Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Java IoT, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

How API Virtualization Enables Smarter Development | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Virtualization

API virtualization just helps us do what we were already doing faster, more reliably, and at lower cost

How API Virtualization Enables Smarter Development
by Cameron Laird

While API virtualization is already over a decade old, many developers, testers, and decision-makers still misunderstand it.

Virtual APIs create an environment that teams can use to mimic the characteristics of the production environment and create simulated responses from all APIs the application relies on.

API virtualization is a single technique that pays off in several distinct roles. Let's take a look at a few examples to help illustrate the benefits attached to virtual APIs.

Why API Virtualization?
We don't talk about API virtualization with our investors or family members. API virtualization doesn't show up in the architectural diagrams seen at most conferences or customer presentations.

API virtualization just helps us do what we were already doing faster, more reliably, and at lower cost. That's all.

And that's more than enough for most of us. We can develop and/or test our services without help from API virtualization; more of our time, attention, and talent then go to hand-written mocks and stubs, maintenance demands new rounds of hand-coded tests, and the whole product cycle exhibits the fragility of excessive coupling.

Choosing good API virtualization techniques liberates all that expert energy.

With API virtualization, team members can focus on solving real product-specific problems, rather than wasting them on building and re-building scaffolding. API virtualization allows a move to the fast lane of development and testing.

Think through a simple example: the service you're developing and testing relies on an external API for sending out SMS (small message service - telephone texts) content.

Virtualization of the real service brings you these benefits:

  • No incremental use charges
  • Consistent, controllable responses, including error conditions
  • 100% availability
  • Testing edge cases without licensing threat: you can test your own software under overloads and with hostile data, confident that nothing will leak to your provider
  • Measurement of strategic indexes eases without the need to subtract out the provider's own performance

A virtualized API helps developers and testers "lock in" on their own responsibilities.

Teams that test against "live" services for anything other than final integration tests inevitably dissipate crippling amounts of their own efforts in tracking down otherwise-minor variations of the service. The inconsistencies of real-world services - minor changes in diagnostic messages, fluctuations in response latency, and so on - are incredibly distracting to working developers.

Manage product development smarter
A virtualized API provides a controlled baseline that can be crucial for business reasons, too. Comparison of behavior of the true and virtualized APIs makes it practical to negotiate with the provider. The provider might, for instance, boast that it has 99.999% uptime; if your own measurements show, though, that the API's latency causes your own product to have acceptable performance only 98.9% of the time, you're in a position to have a meaningful conversation.

Similarly, a properly virtualized API gives a basis for strategic investigation of the impact of a competitor's API, or a new release of the real API, or the advantages of a CDN (content delivery network). Measurements with a virtualized API provide an independent perspective on the provider's performance. Often that's all it takes to transform business conversations from dependence and subordination to a more equitable negotiation.

All these examples illustrate the difference between speculating, "We think the provider's API is performing adequately, for the most part", and measuring, "Our logs show that the provider's API falls outside our acceptable threshold X% of the time." Product managers and executives much prefer the latter.

Exception handling and compliance
A final aspect of control that virtualized APIs bring has to do with exceptional conditions. Developers and managers are well-trained to think about scalability: many of them have a good feel for what it takes to grow a service to ten or a thousand or a million times its previous performance.

Less common is expertise in dealing with exceptions and risks. On an operational basis, managers spend vast amounts of their daily time on the few failed runs, because typical automations already perform adequately for successful ones. Everything slows down by an enormous factor when things go wrong, though.

This is another domain where API virtualization helps. A virtualized API is one that can be configured to fail in controlled ways. Instead of managing a product by effectively writing "monsters here!" in the vicinity of errors in the API, testing of error handling becomes possible.

To recap:

There are a number of commanding advantages of API virtualization, including the ability to:

  • Accelerate development
  • Make development more reliable and management
  • Provide testability

In 2016, "manual" mocking should be a last resort only for exceptional circumstances. Learn a good API virtualization tool, and concentrate on what makes your own product unique, rather than wasting excessive effort re-doing and verifying tests.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By SmartBear Blog

As the leader in software quality tools for the connected world, SmartBear supports more than two million software professionals and over 25,000 organizations in 90 countries that use its products to build and deliver the world’s greatest applications. With today’s applications deploying on mobile, Web, desktop, Internet of Things (IoT) or even embedded computing platforms, the connected nature of these applications through public and private APIs presents a unique set of challenges for developers, testers and operations teams. SmartBear's software quality tools assist with code review, functional and load testing, API readiness as well as performance monitoring of these modern applications.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...