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iTKO LISA Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Salvatore Genovese, Pat Romanski, Maureen O'Gara, Andreas Grabner

Related Topics: iTKO LISA Journal, Agile Software Development, Enterprise IT: Moving CapEx to OpEx , SOA Best Practices Digest, Datacenter Automation, SOA & WOA Magazine, SOA in the Cloud Expo

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Agile SOA Across the Lifecycle with LISA - Part One: Introduction

This is the first of a six part series of posts on how ITKO LISA works across the Agile life cycle. For years, testing was an siloed activity that used different and unconnected tools within specific phases of the application lifecycle.  First, a development team would run a suite of JUnit tests as part of a build process. Then a QA team would manually create and run a suite of functional tests against a user interface. Performance teams would use a separate set of load tests to exercise and monitor the completed application.In this old world, there was not much sharing of information and test assets among these teams, beyond the occasional text ???bug report??? that carried little context into the root causes of problems that occurred. This occurred largely because the available test tools created scripted test assets that were incompatible, and largely irrelevant to the next team???s process in the chain. Unit tests were good for developers to test for structural bugs in code, but those tests didn???t translate into any business context for the QA team. The QA team would instead script their own UI tests, which don???t exercise components or code in a way that developers can use to track down root causes.This was not a very efficient process so companies began to align their people around better process tools that reach across the silos to better manage development, integration and management of their applications.  Agility is not just about delivering faster, it also bumps up the reliability of enterprise applications, by instilling a higher degree of collaboration and control across these suites of application lifecycle tools and processes. Agile promises many development efficiencies and increased flexibility. See Chris Spagnuolo???s post on Embracing Change with Agile Practices for a nice description of the flexibility in agile ad the ability to make mid-course corrections. However, if testing and validation is not handled right, risks will emerge compromising these gains. In this series we are going to look at four aspects of the Agile lifecycle: test & quality management, application lifecycle management, IT operations, monitoring and performance, IT and SOA governance.  But first, let???s take a look at a sample of leading application process tools we often encounter within iTKO customer sites.The goal of all application process tools is to enforce some kind of workflow into an aspect of the software lifecycle, be it around testing, development, operations or governance and integration of the overall IT infrastructure. Direct testability and validation of most SOA and enterprise software components that are managed by leading process tools is a must. By supporting the workflow of these tools with executable test assets, we provide a higher degree of predictability and performance from the resulting application, while allowing development, testing and operations teams to better manage their process with the methods and tools they prefer. While many of the above vendor solutions might work across different domains (for instance ALM might include some Test Management), we???ve provided the above table as a sample of the tools encountered in typical IT customer environments. Key to Agile development practices is the tight interaction of testing with development activities, for faster delivery time of prioritized business functionality. In essence, a test or validation is an asset that is stored in, launched from, or provides feedback into the above process and automation tools, contributing to the goal of Agility for SOA. In our next post, we will cover the test & quality management phase.  You can download this complete series on "Agile SOA" at our ITKO LISA resources page.  

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