Discussions

News: New book on Testing J2EE Apps for Function, Scale & Concurrency

  1. I am happy to announce the immediate availability of my new book Automating Web Tests with TestMaker

    Being at the center of the PushToTest community (now serving 38,000 software developers, QA technicians and IT managers) gives me a wonderful view of current software development practices. Recently, I realized that the time was right for me to write a 305-page book of my favorite experiences, tips and techniques. Let me tell you how I got there.

    From my perspective, we live in a unique time. This is the first time that software developers, QA technicians and IT managers agree on a framework and infrastructure to build distributed applications. But, just consider the complexity built-into today's application software!

    On the server-side, J2EE, .NET and open-API technology (for example, the Tomcat/Struts engine) gives us a huge range of APIs: From Web pages, database access, and Web Service interoperability, to asynchronous message queues and email messaging, and literally dozens more. Consequently, we can build sophisticated and powerful applications that leverage the many parts of an enterprise infrastructure. I wondered: "With all these APIs and protocols, how will I test my application?". Consider that there is no single client-side API to test everything that J2EE can do on the server side.

    For example, I find that unit testing is very good to ensure that the server-side software components I write do what I say they will. But I also find that some of my components require the correct state before they may be unit tested. For example, a Java Bean that fires-off an announcement email message when 100 new orders have been placed needs to have 100 orders entered to be tested! TestMaker provides a framework and utility to build test scripts to automate this kind of set-up. "Automating Web Tests" shows how to automate tests, even if the component under test uses a combination of J2EE, .NET and open-API protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, XML-RPC, SMTP, POP3, and IMAP. And I can even have my unit tests use my TestMaker scripts directly.

    And just as importantly, the QA technicians I work with can take my TestMaker scripts, that check for functionality, and run them in the TestMaker environment concurrently to check the system for scalability, concurrency and regression problems. When they find a problem, the TestMaker logs show us both the problem location in much more detail. "Automating Web Tests" shows how to construct, run and analyze these tests!

    One other benefit to this approach, IT managers take my TestMaker scripts and keep them running over time. The TestMaker scripts log the proof that the system is working. And the reports make a fine Quality-of-Service report to management and customers.

    From these experiences I found that TestMaker makes an excellent framework and utility for testing J2EE, .NET and open-API applications from the client-side. In "Automating Web Tests" you will find my experiences, tips and techniques while building and using TestMaker. Take a look at:

    http://www.pushtotest.com/ptt/books/awtbook.html

    There you will find the complete table of contents, a free download of chapter 3 on Testing in HTTP/HTML Environments, and the complete index.

    The book covers:

    - Testing in HTTP/HTML environments
    - Testing on IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic, SunONE, and Microsoft .NET platforms
    - Testing in SOAP/WSDL environments
    - Automating test set-up
    - Testing in .NET environments
    - Testing email systems
    - Multi-protocol testing (HTTP, HTTPS, XML-RPC, SOAP, SMTP, IMAP, POP3, and more)
    - Testing in secure environments using PKI/SSL
    - Methods for effective results analysis
    - Building an entire test suite
    - Installing and configuring TestMaker

    http://www.pushtotest.com/ptt/books/awtbook.html

    Thanks for your support!

    Frank Cohen
    Founder
    PushToTest
  2. Full disclosure:
    I know Frank (the author) and helped him develop TestMaker and helped review the book. (I'm not on the payroll though.)

    That being said. . .
    I think this book is great. One of the hidden gems that he forgot to mention was the 20 something example scripts that show you how to do a lot of interesting things with the TestMaker. It covers how to test SOAP services and HTML web applications along with others.

    TestMaker is also Free (open-source if you like), licensed under an Apache-style license, so you can dig into the code if you want. (Of course, Frank will be more than happy to sell you a support contract too if that's something that you need or want.)

    I've found TestMaker really helpful to use during development to automate repetitive processes that you have to walk through sometimes. Like when you are testing a multi-step web transaction and you need to run through the whole thing to get to the 5th step that you are currently developing - things like that. It's a very flexible tool, so everyone seems to have their own favorite use.