7 Best Service Virtualization Tools in 2018

Guide to the Best Service Virtualization Tools:

Service Virtualization tools are becoming quite common nowadays.

This article will take you through a tour of the best tools available in the market for Service virtualization. We will list the best open source as well as commercial tools and compare these so you will get a better understanding of selecting the best tool for your needs. 

But, before that, let us quickly understand the meaning and need of service virtualization in simple terms to gain a better understanding of the functions of the tools.

What is Service Virtualization?

Service virtualization is a technique to simulate the behavior of certain components in heterogeneous component-based applications, for instance, API-driven applications, cloud-based applications and service-oriented architectures.

Service Virtualization Tools

Why Service Virtualization Testing?

The points given below will brief the need for Service Virtualization.

  • The Live environments can be tested before you have service in it.
  • Slashed delays caused by third-party.
  • Deliver mock to the customer.
  • It supports test-driven development (i.e. create service tests in advance).
  • Allows the teams to work in parallel.
  • Write the test for the resource that is not accessible.
  • Do POC (proof of concept) or demos easily.
  • Saves time and money.
  • Gives you an isolated environment for testing.

Service Virtualization Software

Mostly, all the service virtualization tools are commercial and licensed ones. However, we have many great services mocking tools available in the category of open source tools. When we say ‘mocking’ you should understand the slight difference which exists between mocking and virtualization.

Hence, I will brief you with the differences between the two.

Stubs/mocks are usually employed to “skip” unavailable system components. In contrast, service virtualization lets the team members to simulate environments (or specific components of a software system) and get their behavior accessible to the entire team.

So, Service virtualization may signify much more realistic behavior when compared to simple stubs and mocks.

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Top 7 Service Virtualization Tools

A detailed review of the top 7 tools for service virtualization can be found below. In top list, except for SOAP UI, all of the others are licensed and commercial tools.

Let us now discuss these tools one by one.

#1) ServiceV Pro

ServiceV_pro logo

ServiceV Pro is a virtualization tool from SmartBear (the company behind Swagger and SoapUI) that allows development and testing teams to create, configure, and deploy virtual “copies” of APIs – ensuring system availability and reducing QA costs & bottlenecks. ServiceV Pro is able to virtualize HTTP, REST, SOAP, JMS, and JDBC services.

Users can easily create virtual APIs by recording live traffic, building out the service in the tool’s UI, or simply importing a Swagger or WSDL spec. They can then configure the API, building out responses or connecting to a set of data in a database or CSV file. Once built out, users can deploy their virtual API locally or to a public or private cloud.

ServiceV Pro allows testing and development teams to work on hard to configure, costly, or otherwise unavailable services – making working in an Agile or DevOps environment much more seamless.

Pros:
– Very easy to create services by recording traffic or uploading a spec like Swagger
– Deploy services in seconds locally or to a cloud environment
– Affordable pricing compared to other commercial options
– Easier to get started and faster time-to-value than other tools, because it does not require professional services to set up
– Great customer support and technical support

Cons:
– Limited protocol support for IoT
– Hasn’t been around as long as some of the other options
– Could be more closely aligned other tools in the ReadyAPI suite

=> Click here for a free trial

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#2) CA Service Virtualization (CA LISA)

CA Lisa Logo

This is a commercial product provided by ITKO, a CA Technologies company.

CA LISA service virtualization simulates the unavailable, missing or costly components of a software system across the SDLC thereby allowing development, testing and all the other teams to work in parallel, which, in turn, speeds up the application delivery, incessantly improves quality, cuts down the time to market and reduces the overall cost & risk.

It allows you test and validates anything at any point in the development lifecycle. You can find and fix errors fastly, long before you get to production.

Service Virtualization

As per the feedback from its real users, this is the best and top most tool for service virtualization. It results in 96% reduction in systems wait time, 35% fewer errors in production and 50% faster delivery.

The pricing and licensing of this tool are very expensive when compared with the other similar tools.

Pros:

  • Virtual services setup can be done very quickly.
  • Virtual services can be created by just giving XML request/response pairs.
  • Record and automatically learn response patterns are very useful.
  • There are no deployment and stability issues with CA LISA. It is an extremely stable platform.
  • Great customer support and technical support.
  • Can be easily integrated into your test automation and CI tool.

Cons:

  • There are not any cons. However, there is some room for improvement in VS Easy feature. It could have some catches added to it so that it does not accidentally overwrite someone else’s virtual service.
  • A pretty heavyweight tool. But, this will again depend on the individual requirements.
  • There was some memory leak issue in the earlier versions of this tool.
  • UI testing needs improvement.

Click here for a free Trial.

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#3) Micro Focus Service Virtualization

Micro Focus Logo

Micro Focus service virtualization (earlier HP Service Virtualization) is a commercial tool.

It is an application and data simulation software which empowers the development and testing teams to imitate a service’s behavior so that the delivery does not get impacted in case of no access to the production systems.

The mock virtualization feature of this tool makes the development agiler. It reduces the dependency on the environment and thus saves a lot of cost to the organization. The long-term ROI of this product is good.

This product is worth having when you are having a lot of web services to test. Using server version might cost you less.

Pros:

  • Great scalability.
  • Easy implementation.
  • Simulations can be easily created in its design studio.
  • Step by step wizard. No expert coding required.
  • Can handle dynamic changes.
  • Supports multiple technologies.
  • Provides logging functionality which is very useful.
  • Web-based.
  • Easily integrated with Micro focus testing apps – LoadRunner, ALM, Performance center, UFT.
  • Low TCO (total cost of ownership)

Cons:

  • It uses Excel which is burdensome for larger services. It could be better if it could have used SQL based implementation.
  • Does not support shared schema. Needs a separate SQL server database for each individual user.
  • Could have better and customized look and feel.

Click here for a free trial.

Note: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software is now part of Micro Focus. So, don’t confuse Micro Focus Service Virtual and HPE Service Virtualization as different tools. They are the same only.

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#4) IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server/IBM Green Hat

IBM Rational Test Virtualization Server Logo

With IBM RTVS (aka green hat), you are equipped with a smarter way to test your software.

You can create virtual services for the parts of the system which are not available or not developed yet. Start testing with the virtual services and monitor the results on the dashboard. To ensure the realistic data during testing, it extracts the production data and uses it for testing.

It supports automated performance tests and integration tests. This way, defects can be found earlier and fixed quickly. The RTVS tool comes in a package with IBM Rational Test Workbench.

A large global investment banker has seen their software testing go from 11 days to 13.3 hours when they used IBM RTVS. One of the clients using IBM RTVS could improve the productivity by 200%.

It is not that expensive when compared with the other top commercial tools for service virtualization.

Pros:

  • Improves test coverage and reduces risk.
  • Tests earlier and more often.
  • Fix defects when it is less costly.
  • Get feedback quickly to the development team on new scenarios.
  • Simple and useful validation services like SWIFT, XSD, etc.
  • Unbeatable support for IBM MQ.

Cons:

  • Dependency on various patches.
  • Reporting and dashboard features could be more improved.

Click here for a free trial.

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#5) Tricentis TOSCA Orchestrated Service Virtualization

Tricentis Logo

TOSCA suite’s Orchestrated Service Virtualization (OSV), is a product by an Austrian company Tricentis aids in evening out access to the dependent systems to facilitate execution of tests completely, reliably, and continuously. This tool helps in avoiding testing delays and reduces testing costs.

It simulates the interactions required for testing. It learns the expected interactions automatically by listening to the conversations between AUT and its constrained dependencies. It provides test driven service virtualization and has an automated message validation.

This tool is perfect for independent designing of software tests from the available sub-systems. Some of the leading companies in the world have achieved 90%+ test automation rates by using this TOSCA suite.

Pros:

  • Supports a lot of definition languages, transport protocols, message formats, and standards.
  • Enables Agile continuous testing.
  • Equips enterprises to optimize, manage and automate their software testing.
  • Eliminates testing bottlenecks.
  • Quickly creates intelligent test stubs.
  • Strong integration with Tosca Testsuite.

Cons:

  • You should choose the tool wisely based on your enterprise needs. Without a proper testing methodology and test data management, some enterprises have faced challenges in utilizing this tool to reduce the business risk.
  • Not suitable for small businesses.
  • This tool is currently not supported in India.

Click here for a free trial.

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#6) Soap UI

SoapUI Logo

SoapUI by Smartbear is the world’s most famous and extremely useful open source API testing tool for SOAP and REST APIs. SoapUI pro offers SOAP Service Mocking which creates a replica of the environment that works like the environment you’re replicating”.

This is helpful when you can’t use the real service. SOAPUI Mock Services are highly useful for the scenarios like rapid web services prototyping, client testing or development and TDD(test-driven development). It can help the development teams to quickly mock Web services.

In the year 2014, SOAP UI won the Jolt Awards for the “The Best Testing Tools”.

Pros:

  • User-friendly GUI.
  • SOAP UI mock is very easy to be deployed at the customer end.
  • With a soapUI mock service, you are able to return responses via different types of methods comprising: cycled, randomized, or deterministic.
  • Possible to auto-generate an initial mock.

Cons:

  • This tool lacks in documentation.
  • Sometimes you get delayed responses from the customer support.
  • If you are using a simulation tool for the first time, then creating a mock service in SOAP UI is a bit difficult.

Click here for free download.

Recommend Read => A Series of SOAP UI tutorials.

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#7) Parasoft Virtualize

Parasoft Logo

Parasoft Virtualize is a service virtualization product which can build, deploy, and manage replicated test environments to aid in software development and software testing. These environments can imitate the behavior of dependent resources that are inaccessible, unavailable, or hard to configure for development or testing.

Parasoft Virtualize replicates the behavior of dependent resources like mainframes, databases, web services, ERP systems, third-party information systems, or any other systems that are out of direct reach of a developer or tester.

This product is used in combination with hardware/OS virtualization in order to make the required resources available to developers and testers so that they can execute their tasks earlier, quicker and better. Its technologies for automating continuous testing are used for continuous delivery, continuous integration, and continuous release.

Price involved in the initial setup of this tool is bit high. However, with the ease of creating, deploying maintaining and managing complex virtual assets, it turns out to be a very cost efficient one in the long term.

Clients using this tool have experienced that their SDLC gets speed up significantly which, in turn, helps to deliver the things quickly to the testing team.

Pros:

  • Fast generation of virtual assets through service definitions, for instance, WSDL.
  • The common data is reusable for other fields like test automation or test data management.
  • The usage of this tool does not require much technical knowledge.
  • A powerful visual interface to manage and create virtual services.

Cons:

  • The virtual asset has to be redeployed after each update.
  • Improvements could be made in giving reports about the status of the test environments.
  • It has only role based authorization. It could have data based authorization as well.

Click here for a free trial.

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Service Virtualization Tools Comparison

Before we move ahead, I would like you to take a pause here and review the below matrix that compares the companies which provide the above 7 service virtualization tools.

 Company NameCompany SizeRevenueSome major customersWebsite
Smartbear ServiceV ProSmarbear201 to 500 employees$50 to $100 million (USD) per year1-800-Flowers, 1st Software, Adobe, Google, Intelwww.smartbear.com
CA LISAITKO (now known as CA technologies)51 to 200 employees$25 to $50 million (USD) per yearFirst Data, American Airlines, Oracle, ANZ, DirecTVwww.itko.com
Micro Focus Service VirtualizationMicro focus (Micro focus and HPE have merged recently in 2017)10000+ employees$2 to $5 billion (USD) per yearAIG, American Express, Comcast, Microsoft, BMWwww.microfocus.com
IBM RTVSIBM10000+ employees$10+ billion (USD) per yearEE, HSBC, BT, Network Rail, Vodafonewww.ibm.com

Tricentis OSVTricentis51 to 200 employees$10 to $25 million (USD) per yearERSTE BANK CROATIA, SWISS REwww.tricentis.com
Soap UISmarbear201 to 500 employees$50 to $100 million (USD) per year1-800-Flowers, 1st Software, Adobe, Google, Intelwww.smartbear.com
Parasoft VirtualizeParasoft51 to 200 employees$5 to $10 million (USD) per yearAT&T, Philips, ESPN, CIBC, Charles SCHWABwww.parasoft.com

Additional Service Virtualization Software to Explore

We had enough discussion on the top 7 tools, some other tools are also worth mentioning here. I will give you a brief introduction of the following tools which are also very helpful for service virtualization/mocking.

#8) Traffic Parrot

Traffic Parrot Logo

Traffic Parrot is a commercial tool for service virtualization and API mocking which helps the enterprises to simulate back-end and third-party dependencies. It is a very lightweight tool with flexible deployment options.

This tool is ideal for testing microservices.

Click here for a free trial.

#9) Citrus Framework

Citrus Logo

Citrus is service virtualization open source tool. It’s free.

It offers tooling for complex integration test with immense validation capabilities for XML, JSON and plain text. Throughout the test executions, Citrus is capable of acting on both the sides as a client and/or server emulating the request/response messages.

Click here to download.

#10) Hoverfly Service Virtualization

HoverFly Logo

Hoverfly by SpectoLabs is a very lightweight, super quick and easy to use open source service virtualization/API simulation tool that is intended for developers and testers.

It is suitable for modern micro service development.

Click here to download.

#11) Wiremock

WireMock Logo

WireMock is an open source service virtualization tool and it emulates HTTP-based APIs.

It empowers you to remain productive in case an API you rely on doesn’t exist or isn’t complete. It allows testing of edge cases and failure modes that the real API won’t consistently produce and as it is quick, it can cut your build time from hours down to minutes

Click here for free download.

Wiremock has also introduced MockLab which is a hosted API mocking service built on WireMock. MockLab is a paid tool.

Click here for a free trial of MockLab.

#12) Mockito

Mockito Logo

Mockito is a very popular open source mocking framework for unit tests that are written in Java.

Click here for a free download.

#13) Mockey

Mockey by Clafonta is a tool that can be used for testing application interactions over HTTP.

It mainly aims to test web services, particularly web or native applications which use XML, JSON, and HTML. Mockey acts like a basic front end to scripting mock-test-responses to the file system which is meant for persistence to git.

Click here for a free download.

#14) Wilma

Wilma is an open source Service virtualization tool that can be used for software development and testing.

This tool is a combination of transparent proxy and service stub. It lies between software components, software services, micro-services, as a transparent proxy, and traps the communication traffic between the software components.

This tool is written in Java.

Click here for a free download.

#15) Nagual

This is an open source HTTP(S) traffic simulator tool which can be employed to mimic responses from the 3rd party services that are outside of your control.

Click here for a free download.

#16) Telerik JustMock

Telerik JustMock Logo

It is a commercial tool which is fast, flexible and has a feature-rich mocking framework that simplifies unit testing.

The fully profiled auto mocking feature of this tool makes the unit tests more stable. JustMock can be integrated with Visual Studio and some other tools as well.

Click here for a free trial.

#17) Sandbox

Sandbox Logo

It is a commercial tool.

Sandbox fast-tracks the application development as you can quickly and easily mock up RESTful API and SOAP web services.

Click here for a free trial.

#18) Mountebank

Mountebank Logo

Mountebank is an open source tool that facilitates multi-platform, multi-protocol test and doubles over the wire.

All you need to do is simply point your AUT to Mountebank as a replacement for the real dependency and test similar to what would you do using traditional stubs and mocks.

Click here for a free download.

#19) Xen

Xen is an open-source standard for hardware virtualization.

Click here to explore more on Xen.

#20) Charles Proxy

Charles Proxy Logo

It is a web debugging proxy application for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

This is a paid tool.

Click here for a free trial.

#21) Stubmatic

Submatic is a stub server that can be used to mock the behavior of HTTP(s), REST, or SOAP services. It gives you a simple and fast way to create simulations.

This is an open source tool.

Click here for a free download.

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Conclusion

In this article, we discussed the various service virtualization tools. Note that the ROI of each tool depends upon your business/technical requirements and strategy. So, you need to choose the apt tool wisely after defining your requirements clearly.

Also, most of the commercial tools provide different editions based on the fact if you are an individual user, a small sized company or a big enterprise. Hence, the company size would be one of the important factors to consider while choosing the particular edition of the tool.

About the Author:

This article is contributed by Priya K. She has 5+ years of work experience in the software industry and is currently employed at a Senior position in a renowned MNC. Priya has worked in a variety of technical and business domains across development, support and testing teams.

Hope you would have got a clear idea about Service Virtualization tools.