Look for a series of live blogs from Skytap while we attend STARWEST this week in Anaheim, California!

It takes more than guts to hold a late addition “bonus” session at 7:15 in the morning; it also takes having an outstanding story to tell so you’re not telling it to an empty room while everyone else catches up on their sleep.

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Parasoft and Alaska Airlines had both this morning, and they were rewarded with a standing room-only crowd that was hardly ready to leave when it was over. “Service Virtualization in Action: How Alaska Airlines tests for snowstorms in July” was a huge hit.

We’ve actually covered this story before as Parasoft and Alaska Airlines teamed up for a similar webinar earlier this summer, but the impressive crowd size proved that there are still loads of people in every industry imaginable that are still trying to figure out how to remove the constraints and timeboxes around software testing, and what exactly service virtualization really is.

Making sure the audience knew that this very different from server virtualization, Parasoft Chief Strategy Officer Wayne Ariola defined service virtualization as “delivering simulated test environments to enable earlier, faster, and more complete testing”.

Ariola credits this shift toward testing continuously throughout the software delivery lifecycle to testers moving away from asking the question, “Are we done testing?” to the far more quality-focused, “Does the release candidate have an acceptable level of risk.”

Alaska Airlines test automation engineer Ryan Papineau then took over the session and detailed how service virtualization helps his team test incredibly complex flight operations software that is loaded with dependencies around passengers, cargo, fuel, staff, check-in/boarding times and more. The challenge of maintaining a high level of quality in a system this complex is incredibly difficult, and Ryan broke down the three areas that caused the biggest headaches for his team before adopting service virtualization. Those areas were around:

  1. Environments continuously changing and having to be shared between dev/test teams
  2. Integrated data that was often inconsistent or unavailable to test
  3. Impactful events that do not exist at the time of testing, and a lack of resources to make them happen

While the airline industry certainly has unique dependencies to test against, constraints around a lack of environments, and test data and resources are all too common in all industries. By virtualizing complete dev/test environments, and the services, resources, and events that testers need access to early and throughout the software lifecycle, enterprises like Alaska Airlines are able to ensure that consistently maintaining an “acceptable” level of risk is much easier than it used to be.

Combining Skytap’s Environments-as-a-Service and Parasoft service virtualization enables continuous testing by eliminating the constraints around provisioning dev/test environments, and granting earlier access to third party services and events. Learn more in our data sheet and white paper about we’ve partnered to help our customers deliver better software faster!

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