Parasoft’s Continuous Quality Platform updates in version 2023.2 cover three main themes – a focus on continuous innovation, continuing to strengthen its core components, and addressing customer feedback and loyalty.

Under the theme of continuous innovation, Grigori Trofimov, a senior solutions engineer at Parasoft, said the update introduces integrations with generative AI capabilities through LLMs and OpenAI, to build upon the company’s implementations of AI for UI testing, static analysis and API testing, among other things. “Now,” he said, “users can use their own definition files and text-based instructions or natural language instructions,” enhancing the test creation process.

And, he noted, as far as API testing is concerned, the update provides a clean sequence of API calls to work with, so testers don’t have to manually stitch together API calls. All of this, he said, brings new capabilities to SOAtest, the company’s API functional, load and security testing tool. “SOAtest already is that Swiss Army knife, with all the assertions, validations, databanks … everything we’ve built over the last 15 years. And now you have generative AI, so the combination is very powerful.”

Another feature under the continuous innovation banner is improving code coverage around distributed microservices architectures within SOAtest. “The idea here is that you’re testing some components within your microservices deployment, such as API tests, smoke tests, and health checks, but if you’re running regression suites using some external framework, you may not necessarily know what the impact of those tests are,” he explained. “You know you have test coverage, you might have some user stories and features that you’re covering with those tests. But as far as what actual microservices, what actual lines of code are being tested in those, you don’t really know. And you’re not really able to identify gaps or tie those types of tests to any metric, or to any criteria that can tell you you’re doing good testing.”

Parasoft’s introduction to code coverage for distributed microservices supports both Java and .NET microservices, and users can collect data from code coverage on each component, with merged coverage for your system or application as a whole across all microservices, and provide test impact analysis, Trofimov explained. That impact analysis can show that when one microservice changes, for example, the tool can tell which tests are impacted by those changes. The benefit is that if you have a small incremental change in your daily build, you don’t have to wait on the full regression suite, which could take 10 hours, so you can provide quick feedback to developers that if some test doesn’t pass, they can fix it right away.

Accessibility can enhance overall user experience, and in this SOAtest release, Parasoft is introducing a web accessibility scan, which is a tool that can be added to browser-based UI tests to catch accessibility violations. Trofimov said Parasoft adheres to the WCAG 2.1 AA specification. 

Finally, a new feature called Learning Mode is introduced in Parasoft Virtualize that Trofimov said automatically creates virtual services and updates and records data. “A common flow for service virtualization is that you have a real endpoint for a third-party endpoint that is not available in a test environment,” he said. “So you would record traffic and use that traffic to create the virtual asset that mimics the logic of the real service. So we’ve taken that flow and put it into a single checkbox called Learning Mode, so now when you have a real endpoint you need to virtualize, you can just set up the proxy, check the box that says Learning Mode, and starting from that point, it’s going to learn what the real service is doing. And if it finds a match on previous data that needs to be updated, it will update the data automatically.”

Parasoft’s product roadmap, Trofimov said, continues to be very much driven by its customers and partners. In this release, the company is tackling the Kafka protocol for data streaming and event-driven architectures, and is focusing on the Avro data serialization message format. “Our customers have been using our Kafka support and they’ve asked for this Arvo message format as well as Confluent schema registries,” he said. “Both of those together are basically like your JSON Swagger definition but oriented toward Kafka and data serialization.” This implementation is available to both SOAtest and Virtualize customers.