SOA and Performance Testing

By Ian Molyneaux
December 7, 2008


I would be very interested in general opinion about the need or indeed the requirement to performance test software applications from the perspective of Service Oriented Architecture.

Certainly SOA is starting to emerge as something that finally has some sort of common industry definition and is (apparently) being adopted by increasing numbers of businesses as the basis of internal IT strategy going forward.

Having recently authored "The Art of Application Performance Testing" (Due out Jan 2009) it seems to me that SOA will become an increasingly significant factor in business process /software application design and may require a whole new breed of automated testing tools to provide an effective performance (and functional) testing capability.

Current performance testing requirements that dip into the SOA abyss focus on technologies like Web Services that are "service-orientated" but at a tactical rather than strategic level .They are only one small piece in a very complex jigsaw of technologies and business processes that might represent a SOA performance testing requirement.

The challenge will be whether performance testing remains at the tactical level or whether tool vendors can rise to the challenge of dealing with the abstraction that SOA brings to the definition of a "transaction" that can be encapsulated and replayed as a single entity.

Interesting times ahead for the performance tester.
Take care
Ian Molyneaux

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