What Is Service Virtualization and Why Is It Important?

In the world of rapid software engineering, developers use service vitalization to emulate specific types of behavior in heterogeneous applications like those of an API driven application, service-oriented architectures or cloud-based applications. It helps to provide software development, and testing teams access to all the dependent components needed to check an application under test but happen to be unavailable or hard to access for testing purposes. Service virtualization is validly recognized by industry publications, vendors and industry analysts.

Service Virtualization

How Service Virtualization Works?

When service virtualization is implemented, the development teams can use these services instead of relying on production services. This fact alone allows for comprehensive and frequent testing of all the key components even when they may be missing from the system’s architecture. Virtualization works by emulating the behavior of all the essential components which will then be present in the product’s final environment. It allows complex apps to be put through integration testing earlier in the development phase, and it removes all key bottlenecks which would delay production and eventually time-to-market of the app.

Development will mostly rely on a mixed set of system parts which work together in service virtualization to fill in all the gaps of the components which are missing mainly by simulating their response. Today, this approach is widely used to develop cloud-based, SOA based and API based systems.

An increasing number of software development firms are relying on the use of service virtualization to help improve productivity while reducing costs to deploy better quality software in a short timeframe. However, in addition to mainly emulating software applications, the virtual assets can also be shared throughout the production team which helps for better parallel development practices. It removes dependencies across the organization giving them a competitive edge over other businesses that are still waiting and using linear development methods.

Why is Service Virtualization Important?

Traditionally development teams will wait for each component to be completed, integrated and deployed prior to performance testing. Since distinct teams will produce different parts of the product, i.e. one piece at a time and then they would be put together before testers can put them through all the relevant tests. Even though it is logical it is slow.

Even though testing a nearly finished application with all the components put together nicely in one user interface is still an essential step. Nowadays because of rapid development cycles, it isn’t practical to wait for very long for testing and then figure out which software components aren’t communicating. The best way around this is for testing to happen right alongside development from the very beginning. This fact is especially true in the production of various heterogeneous systems involved in multi-layered interdependent components. In modern-day development cycles having a testable UI is usually the icing on a multi-layered and complex cake.

Virtualization ensures that all possible layers of the cake can be tested and tasted while ingredients are still added to improve the taste. Now even if the batter lacks significant components like flour, eggs, etc. So, a bunch of virtual ingredients can stand in place of real ingredients temporarily to give us an idea if we are missing something. So, any odd combos can be spotted early own and fixed before it is put in the oven and then iced. What this does is ensure that your cooking turns out the way you want it to but without having first used up all the real ingredients. All of which means you’ll save money and time.


Unless a business has every resource available at the very moment that developers and testers are working in a production system, virtual services make the most sense as it saves time and money. Almost any size and type of software development team will benefit from service virtualization and especially when is not practical to continually repeatedly test one service against multiple third-party components like Oracle, PayPal, Salesforce, etc. It ensures that developers have everything they need when they needed and testers aren’t burning time when they could be testing components. All of this is a huge time saver for businesses and the path of choice in today’s rapid development environment.

Aksshit Wadhwa

Hi I'm Aksshit Wadhwa, pursuing BCA, and a proficient Website Designer, Blogger, Marketer who manages several sites including Bloghaul.com to help newbies understanding the concept about blogging and being an expert in the industry. Now in 2018, I've also started my own Fashion Blog - aksshitwadhwa.com and I'm now a Fashion Influencer too. (Read More...)

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