More Than Meets the API. Service Virtualization is Being Transformed
Choice of ServiceV Pro by leading fast food chain demonstrates that multi-tiered and Capex intensive solutions are losing favor with the new generation of developers
Agile is not just about ensuring that software gets delivered quicker, it’s also about ensuring that the team makes better and quicker decisions. The new generation of software development professionals do not want to wait; they want their Uber to arrive in minutes and pizzas in half an hour. At work, they want to build solutions fast, fail fast, and immediately move on to the next idea. Waiting for tooling to set-up and work is not an option for these teams, they know that even a single day delay in the delivery of an app could result in that app losing a significant amount of market share to competitors.
Delivering Value Immediately
The SmartBear team recently received a call from a senior technology manager of a major fast food chain, inquiring about the virtualization capabilities of ServiceV Pro. They had been evaluating another virtualization vendor in the market for months and were exasperated with the slow speed at which their evaluation was going. These vendors, who had made claims around increasing speed of delivery for software teams, ironically were taking an excruciating amount to time just taking the team through evaluation phase. Support provided by them was slow and delivered through a grinding bureaucratic process. The team was also required to have a dedicated staff just for creating and maintaining virtualized APIs! To add insult to injury the vendor was asking for high upfront fixed price along with ongoing yearly maintenance. The concerned senior manager had heard of the excellent capabilities of ServiceV Pro and finally, after having spent a lot of time and effort during the evaluation of this product, he placed a call to SmartBear.
The manager and his team were pleasantly surprised, as after a quick demo from the ServiceV product experts, they could install the solution in a few minutes and start creating and using virtual services right away for their testing and development purposes. The developers were also able to immediately drag and drop the created virtual services onto cloud instances, hence enabling them to share these with the teams anywhere on the network. Developers especially liked the ease of use and intuitiveness of the tool. They loved the idea that each one of them, sitting at their desk, could create a virtual service with a few clicks without having to send any emails to a central IT team. The tipping point was when the manager himself created a virtualized service and realized that ServiceV enabled anyone on the team to create virtualized services, not just the ‘experts’ or the central IT team. The decision to go all-out on ServiceV was made shortly thereafter. It was a dawn of empowerment and democratization for the team.
A Developer-First Approach
The above story clearly demonstrates that teams are increasingly moving away from heavy multi-tenant, multi-layered solutions and towards leaner tools that fit right in with their agile processes. Interestingly, these decisions are being heavily influenced by bottom-up inputs from developers and testers who like to see the tool seamlessly integrate with their coding and development environments. Developers need to focus just on coding and do not want to spend effort learning another tool. They know the value of their time and understand that no matter how big or branded a toolset is, it ultimately boils down to the ease of use and fit of the tool with the team’s agile culture.
Managers who are typically decision makers on the team now delegate the evaluation of tools to developers and testers and take the inputs provided by them seriously. Traditional multi-tier solutions that promise to do a lot of things reasonably well are increasingly falling short in this modern paradigm. While these solutions provide functionality, they also require extensive customization through scripting or extensive network setups to get the job done. Thus, teams get sucked up in the overheads of configuring and setting the tool up and the actual work never gets done.
An Agile-Friendly Solution
On the other hand, agile tools like ServiceV Pro focus on a core set of functionality that can be used right out of the box. It is designed to reduce the time a developer or tester spends on setting up services. Engineers of the tool have very carefully designed functionality like point and click to enable tasks to be done in seconds. This enables anyone on the team, including new team members, to start working with such tools with minimal training. Hence, they become productive faster, allowing them to focus more on coding, and deliver more in shorter time. The ‘out of the box’ functionality and clever design also reduces the human resource footprint and infrastructure costs.
ServiceV Pro enables anyone on the team to build virtual APIs, thus enabling wide adoption of the tool by the team. It does not require any central team to maintain a broader infrastructure to create and maintain virtual services. Developers and testers can, with just a few clicks, record API transactions and create virtual services out of them. They can also enhance the API responses with data and ensure comprehensive test coverage. ServiceV Pro also enables simulating edge network conditions to test your software under different conditions. Finally, team members can also quickly share the services on the network and the cloud.