After having worked with one of the largest South African banks recently to roll out Service Virtualization, it was really interesting to see how they operate.
Almost entirely across the board, their environments are complex and they were struggling to align their environments with their release strategies. With their existing environments, they could not support on-going releases as well as PIC projects without a high risk of delay and service quality issues. Building end-to-end environments for every development stream would definitely make them go bankrupt.
To overcome this issue they decided to build non-integrated application environment with Service Virtualization for development and unit testing. This enables portfolios to have isolated environments with “just enough” resources to continue development and unit testing. All calls to any application or database outside the portfolio will be simulated using Service Virtualization.
Development and Testing Teams are provided with range of virtualized environments using Service Virtualization that look and behave just like the real thing, which provides access to resources at every stage of the development life cycle at the component level, without any constraints. This helped to test early and remove dependencies on unavailability of environments and dependent components and also availability of consistent test data. This also reduces the need for end-to-end environments for the initial testing phase, thereby reducing the number of projects which were blocked for testing.
Another key advantage of having isolated environment with Service Virtualization had enabled them to achieve “shift-left”.
What is shift left?
Shift left is a DevOps practice that provides an effective means to perform testing earlier i.e. with or in parallel to development activities.
“Shift left” in application development allows IT to catch errors much earlier in the software development life cycle and thereby cutting the time between releases and improving software quality.
Shift left helps them to find errors earlier in the life cycle and to resolve them more quickly and cost-effectively. Each component is tested individually in the context of its environment rather than waiting until integrated, where issues are most costly to address.
In my upcoming blogs, I would discuss the benefits and key considerations involved in implementing “shift left” as a practice. Till then, think about this quote from Plutarch, “To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.”
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