The features that I find most useful would be how easy it is to quickly get something up and running as a small test sample. The first test we had was simple transactions to it and emulating responses from there. We have Java and .NET APIs that we use to access the legacy system. Dev test works by hijacking the code and then you put an agent in it.
Also, it looks to see what classes you're calling. You can say, okay, if it hits this class, then I want to know. Then, the data that comes through there, you can analyze it and you can replay that data -- Java, .NET, or C#.
Room for Improvement:
I wouldn't say that there's a tremendous amount that could use improvement. I think that with applications like this, it's easy to use it for the wrong reasons. Early on, I think we had ideas about leveraging it in places where it wasn't a good fit for us, where it wasn't going to have a large impact. We had to have a bit of guidance from CA as to where we should be focusing. After that, it wasn't as much of a problem. There are some interactions with customers, depending on what they use. Where maybe we were thinking about doing something that was more internal, but didn't make a tremendous amount of sense for us. There was a case where we tried to virtualize too much. There are limits to what can be done in that kind of testing. It's easy to just take the tool and go virtualize something that you really didn't need to virtualize.
It does require a higher level of support. This is not the kind of tool that you can just haul off just go make decisions on. You need some understanding as to what the right move is and I think CA's the only group that's going to be able to help you with that.
Use of Solution:
We haven't been using it extensively yet, as we're still in the POC phase, but the POC's that we've run through have been pretty easy to set up. We haven't had a truly deep dive. We've been fairly impressed with it just initially. What we're doing is we're trying to emulate connectivity from a legacy-backing system.
We're a little too early on to be able to comment on that yet.
There was no problem. We did our own setup just for our POC and it was no problem.
With not much other knowledge than maybe two days of training at CA, we were able to go in there and hook it up to our application that writes out to the legacy system, intercept the data that was going in, store that, and then virtualize the response. We did all of that within four hours.
Other Solutions Considered:
It was decided at the enterprise level well before I got involved.
I guess to sum up, you will need to engage with CA to understand what the right virtualization is, to ensure that you're not wasting your time.
I would say that you need to have good buy-in at the enterprise level, you need to have good buy-in at your director-plus level.