Briefing: Integra Enterprise

Integra Enterprise 4.0
starting at $50,000
Solstice Software
Claymont, Delaware
(302) 791-9900

Back in June I wrote about Solstice software and their enterprise-level testing solution. Now they're shipping version 4.0, and it seemed like a good time for a chat about what's up in their world.

Integra Enterprise is still composed of three modules:

Integra Automate is a workbench for building test cases for distributed software. New in Automate is an "intelligent record" and replay capability. The recording piece, like the rest of Integra, is designed for the enterprise. You can deploy multiple recorders on multiple servers and capture streams of data from multiple middleware protocols into a single test case. A central console coordinates the whole process, and can replay the data on demand. It can also change the speed of replay. For instance, you might capture 24 hours of transactions and then play them back in 2 hours when you need to test a change in some component of the system.

Integra Simulate is the piece that simulates unavailable systems so that you can test a distributed application before everything is built. Perhaps an order entry Web service or a particular database is lagging - Simulate can make it appear as if they really exist. Simulate now lets you build up a library of simulators to reuse in your own enterprise.

Finally, Validate is the piece that spots where any error is actually occurring. With Validate you can track messges as well as database and file updates and quickly find problems even in large data sets.

Integra Enterprise has had some serious deployments lately, and partly as a result of this they've increased their protocol support. You can now test middleware that uses XML, HTTP, HTTPS, SOAP, WSDL, TIBCO, WebSphereMQ, webMethods, JMS/BEA, and others. They're also able to quickly (3 weeks) build new adaptors if your organization needs a different protocol. Some of their reference customers are extremely happy, reporting things like a 20x improvement in test coverage, a 50% reduction in headcount, or a $20 million dollar savings.

The other news with this release is that Integra is now a Mercury partner. Mercury's suite of testing tools is probably the most widely-deployed in large organizations; now you can tied the Integra distributed system testing directly into your existing Mercury infrastructure. Integra test cases link into the TestDirector viewer and can be launched from TestDirector, and any defects are fed back to the Mercury pieces. There's a big win here in lower retraining costs if your QA people already use Mercury.

If you're working on a large distributed project and don't know how to test it, or suspect that your test suite is inadequate or out of control, a call to Integra might well be in order.


For more reviews and opinions from Mike Gunderloy, click here.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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