Testing Tools and Services
Naturally, there are products and services on the market to help developers test their products. Gartner, the IT research and consulting firm, defines the overall market of "automated software quality" as consisting of automated testing tools, software test management tools, and hosted testing services.
Hosted testing services, like any hosted offering, provide the hardware and software, and sometimes the labor as well. According to Gartner, load testing is the most service offered by hosted test vendors.
Software test management tools help in the planning and monitoring of the test effort and are particularly useful in establishing reusable test processes.
Testing tools allow developers to create scripts and run multiple scenarios, over and over againsomething that would otherwise require a huge team of manual testers to accomplish. And if the application is one that must support thousands of concurrent users, an automated tool is virtually required. Companies such as Empirix, Mercury Interactive, Compuware, Segue, and IBM all make automated tools. They're not cheap, however; according to Povlot, performance testing tools run about $100,000, or $10,000 per testing user for a functional testing tool.
But the cost of testing is usually small compared with the potential expense of missing a deadline or having a key system fail on the first day of its rollout.
As Tise observes, "When you go and upgrade a mission critical application, you darn well better be thinking about testing."