Technology Positioning Statement Report

1.2.5 Code Validation and Performance Testing Tools

Description: Specialized software tools for the validation of program code syntax, hyperlinks, performance, and other capabilities.

Category: 1 - Authoring and Editing   Subcategory: 2 - Development Editing Tools

Vision

RetirementContainmentCurrentTacticalStrategic
  TestStudio
 
  

Standards

Industry UsageSC Usage
  

Performance Metrics

Team-integrated configuration management and version control; baselines; short testing cycle time; comprehensive and flexible capabilities; ease of use and automated scheduling.


Usage and Dependencies

(See also 5.2.1, Testing and Evaluation Servers, and 6.1.8, Network Monitoring and Administration Tools)

Industry Usage: For conventional programming in Visual Basic, JavaScript, ASP, and ADO, Microsoft Visual Studio contains built-in error reporting and code debugging features that are adequate for most programming needs. For HTML, there are a number of commercial, free and even online tools to validate standard compliance, ADA accessibility requirements, graphics download speed, stylesheet usage, and other quality standards. For XML, similar tools are becoming available. Large-volume testing tools and usability evaluation tools are available for mission-critical application testing.

Invest in tool integration. This can mean a shared repository for more than one tool, an import/export "bridge" to pass deliverables from one tool to another, or even a manual process to demonstrate the relationship between tools' deliverables. Regardless of the integration technology, tools without process won't succeed. Make sure that each tool, and pair of tools, is implemented with an appropriate process to fit the organization's requirements and culture. Understand and document the steps necessary to propagate changes across tool boundaries so that design information is always current and reliable.

Rational provides a suite of development and testing tools, including Performance Studio. Rational comes closest to offering a well-integrated portfolio from a single source. Rational strives for a greater degree of traceability among development artifacts yet maintains the investment in individual tools' repositories. Tool integration is achieved though a middleware architecture all tools are built on the same distributed architecture that allows applications to access remote data from other Rational tools. In essence, the application performs the "join" to bring meaningful data together. The Rational tool suite is quite expensive, however.

The Microsoft/Rational relationship is likely to be put under some strain, despite Rational's high-profile support for .NET, unless the tension is resolved between the current privileged position of Visual Modeler (and thus of Rose) within Visual Studio vs. the ambitions for Microsoft Visio. However, even Microsoft has not been able to articulate a compelling repository strategy and a position for its use within a tools portfolio. Perhaps some product derived from Sharepoint portal technology will emerge to fill this need.

SC Usage: SC has established a budget for a Lifecycle Toolset and a Configuration Management process to support development. Applications are developed using Microsoft Visual Studio tools. Developers conduct extensive tests on their functionality and performance as a part of the SC development methodology. Server-side performance testing has been limited, although performance issues do not appear to be a problem with the current infrastructure and the small number of users. Internet web site validation capabilities need to be augmented with better monitoring tools in order to handle peak loads, reduce broken links, slow dowloads etc.

Application Impacts: All applications need to have extensive performance testing, as well as usability testing. The Lifecycle process incorporates a full range of activities that require products to support development and engineering of applications.

Last Update: Valid Until:
7/17/20013/1/2002

References

A Development Tools Portfolio for Faster, Better, Cheaper Development, Carl Zetie and Liz Barnett, Giga, Oct. 20, 2000.


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