What’s New?

I’m finally recovering enough from last week’s IBM Innovate conference to jot down a few notes on exciting stuff I saw in the testing space at the show.

Rational Test Workbench Mobile Test Edition V8.5.1

Support for testing mobile applications – native, hybrid and web – has been in Rational Test Workbench for a while now.  For those organizations that are looking for a complete package that includes mobile UI test automation, performance testing, service virtualization, integration testing and even UI test automation for desktop applications, Rational Test Workbench provides it all in one package.  RTW has been a compelling offering for enterprise clients for that reason.

However, if you only need a hammer, you don’t want to buy the whole tool chest. So as of now, you can buy just the mobile UI test automation capability in a lower cost offering.  This not only gives customers what they want, but it also makes the Rational offering more price competitive for mobile test automation.

Rational Test Workbench V8.6

There are some really exciting updates to the service virtualization and integration testing capabilities in Rational Test Workbench as well.  I would categorize the improvements in the following:

  • SAP support improvements
  • Support for MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT)
  • Topology Discovery
  • Mainframe support enhancments
  • Other stuff

SAP support improvements

SAP support has been enhanced to include support for SAP XI 3.0 and SAP PI 7.31 and above for both integration testing and service virtualization.

Support for MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT)

MQTT is at the heart of the Internet of Things.  It is a lightweight TCP protocol that is quite prevalent in smart appliances, vehicles and, well, “things”.  The Dev team had a pretty clever demo in the Expo Center where they could inject MQTT messages into a a traffic simulation and verify the expected behavior of other vehicles.  For example, send a message from one vehicle indicating it had stalled, blocking a street and verify other vehicles rerouted to avoid the incident.  Smart vehicles and self-driving cars are not just futuristic fiction anymore.  Testing these systems to ensure safety and reliability will require advanced testing techniques and tools.

Topology Discovery

Rational Integration Tester (RIT) can be a very powerful tool in the hands of a tester.  But what if the tester is just handed a complex system and told “test this”?  It is quite common when working with a client on a proof of concept that we end up discovering component relationships that the tester didn’t even know existed.  That “discovery” process can be extremely time consuming.  With Topology Discovery, you let Rational Integration Tester do the work for you.  In discovery mode, you tell RIT to monitor the system to determine which components are accessed by your component under test.  RIT will monitor the interactions and build a visual model for you, including capturing the message schemas and formats.  This can really help get you started much faster when faced with testing a new or unknown application.

Mainframe support enhancements

Ok, I will be the first to admit I am not a mainframe guy.  A lot of the new stuff I have seen is alphabet soup to me.  But for those of you that can make sense of it, RIT now supports executing tests against CICS programs directly using IPIC without the need for the CICS transaction gateway.  There have also been enhancements to System Z synchronization of WAS to create the IMS and CICS models.

Other stuff

  • The stub editor and message editors have seen some really nice UI enhancements making it easier to edit and manage stubs and test messages.
  • Enhanced TIBCO support.
  • Enhanced ability to publish and start stubs through automation in DevOps scenarios.

I also expect to hear about more advances in the near future as well and will pass them along when I do.



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