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App Development
6 minutes read

Service Virtualization: A Modern Testing Environment 

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

In today’s fast-paced, Agile development environments, continuous testing is vital to ensure the quality of software components. However, performance testing can be difficult if certain components or behaviors are unavailable to testing teams. 

Service virtualization enables development and testing teams to simulate behaviors or software components to ensure dependent systems are functioning properly before deployment. Virtual services are critical to the software development lifecycle. 

This post will explain service virtualization and its importance to the development process. We will also look at a few of the top service virtualization tools available to development teams. 

What Is Service Virtualization? 

Service virtualization imitates key components of software for testing purposes. The dependent components that service virtualization can mimic include virtual assets such as APIs, databases, and networks. These tools can also imitate specific device behavior. 

With the rise of service-oriented architectures (SOA), there are several reasons why a dependent, behavior-critical component might be unavailable for testing purposes. 

For example, dependent components might still be in development or maintenance. In other cases, dependent components might be third-party services that are costly or even restricted. 

However, with service virtualization, testers can create a complete test environment and test all dependent components, even if they are restricted or still in development. As a result, continuous performance testing can be executed throughout the development cycle. 

The Importance of Service Virtualization 

Service virtualization is important to operations teams for several reasons. In development and testing environments, service virtualization plays a vital role by:

  • Reducing dependent components 
  • Faster time to market 
  • Higher quality software 
  • Cost savings 

Reducing Dependent Components 

Reducing dependencies can save your organization time, money, and stress. Dependencies can hold back development and testing and pit different teams against one another. 

A dependent component can come in two forms, internal or external. An internal dependent component occurs when testing tasks cannot occur due to development or maintenance. For example, a test session cannot cover what hasn’t been developed yet. 

External dependencies are linked to third-party services like APIs. An API might not be available, or it could limit third-party calls, which makes API testing costly and difficult. 

With service virtualization, test environments can be created that eliminate these dependencies so your teams can test early and test often. 

Faster Time to Market 

Service virtualization can help your organization get its product to market faster. Waiting for internal teams or third parties to finish their work can be frustrating and waste the most precious resource of all, time. 

Virtual services enable your organization’s teams to work in parallel and be far more efficient and productive. Service virtualization mimics vital components and enables load testing, API testing, integration testing, and performance testing to happen earlier. 

As a result, your organization can utilize virtual services to reduce the time required for thorough development and testing and get its product in the hands of users sooner. Sometimes, being the most successful solution means being the first product to market. 

Higher Quality Software 

When your organization has a complete test environment that can test missing virtual assets, it has total test coverage. Service virtualization enables your teams to test earlier in the process, leading to the production of higher-quality software products

In addition, with service virtualization, your teams can test a product under various conditions. It is helpful to see how a service will interact with other facets of the software in a test environment before it is used. 

This enables developers to design for the specific needs of each service. When you test earlier in the development process, you get better results. The right service virtualization solution can radically improve the quality of the software your teams produce. 

Cost Savings 

Service virtualization can help your organization save money in two significant ways. It helps your organization avoid the service charges associated with using an API, database, or other third-party services in your test environment.

In addition, since service virtualization enables parallel development, your organization saves time and money that would otherwise have been idle time waiting for dependencies to unblock testing tasks. 

Top Service Virtualization Tools 

There are several service virtualization tools your business can utilize. We can’t cover every single available tool, but we can cover a few of the tools that are the most compelling, including:

  • Mountebank 
  • CA Service Virtualization 
  • Parasoft Virtualize 
  • Hoverfly Cloud 


Mountebank is an open-source virtualization tool best suited for multi-protocol tests. The codebase for Mountebank is Node.js, so if you’re unfamiliar with this language, you might not want to use this tool. 

Mountebank strives to be fully cross-platform and utilizes native language bindings. Teams can use Mountebank for free without any platform or load constraints. As a result, this tool is worth exploring in greater detail. 

CA Service Virtualization 

CA Service Virtualization enables teams to simulate unavailable systems throughout the development lifecycle. This virtualization tool helps developers and QA testers to work closely together to deliver high-quality apps faster. 

Using CA Service Virtualization, dependent systems such as mainframes and external service providers can be virtualized to streamline development tasks. This is a popular tool for organizations that want to reduce the demand for development environments. 

Parasoft Virtualize

Reduce the constraints of downstream dependencies with Parasoft Virtualize. This virtualization tool enables users to create, deploy, and manage virtual services, data, and systems in reusable test environments.

In addition, Parasoft Virtualize allows testers to integrate service virtualization with API testing to create more efficient workflows. 

Hoverfly Cloud 

Hoverfly Cloud is an integrated service virtualization tool designed for automation, integration, and performance. Using this tool, organizations can optimize virtualized services to handle varying workloads. 

Hoverfly is easy to deploy on AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. In addition, teams can scale the service on-demand to meet the performance requirements of tests. 

Final Thoughts 

Service virtualization is an important part of modern software development. If you want to create a more efficient development process, consider using service virtualization tools. If you are interested in learning more about service virtualization and its benefits, reach out to an experienced software development partner like Koombea.

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