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Tool-Test: Rational Test Virtualization Server (RTVS) with aqua

Tool-Test: Rational Test Virtualization Server (RTVS) with aqua

In our 3-part series on “Service Virtualization”, our test experts have examined all the advantages and possible uses of this procedure. Why do our experts know this so well? Because they work with it every day on different projects in different companies. This also means that no solution is new to us. No matter which tool a company uses to manage and implement virtual stubs, we know them all – and can also depict them all in aqua, our agile test management tool.

Keeping the overview

As the demand for this type of testing grows, so does the number of suppliers. Besides Micro Focus, HP Inc. (Hewlett Packard) and IBM. IBM’s solution is widespread. That’s why we visualize the “Rational Test Virtualization Server” (short: RTVS), formerly known as “Green Hat Virtualization”, from IBM with aqua in this article.

Fig.: Defined stubs in IBM’s RTVS

Structure of the RTVS

The RTVS is based on an orchestrated interaction. 
The components are: 

  • Rational Integration Tester (“RIT”): The Primary Application for Creating Stubs.
  • Rational Integration Test Agent: Agents execute stubs in the RTVS environment.
  • Rational Test Control Panel (“RTCP”): A web application for managing virtual services and agents.
  • Rational Test Virtualization Server (“RTVS”): The runtime environment of virtual services, a proxy server.
Fig.: Overview of the Rational Test Control Panel (RTCP)

The IBM tool always works in one of the following 3 operating modes:

  1. Transit
  2. Recording
  3. Virtualization

Procedure of the RTVS with aqua-API

1. Transit:

The RTVS environment acts as a pure proxy that does not “interfere”. Thus a communication between client and service takes place.

Fig.: RTVS mode of operation “transmission”.

2. Recording:

The data traffic between client and service is forwarded. A virtualization stub is defined (contains the defined response behavior (program logic).

Fig.: RTVS “Recording” operating mode

3. Virtualization:

If the real service is not available, the corresponding stub can be activated. The client can be further tested, the defined stubs are customizable.

Fig.: RTVS operating mode “Virtualization


The RTVS is easy to use and guarantees quick success. In the application to be developed no changes are necessary, stubs can be set up, defined and managed. In the IBM solution there are no design dependencies between supported protocols (HTTP/S, MQ, J2IMS) and data structures (Copybook, XML, XSD, JSON and WSDL).

In addition, interfaces can be tested and simulated using the “http/s” communication protocol. The application allows test data to be recorded for future test activities and exported as Excel files.

The REST (Representational State Transfer) technology is also supported by the IBM solution. This allows API apps to be simulated, as well as an API sandbox. An alternative to other interfaces like SOAP or WSDL is also given.

A look behind the scenes

Experienced test professionals and new team members also benefit from the virtualization service in our everyday life, as the aqua API may not be available at test time or during the onboarding process. However, thanks to the virtualized images, this can still be used, since the behavior of the system is not affected and the functionalities are available until the time of failure.

In addition, several virtual services of varying complexity can be made available for further training and/or induction.

RTVS can also be integrated with aqua. This is done via the aqua agents “Powershell. Test cases from aqua can be started via this agent in order to control the defined stubs from the RTVS. A condition for this is that the provided stubs are located in the same directory as the agents. The stubs must also be referenced within the agents.

Fig.: RTVS with aqua agent “Powershell

In concrete terms, it would be as follows:
In advance, the system checks whether the real aqua server is available. If this is not the case, the created stubs are started from the RTVS. Accordingly, aqua would have to be informed that the virtualisation has been initiated.

Once this is done, the test case is started and executed. When the test case is completed, the stub is stopped in the RTVS. Examples would be the simulation of false answers, server failure, requests and responses at different intervals.

In addition to the technologies already described, the IBM solution supports more than 40 communication technologies:

SOA, ESB, OthersMessage
HTTP/SWebSphere Application ServerXML (XSD, WSDL, WADL)
IBM Integration Bus
RESTWebSphere SI BusCOBOL Copybook
Java RMI
JVM (Virtualization
SAP IDoc, BAPI, RFC System z (CICS and
Software AG‘ s
Software AG IS,
Broker, BPMS
ISO 8583 / 20022
TCP/(S), IP, UDPOracle FusionFixed Width
CICS TGTIBCO ActiveMatrixJava Objects
CICS DPLDatabasesSoftware AG
Broker Docs
IMS ConnectLog Files.Net Objects
TIBCO Rendezvous,
Smart Socket & EMS
Email (SMTP,
TIBCO Active

Table: Communication technologies (excerpt)

Our andagon experts meet the tool “HP ALM” in many of our customer projects. Again, the “RTVS” tool can be useful for managing the central application lifecycle from requirement to deployment. The Rational Test Virtualization Server enables integration with HP ALM. Defined test cases that run via the virtual interface can be executed. Reports for the documentation of bugs and defects are also created and saved.
The RTVS is also compatible with other products of the IBM family (e.g. “Rational Test Workbench”, “Rational Quality Manager”).

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