Archive for September, 2008

Author: admin
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

I’ve been holding a kind of informal survey lately, asking everyone I meet to define SOA for me. Not that it stands for Service-Oriented Architecture, but rather what it actually means within their organization and what value it holds. The reality is, while there are many viewpoints on what SOA might entail and a general sense that there’s something worthwhile to it, it’s a sadly misused term. The reason for that is that SOA is being sold to two different groups for two very different purposes. With this in mind, I’d like to propose two completely distinct, yet equally valid viewpoints:

1) SOA is the abstraction of corporate intellectual property and processes from their method of delivery and provider source.

2) SOA is a software design architecture where applications are decomposed into fine-grained, decoupled, abstracted, multi-purpose services. A hallmark of SOA is an emphasis on loose-coupling through message-format based protocols, rather than the function signature based agreement of earlier distributed architectures.

This second definition involves some delicate thinking about how distributed applications are built from an application performance perspective. At J9, we’ve been working with this type of application and the performance problems common in distributed applications for a number of years now. SOA is hard to do right, but solves a major, common bottleneck if undertaken with care. This problem is one of course-grained applications, which invariably end up with sizable data sets to be serialized / deserialized on both ends of the connection. Put simply, J9′s consultants have seen countless applications where for example, 1 megabyte or more of XML is sent from a server to a client, with high-CPU creation and parsing, and equally-unacceptable latency the result.

SOA really is the answer to this, as companies like will attest to. According to an article based on a conversation with Werner Vogels, titled Learning from the Amazon Technology Platform, Amazon’s front page is made up of more than a hundred distinct service invocations which fire simultaneously and are reassembled asynchronously into the page you see. The point here is that each of those actions involved — like checking who you are, the status of your shopping cart, what favorites to present you, and so on — have been decomposed and abstracted into fine-grained, light-weight services.

A much misunderstood but highly-touted feature of this type of architecture is the speed of replacing any of those services with an alternative provider. Personally, I have trouble imagining it being possible to replace any sufficiently complex service simply by making a url change, but there’s still a nugget of truth to this point. By keeping services extremely granular and general purpose, it’s practically innate that such a service will be easier to make changes to and deploy — a smaller code base means fewer dependencies and potential for conflict.

In this regard, SOA becomes a manifestation of the best practices in software development that have been argued for years:

— Smaller, more manageable code bases
— Clearer division of labor
— Abstraction of systems logic from delivery and access
— Discrete, unit-testable components
— Improved performance for both server and network resources

So in the end, while SOA may have begun life as a broad marketing term, there is a concrete definition, the value of which should resonate with technical and business-minded people alike.

Category: J9 Blog and News, SOA  | Comments off
Author: admin
Thursday, September 25th, 2008

We are hitting up as many conferences as we can without pulling out our hair in pre- and post-conference angst, this is yet another one that we will be giving bottle openers away at! And that is not all. We will have bookmarks! (In case you still read that paper stuff – and lest you forget about the digitized ordeal when you do.) And of course, you can get a free trial for our new LoadRunner Protocol Add-ins, or a login to our cool On Demand Testing Suite.

Here is the plug from the SOAworld conference organizers. When we find out our booth number, we will be sure to post it here first.

The 14th International SOA World Conference & Expo 2008 West will take place on November 19-21, 2008 at The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA.

The most important business benefit that service-oriented architecture (SOA) can provide is the ability to respond swiftly to change: changes in the market, the supply chain, strategic processes, and regulations. Make sure that you are able in 2008/9 to declare your own company’s SOA journey toward such responsiveness and agility a success. Come to SOA World Conference & Expo 2008 West and learn just how much SOA can do for your business and for your developers.

There is no other event in the USA with as rich and varied opportunities for learning, networking, and tracking innovation occurring in the IT infrastructure, architecture, and standards communities. The speakers are all seasoned SOA practitioners with a passion for helping to usher in the new era of IT agility made possible by standardized best practices, pervasive communication & data protocols, and a general movement toward openness and interop in the industry.

Category: J9 Blog and News  | Comments off
Author: admin
Thursday, September 25th, 2008

As you may already know* the folks at J9 Technologies are pleased to announce that we will be attending the StarWest 2008 Conference in Anaheim, CA next week. The conference runs for days and days, but we will be participating as an exhibitor, so as far as we are concerned the most important part of the conference goes from Sept. 30th through Oct. 2nd. We will be showing off our new Protocol Add-ins for LoadRunner, giving demos and free trial licenses for them, unveiling to our new On Demand Testing Suite, and generally schmoozing with strangers. Come by and visit us at Booth #9 and see the only one-handed bottle opener you will probably ever get for free.

And if all of that doesn’t give you reason enough, and you are still in the fence about such a proposition, here are the top ten reasons to attend this event – as compiled by the StarWest organizers themselves. Some of which may seem boring, yet informative.

1. Over 100 learning sessions: tutorials, keynotes, conference sessions, bonus sessions, and more
2. In-depth tutorials, half- and full-day options—double the number of classes from last year
3. Cutting-edge testing answers from top testing experts
4. Presentations from highly experienced testing professionals
5. Networking opportunities with your peers in the industry
6. Special events—welcome reception, bookstore, meet the speakers, and more
7. The largest testing EXPO anywhere
8. Group discounts—bring your whole team
9. The perfect balance of learning and fun in Southern California
10. All this at the happiest place on Earth—Disneyland® Hotel!

We hope to see you there!

*If you don’t already know about a certain Belated Disneyland Fetish that one marketing manager in our company has, please scroll down to the posting featuring keyword “Disneyland” to learn all about the excitement first hand.

Author: admin
Monday, September 22nd, 2008

With the explosion of Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) applications and their SOA counterparts, QA professionals must face the challenge of creating real-world testing conditions for these complicated, multi-node, composite applications. From a testing perspective…How do you generate hundreds of unique messages every second? How do you simulate a transaction that consists of HTTP, SOAP, JMS and JDBC protocols? What is the maximum de-queue rate of the application’s Message-Driven Beans? How can you test all of the possible routes a message may take through the application without requiring the Java knowledge to hand-code an extensive test harness?

The JMS Protocol Add-in helps you tackle these problems head on. By extending the capabilities of HP LoadRunner, the JMS Protocol Add-in help stress and isolate problems in the messaging tier and ensure applications are deployed with confidence. Turn a new page on middleware performance testing In today’s multi-tier distributed applications, some of the most critical bottlenecks reside in connections to backend systems, such as a database, message queue or the mainframe. In the past, the crucial task of isolating, testing and tuning messaging operations required creation of complex scripts that rely on in-depth Java and application knowledge. This adds a
tremendous burden to the already full plates faced by many quality assurance teams.
The JMS Protocol Add-in from J9 Technologies helps you stress the messaging middleware
layer and identify bottlenecks before deploying in production. Based on years of testing and diagnostics expertise in helping some of the world’s largest enterprises,
this solution automatically captures all JMS traffic going from a Java application to the backend message queues and plays them back to directly exercise the messaging tier
for high concurrency testing.

The JMS Protocol Add-in for HP LoadRunner helps you:
• Verify messaging infrastructure
supports a high volume of messages
• Obtain an accurate picture of backend
system performance
• Isolate and eliminate performance
bottlenecks in the messaging tier

How it works

Leveraging HP LoadRunner and VuGen technology, the JMS Protocol Add-in records all JMS put and get operations and captures them in standardized scripts. These scripts can be used to simulate targeted loads in terms of concurrent users to almost any JMS provider. This easy-to-use solution helps QA teams scale up backend testing by applying very measurable and repeatable loads that expose any potential problems early in the development cycle. The JMS Protocol Add-in eliminates the dependency on the application tier for direct testing of the messaging tier. Autogenerated scripts represent real-world load, and can be easily parameterized to create accurate and realistic mix of users for stressing the messaging tier. Detailed measurements are captured and provided to the HP LoadRunner Analysis application for side-by-side metric comparisons between test runs.

Get more out of Hp LoadRunner
HP LoadRunner is the market leading performance validation solution embraced by 77% of all QA professionals. J9’s HP LoadRunner Protocol Add-ins are fully integrated into the full suite of HP LoadRunner solutions. The JMS Protocol Add-in can be used alongside all other HP LoadRunner protocols to create a more realistic and comprehensive load test. With the simplicity of the solution, any skilled HP LoadRunner user can start using JMS Protocol Add-in with no additional training, and be productive immediately. With the JMS Protocol Add-in, recording of all JMS put and get operations happen exactly as they occur in sequence, and entirely on the server side. This unique feature is very beneficial in situations where client side recording is not feasible, and allows for server-side only testing that does not require installing VuGen on the backend systems.

Category: J9 Blog and News, JMS Protocol, Loadrunner, Products  | Comments off