New tools target software QA, testing: Spring roundup

This spring roundup covers new software QA and testing products shown at JavaOne, IBM Rational and other spring conferences.

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While consumers now have the new Java Store to access games, social software applications, productivity software, unveiled by Sun Microsystems at JavaOne this week, QA and testing professionals also have some shopping opportunities with the variety of new products that rolled out at JavaOne and the IBM Rational Software Conference and elsewhere this spring.

On the requirements front, visualization company iRise, based in El Segundo, Calif., announced the availability of iRise Connect for IBM Rational Requirements Composer. Built on IBM's Jazz platform, the integration will make iRise visualizations accessible from within the Composer requirements definition tool, leveraging the iRise SmartView wrapper technology. According to the company, the visualization assets are published in real time from iRise to the Requirements Composer repository and can be linked into the web of other Requirements Composer requirements artifacts.

Addressing interoperability issues, JNBridge at JavaOne announced version 1.2 of its JMS Adapter for .NET, which now supports distributed transactions with full rollback capability. The adapter provides single-step integration between JMS (Java Messaging Service) capabilities and .NET Framework-based applications, allowing JMS to fully participate in .NET transactions.

"The main thing we're focusing on this year in adapters is transactions," said Wayne Citrin, CTO of JNBridge. "Everything that happens inside a transaction has to happen or not; it's all or nothing. If a withdrawal action succeeds but a deposit fails, you want it all to roll back as if nothing happened. There's a way to do it in all .NET or all Java, but there's not a good way [in a] mixed [environment]. As a step toward that we're adding transactions to our adapters."

According to the company, in version 1.2 of the adapter, if a .NET-side operation fails inside a transaction, and the transaction must be rolled back, JMS messages that are consumed as part of the transaction will be placed back on the JMS queue, ensuring that no data is lost.

The JNBridge JMS Adapter for .NET integrates any vendor's JMS implementation directly with a .NET Framework-based application. The JNBridge JMS Adapter for .NET is available for download. JNBridge senior software engineer, Bill Heinzman talks about uses of JNBridge's Java.Net interoperability tools.

On the development front, Delaware, Md.-based JRapid Corp. launched JRapid at JavaOne, a platform as a service for rapid application development of AJAX Web applications. JRapid is made up of a code generator, a Web-based IDE and an Elastic Java Cloud. The Elastic Java Cloud enables users to run and access products from anywhere, with cloud SaaS scalability. JRapid debuted its Alpha Tester Program at JavaOne.

Build-and-test products

Vendors have also rolled out products for build and test. Mountain View, Calif.-based Viewtier Systems released Parabuild 4.0 at JavaOne, a build, test and software release management tool. The 4.0 version, which provide continuous integration, features automatic load balancing and transparent failover for build farm, and over 40 new features and enhancements. Included are real-time load monitoring for build farms, an extensive Web Service API, simplified system administration, support for 8GB database files and integration with AccuRev VCS. A free, fully functional evaluation of Parabuild is available.

Earlier in the spring, the build management and continuous integration product TeamCity 4.5 was announced by Prague-based JetBrains. In the 4.5 version, user groups are now supported when defining user roles and notifications, and there is extended LDAP support with automatic user profile synchronization. UI improvements include tests grouping and project-wide test details, problematic tests and change log. Responsibility for broken builds can also be assigned in this version. In addition to traditional test results handling, TeamCity can now parse raw XML reports from ANT's JUnit tasks, NUnit, Surefire, PMD and FindBugs. Also, the Mono framework is now automatically detected and can be used as a .NET platform for continuous builds, according to the vendor.

TeamCity 4.5 Professional is available free for small- and middle-sized development teams. TeamCity 4.5 Enterprise is available for a 60-day free trial download.

Mobile application testing tools, frameworks

For testers working on mobile applications, members of the mobile industry working within the Unified Test Initiative (UTI) announced new Java Verified program capabilities and the JATAF (Java Application Terminal Alignment Framework) at JavaOne. JATAF is a new open source project where members of the global Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) ecosystem are collaborating to streamline testing of applications across a wide range of mobile phones and handheld devices.

The UTI enhancements provide developers with new tools for ensuring quality throughout the entire testing process and the ability to test applications across a greater number of devices at a lower cost. More information about all of the enhancements is available on the company's site. The site also links to a new Java Verified program testing submission portal.

The collaborative, open source JATAF project, founded by France Telecom/Orange, Sony Ericsson, Sun Microsystems and Vodafone, will provide tests and a framework to run those tests. Initial tests have been contributed, under the Eclipse Public License, by Sony Ericsson and France Telecom/Orange. The tests are built to run on the Java Device Test Framework, contributed by Sun, and available to the community under the GPLv2 license. All Java ME developers are encouraged to participate in the JATAF community at no cost. More information is available at www.jataf.com.

Finally, on the security front, Arxan Technologies Inc., Bethesda, Md., earlier this spring expanded its GuardIT family of software protection products to include GuardIT for Java. Use cases for Arxan's Guard series of products include software intellectual property protection, stopping tampering of enterprise software, license management protection and digital rights management access protection. Arxan CTO and engineering describes platforms supported by and uses for GuardIT.

Application hardening technologies used by GuardIT for Java protection framework include: a multi-defense approach with both string encryption and renaming; bytecode-level obfuscation and secure class loading; real-time alerts of attempted system compromise; the application can dynamically and intelligently react to attempted attacks; for example through self-healing code; and strengthened security through configuration options for the privacy of debugging information.

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