Analyst Coverage: Daniel Howard
SmartBear is a privately held company, founded in 2009, that creates software products to enable and enhance software and API development, testing and management. The company has a global reach, boasting over 6 million users across 194 countries, and employs over 350 people. Its global headquarters are in Boston, USA, and it has 7 additional offices located around the world, including European and Asia-Pacific headquarters in Galway, Ireland and Melbourne, Australia. In addition to its commercial products, it is also one of the leading developers and sponsors of the popular open source tools Swagger and SoapUI.
SmartBear ServiceV Pro
Last Updated: 17th December 2018
SmartBear ServiceV Pro is a service virtualisation solution that forms a part of SmartBear’s API Lifecycle suite of testing tools. However, it is not limited to APIs and, in fact, can virtualise HTTP, REST, SOAP, JMS and JDBC protocols, thus also supporting the virtualisation of data, and supporting application development generally. A free trial version of the tool is available for download. A complementary product, VirtServer is also available. Virtual services created in ServiceV Pro can be deployed to VirtServer (or you can run them on a local machine) and you can then run tests against these virtual services. Multiple VirtServer implementations may be deployed. Integration with third-party environments, such as Selenium, is provided. Also notable is integration with Blueprint for importing user stories.
"Adding in the other integrations we might require, our test environment costs can run as high as $500K, but the service virtualization capabilities provided by ServiceV Pro let us do this for a fraction of the cost"
Zurich Insurance Group
There are three ways in which you can create virtual services using ServiceV Pro. Firstly, for APIs you can browse existing API definitions (Swagger files, WSDL, WADL or RAML) to generate the skeleton of your virtual service for you and you then configure the specifics of how you want it to behave. Secondly, you can start with an empty service that you want to configure and the software will prompt you for the necessary details. This would be appropriate for SOAP, REST or JDBC services. Excel spreadsheets and XML files are supported as well as database connections via JDBC. Thirdly, you can record HTTP/S traffic using the product’s browser. In this case, the software will identify the API transactions that are activated as you work with the application. This allows you to build a virtual service that will simulate specific types of events (content types and response codes) that you want to test. SoapUI Pro is a complementary product that can, among other things, test the security of your APIs by running various OWASP security tests against them, as well as other web services.
As a part of its support for API testing, ServiceV Pro allows you to simulate server conditions that might impair application performance. These conditions would include server capacity, either based on pre-sets or your own custom parameters for thread capacity and response times; network attributes such as connection speed, latency and traffic volumes; and the configuration of error responses in the case of potential API failures.
As far as data service virtualisation is concerned, you can use a data model to generate virtual service responses. This can be done on the fly. The data types supported by SmartBear include identification (name, phone number and so on), location (address), values (integers, strings and so forth) and custom data types that you can define for yourself.
Testing is an extremely important part of the software lifecycle. Moreover, test automation is a necessity in order to enable fast, efficient testing that can keep pace with modern application development. But despite advanced test automation technologies and practices, your testing can still cause a bottleneck if your tests are dependent on services or APIs that may or, more importantly, may not be available at any given time. This is often the case if they are unstable or provided by a third-party. ServiceV Pro allows you to replace these unreliable services and APIs with virtual services throughout the testing process, thus minimising downtime and cost while retaining accuracy.
Moreover, ServiceV Pro is part of a broader suite of testing tools, all provided by SmartBear, that covers the whole of the testing spectrum, including functional, load, API and unit testing. SmartBear’s support for API testing and management is particularly extensive. Furthermore, it is important to recognise that APIs, like any other software, have a lifecycle all of their own, and SmartBear offers products to support every stage of this lifecycle. For example, SwaggerHub aids in API design and development, while AlertSite adds monitoring. ServiceV Pro in particular provides strong features in support of API testing. All of these products are fully integrated with each other, and components created in one may be reused across the entire product suite. All in all, this allows ServiceV Pro to form a significant part of a complete and end-to-end API development, management and testing solution.
The Bottom Line
ServiceV Pro is a competent service virtualisation solution with a marked emphasis on API testing. Although it is more than capable on its own, it really shines when deployed as part of the full suite of SmartBear API management products. In short, if you are primarily concerned with virtualising APIs, then ServiceV Pro, either as a standalone product or in concert with SmartBear’s other offerings, should absolutely be on your shortlist.