Don't Forget to Test Those e-Business Apps

The future belongs to e-business. Wall Street thinks so. Thousands of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists think so. Brick-and-mortar businesses think so. And, most importantly, millions of consumers and businesses that buy products think so.

Yet online business, though growing at unbelievable speeds, still represents only a fraction of overall business transaction totals, which still follow a more traditional model. Organizations are finding that building a Web site that can handle the heavy requirements of processing potentially huge numbers of transactions is not easy. However, most businesses must find ways to build adequate sites in order to survive.

Clearly, software development organizations face some significant obstacles in their efforts to build e-business systems that can hold up to virtually unlimited transaction activity without crashing or even losing contact with a potential customer. These complex systems must be built much faster than traditional systems.

In addition, any system running a commercial Web site has to work - and work continuously. Buyers are unlikely to overlook problems in completing a transaction on your site when so many more options are available. Thus, many experts are urging Web software developers to implement a strong testing process to ensure that vital applications can meet the requirements of the potentially huge loads that could come at virtually any time.

Corporate developers have long eschewed the testing process, preferring to concentrate their efforts on the development piece of the process. As Project Editor Deborah Melewski points out in this month's Cover Story ("Are you ready?," p. 37), examples abound of sites that crashed due to unexpected loads. Just last month, hackers shut down some of the best-known sites on the Web by flooding them with data packets from several scattered sites. Industry experts tell Melewski that testing during the development process to determine whether applications can handle massive transaction loads can help managers feel at least somewhat safe in a very dangerous e-business world. The story looks at the load testing implementations of several organizations that are depending on Web sites to generate virtually all of their business. The experiences of these organizations can help managers involved in Web projects.

This month's issue also includes a Special Report on the state of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) that features the strong opinions of Ovum analyst Katy Ring on the requirements for implementing a successful EAI project. Ring advises development managers that there are no EAI silver bullets, but the goal can be reached through some creative means. Best regards,

Michael W. Bucken

[email protected]

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.