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Web Services Test Automation: Framework, Challenges & Benefits

Web services provide a standard means of interoperating between software

applications running on a variety of platforms and frameworks. These services form
basis of a connection technology such that services are connected together into a
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Further, services communicate with each other
using web services, the most used connection technology of SOA. Web services
effectuate a standardized way of integrating web-based applications using XML, Simple
Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Description Language (WSDL), and UDDI
open standards over an internet protocol. A Web service is offered by an electronic
device to another electronic device, communicating with each other via the World Wide
Web. It is also true that a failed web service creates havoc not only to the managers but
also to the administrators who are responsible for the servers wellbeing. A failure also
causes problems to the clients trying to call the particular web service.

The most important primary elements of web services are repository, messaging, and
service. Since web services are distributed over networks and applications, the testing
requirements need to be inclusive of the interfaces. Web services are inherently
vulnerable to additional risks in the areas of integration and interoperability. They can
be implemented using any programming language on any platform, provided that a
standardized XML interface description called WSDL is available. A standardized

messaging protocol called SOAP is also used at the same time. Web services often run
over HTTP but may run over other application layer transport protocols as well.
Automating web services testing facilitates reduction of overall testing efforts.
What are the challenges faced by Web Services?
Lack of assurance of trustworthiness
Improper provision of clients input parameters might be a major challenge
Malicious users can manipulate the different parameters at times to draw
unauthorized information
Unavailability of source code is a major challenge to white-box testing
Web Services Testing
Web services provide seamless connections from one software application to another
over private intranets and the Internet. Web services testing considers functionality and
load aspects to check how a Web service performs for single clients and scales as the
number of clients accessing it increases. Testing of Web services is useful to prevent late
detection of errors, which requires complex and costly repairs. Testing enables the
detection of errors, evaluation, and approval of system qualities at an earlier stage. An
automated test approach in particular helps to efficiently repeat tests whenever
needed. In particular, test automation will be essential to a sound and efficient Web
services development process, for the assessment of the functionality, performance,
and scalability of Web services.
Web Services Testing includes the following tasks:

Generate the client or skeleton code for the web service

Define the required test inputs
Invoke the web service using the client or skeleton code
Client or skeleton code generation and response verification
Verify that the actual response is similar to that of the expected outcome

Web Services Testing Tools

There are various web services testing tools available, such as ManageEngine, QEngine,
SoapUI, TestMaker, WebInject toolsets etc. These tools are built on open source
tools/libraries/frameworks and thus help reduce overall costs and help increase

automation efficiency by minimizing initial coding effort. These tools help to quickly
create and execute automated functional, regression, compliance and loading tests.
Finally, they help reduce dependency on technically skilled resources. In todays fast
paced world, a quicker test cycle at lower cost is vital to stay competitive and thus
reusable test automation frameworks coupled with open source tools and technologies
is a key solution to shrink test cycle time and related costs.

There are Web Services test automation frameworks available that are designed and
developed by many testing service providers and adopting them reflects more
effectiveness. Some of their important features & benefits are detailed below
Web Services Test Automation Framework Features

Customizable frameworks developed based on the need

Flexible test suites and test cases can be configured
Enables test script creation with minimal coding effort
Instantly sets the headers and assertions for SOAP requests
Easily parses the XML requests with inputs
Minimal or no scripting required from the end user
Enhanced reports and logs provided for reference and future action

Benefits by Adopting Web Services Test Automation Frameworks

Improves performance and reliability of the SOA

Eases testing of both SOA-based and REST API-based web services
Supports test execution of web services in a cloud environment
Ensures 100% Functional Test coverage
Windmill, QEngine, Soasta CloudTest, Selenium, LoadStorm (Web & Mobile), etc.

Gallop Solutions, with years of automation expertise in open source technologies have
developed Web Service Test Accelerator (WSTA). It is a proprietary, easy to use
framework and automates the web services testing of SOA-based applications at the
interface level and reduces the need to support testing in parallel to the development
phase. The accelerator supports both functional testing and performance testing of the
web services and reduces test case authoring effort by 80%.

Contact Gallops WSTA specialists to know more about this framework.

Tags: Performance Test Automation, Test Automation, web services test automation, web
services test automation framework, web services testing, web services testing challenges, web
services testing tools