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A look at SQA's Web tool

Version 6.1 of Rational Software's SQA Suite now includes SQA SiteCheck for Web-site management. Rational has also upgraded the suite's other components -- SQA Robot, SQA Manager and SQA LoadTest -- by adding features designed to make load tests of Web applications easier and more effective.

SQA Suite 6.1
Rational Software Corp.
Cupertino, Calif.
800 728-1212

SiteCheck is a good tool for managing large Web sites. After loading the program, I turned it loose on a Web site I manage -- Quality Online (http://www.qualitymag.com). The first thing SiteCheck does is to create a site map by downloading the Web site's home page and analyzing the links on the page. It then goes to those linked pages and repeats the process. After mapping all of the linked files, SiteCheck then attempts to verify external links. This may take a while -- it took more than a half-hour to map the Quality Online site.

This latest version of SQA Robot also records GUI tests for client/server applications and tests that generate HTTP requests from a Web browser. SQA Robot records the HTTP requests and converts them into SQABasic commands for replay later when running a test. Moreover, a feature Rational calls "DataSmart Recording" recognizes user input, and at the end of a recording session asks if you would like to generate variable data instead of simply what the recorder typed. This allows an application to be tested with data that more accurately represents that seen online.

SiteCheck's page view displays all of the links on a particular page and all of the links to that page. Icons denote whether the link is internal or external, and whether or not the link is broken.
Robot also allows you to define what Rational calls virtual users. A virtual user is one instance of a test procedure running on a PC, and it simulates one user running an application on a Web server. The new version of Robot runs multiple virtual users from a single, virtual user test procedure; virtual users can also run simultaneously on a single test station. By running varying numbers of virtual users, you can measure the response time of your Web application under varying loads. You can also synchronize the virtual users.

Once a test is complete, you can use any of LoadTest's 25 pre-defined reports or build custom reports to meet your needs. Some of the more useful reports for Web developers include application performance, Web-server performance and error reports. The application performance report charts the amount of data received per time interval or the amount of data received per test run. The Web-server report shows the number of hits a Web server received during a test run.

WORTH A LOOK

SiteCheck and LoadTest both support the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL is frequently used in electronic-commerce applications to provide security when sensitive information, such as credit-card numbers, is exchanged over the 'Net. With its support of SSL, and all of the other features Rational has added to support Web application testing, SQA Suite 6.1 is certainly worth a look.

SQA Suite:LoadTest Edition 6.1 is priced at $9,995, and includes SQA SiteCheck, SQA LoadTest, SQA Robot and SQA Manager. SQA Suite:TeamTest Edition 6.1 is available for $3,295, and includes SQA SiteCheck, SQA Robot and SQA Manager. The software is available at no charge to SQA Suite 6.0 maintenance customers. SQA SiteCheck is available separately for $495. All products are available immediately.

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