Gartner: API testing and Service Virtualization is a critical one-two punch for QA


The rise of mobile and cloud computing and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) are presenting all kinds of new challenges for Quality Assurance teams. Most likely, these issues and challenges are costing your enterprise money, lots of it.

What kind of challenges? Let’s start here:

  • Your app under test likely relies on external components that might or might not be available. That slows down your time to market.
  • You need constant access to dependent systems, such as mainframes, third-party applications, partner software and other services while testing your app. That access costs money, and it might not always be available. Again, that slows down your time to market and costs you money.


A market report from the analysts from Gartner says service API Testing and virtualization solutions can make a big difference, resulting in faster delivery of new business functionality in the increasingly complex IT environment.

“The need for API testing and service virtualization is becoming increasingly important as IT organizations develop bimodal capability to support mobile, digital business transformation initiatives in the Internet of Things,” Gartner says.

The report, which you can download here for free, touts service virtualization as a capability that “enables earlier, continuous, complete and parallel development and testing of software in a highly complex, heterogeneous and distributed environment. It can also reduce overall test lab costs.”

If service virtualization is a new concept to you, check out our primer on the topic here. In short, it allows you to a way to simulate the behavior and responses from any number of complex, interdependent and/or limited services. That removes the constraints that keep people — expensive engineers — boosting their Candy Crush ratings or just sitting around when they should be testing your new apps. The net result is more testing, earlier in the dev cycle.

Says Gartner: “Service virtualization shifts the ability to test applications earlier in their development life cycle, enabling integration and release processes to happen faster, with higher quality and less risk. It also enables other nonfunctional testing, such as performance testing against a simulated connection or load testing that simulates multiple connections.”

The analysts recommended that heads of development take four steps in regards to getting the API testing/SV ball rolling at your company:

1. Evaluate your current software development and delivery processes, identifying the biggest issues and challenges from process and skills perspectives. This will lead toward an effective solution and guide the required skills to develop or acquire.

2. Involve roles from different functions and share ownership across several competency leaders in adopting technologies and tools. This will help identify key obstacles to overcome and provide work-arounds so the project can move forward smoothly.

3. Develop a plan for acquiring technologies and tools that will enable much earlier testing in the development life cycle, continuous integration and faster release processes.

4. Adopt a long-term tooling strategy that factors in business needs and requirements, existing processes, tool requirements, benefits, costs, expertise and training.

For more on the benefits of service virtualization and API testing, check out our post from last September where CA Technologies’ Krishna Vishnubhotla laid out the 5 ways SV speeds development and improves app quality.

You should also look at some of the other independent research, primarily a number of studies from voke. We’ve covered some of them here.