higher degree of automated testing. Additionally, with our upgraded platform, and you gain an accelerant (aka, a cartridge) with service virtualization tools at the ready, and pre-loaded working examples to build a pipeline and integrate service virtualization into your DevOps process faster and easier.
Service virtualization goes to work
How does this work in the real business world?
One of our clients, a financial services company, used service virtualization to help enable their organization’s shift to Agile and next-generation architecture. Now, the client can test earlier, allowing development teams to give their code a trial run first in isolation, then in a live back-end environment.
The key takeaway: Service virtualization can support common use cases in many industries and help a business align to industry standards.
To summarize the “whys” behind service virtualization, the main upsides we’ve experienced include:
Continuous testing – Development and testing teams have 24-7 access to realistic environments, shortening release cycles;
Eliminate system dependency – Through “virtualizing,” capturing and modelling, the target system's dynamic behavior and performance can react and respond the same as the live system;
Eliminate cost constraints – By doing away with “spinning up” tools and by dynamically creating Test environments;
Support Agile development – By rapidly prototyping virtual assets that reflect the anticipated behavior of still-evolving components.
Although service virtualization is not exactly new, we are seeing it grow increasingly prevalent as business and technology leaders embrace the benefits. Digital business changes every day, demanding both speed and velocity, but at least one constant remains—time, after all, is money.