Thursday, 1 June 2023

How do system simulators (service virtualization) and real systems work together?

We have been asked this week by a Director of QA working for a south american energy company, "How do system simulators and real systems work together?".

Several times, different prospects have asked this question, so we had diagrams ready to show.

The current situation in your test and development environment is most likely that you have problems with third-party or backend systems (red on the diagram) that result in blockages of your regression testing (red on the diagram) and new feature development (red on the diagram).

Depending on your specific situation, several options are available to add API and system simulators to your environments. One of the popular options among directors asking this question is introducing a new test environment, the "simulated" one. If you do that, most of your regression and new feature testing can be done with simulators (green), allowing for faster time to market for new features and lower costs of introducing changes to your product.

Here is a sample ROI model explaining the benefits of QA using API and system simulators.

If you want to learn about other options for your specific situation, please contact us

Traffic Parrot 5.40.2 released, what's new?

We have just released version 5.40.2. Here is a list of the changes that came with the release:


  • Added Couchbase data source support:
    {{ dataSource 'couchbase.db' 'INSERT INTO PERSON(KEY, VALUE) VALUES ("$id", {"id" : $id,"name" : $name})' id=1000 name='some-name' syntax='N1QL' }}
    {{ dataSource 'couchbase.db' 'SELECT name FROM PERSON USE KEYS "$id"' id=1000 single=true syntax='N1QL' }}
    {{ dataSource 'couchbase.db' 'INSERT INTO PERSON(KEY, VALUE) VALUES ("$id", $object)' id=1000 object=example syntax='N1QL' }}
  • New helper to iterate a certain number of times:
    {{#times 10}}{{@index}}{{#unless @last}},{{/unless}}{{/times}}
  • New HTTP mapping bulk delete API:
    DELETE http://localhost:8080/api/http/mappings/bulk/UUID1,UUID2,UUID3
  • New gRPC mapping bulk delete API:
    DELETE http://localhost:8080/api/grpc/mappings/bulk/UUID1,UUID2,UUID3


  • Library upgrades to fix OWASP issues


  • Upgraded bundled JRE from 8u362 to 8u372
  • Helper {{#equal a b }}true{{else}}false{{/equal} can now be written inline as {{ equal a b }}
  • When using Handlebars partial files, it is now possible to use a different file extension than .hbs for example {{>example.txt}} will read from file example.txt

12 Microservices Testing Techniques for Dependency Control

Friday, 5 May 2023

Traffic Parrot 5.39.5 released, what's new?

We have just released version 5.38.1. Here is a list of the changes that came with the release:


  • Multiple gRPC servers can now be recorded at the same time, for example:
    com.example.Service/method -> host1:port1
    com.example.packageA.* -> host2:port2
    com.example.packageB.* -> host3:port3
  • Added support for Java object Serializable Proto messages sent over JMS connections e.g. RabbitMQ RPCs
  • Added support for sending multiple types of request/response message (e.g. two different Java Proto request/response pairs) on a single request/response queue pair
  • Added support for RabbitMQ contentType header
  • Added PostgreSQL example connection to database-connections.json
  • JSON request/response field data in mappings can now be externalized to/from MappingData.csv for an alternative way to edit field data across multiple mappings in a table format
  • Tools UI menu with links to simple file editor and mapping field data externalization


  • JMS advanced request and response types are now retained in the UI form when starting/stopping recording
  • Improved HTTP recording UI error message when there is a problem fetching recording status in the UI
  • Increase HTTP recording UI status timeout to cope better with slow browser connections
  • If there is a problem decoding a recorded JMS message, fall back on a raw bytes recording representation
  • Mention which actual connection ids were present when a JMS connection id is not found
  • Removed deprecated "matches script" option from the request body matcher dropdown (replaced by dedicated fields)


  • Upgraded bundled JRE from 8u352 to 8u362
  • When matching JMS requests, mappings for Java object Serializable requests now must have the bodyType specified
  • The default UI HTTPS certificate user-interface-https.jks was renewed

Saturday, 29 April 2023

What is the difference between API-first, design-first and code-first APIs?

What does it mean to follow the API-first approach? It means that APIs are first-class citizens that can be products the company offers its customers; they are critical business assets.

What is the API design-first approach? It means working closely with the client, product, architecture, testing and development teams to design the services available in the API and the data format before actually starting to code them.

It contrasts with code-first APIs, where you dive straight into coding and creating the API without any upfront specifications. The API schema can be defined in a format like OpenAPI for HTTP APIs, Protobuf for gRPC or AsyncAPI for RabbitMQ, Kafka and other asynchronous systems.

The API design-first approach is proven to parallelise teamwork and get products to customers much faster, which is still relevant. Design-first fits into the API-first approach adopted by companies that treat APIs as first-class citizens critical to their business success. 

Difference between API-first, design-first and code-first APIs

We can help you with derisking your API-first and design-first API initiatives. Reach out to us and talk with our development and QA experts.

Sunday, 9 April 2023

Traffic Parrot 5.38.1 released, what's new?

We have just released version 5.38.1. Here is a list of the changes that came with the release:


  • Add request/response recording Protobuf type fields to JMS UI

Monday, 3 April 2023

Traffic Parrot 5.38.0 released, what's new?

We have just released version 5.38.0. Here is a list of the changes that came with the release:


  • RabbitMQ JMS now supports record/replay of Protobuf messages using their JSON representation
  • Added new dedicated endpoints that can be used for Docker and OpenShift health check probes:
    • http://localhost:8080/api/health
    • http://localhost:8081/__admin/health
  • The trafficparrot.license comment line is now printed in the logs to help clarify which license is being used

Monday, 27 March 2023

Traffic Parrot 5.37.8 released, what's new?

We have just released version 5.37.8. Here is a list of the changes that came with the release:


  • Added support for protoc on Apple ARM based M1/M2 processors running inside of Docker

Roll-out Traffic Parrot across the whole enterprise

A number of Traffic Parrot customers use the simulation tool across their whole enterprise as the primary and recommended API, system and service simulation tool.

We often get asked what would a large-scale rollout like that look like. We have created a high-level project overview that captures the process we have seen work well for our existing customers: API and Service Simulation Tool Implementation Project Plan

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

How to deploy Traffic Parrot in OpenShift

A significant number of Traffic Parrot customers run our tool in OpenShift. This blog post discusses a template process you can follow to do the same. 

Here’s a quick terminology review to get us on the same page:

  • docker = used to build, push and run container images
  • podman = docker replacement that OpenShift recommend using (developed by OpenShift), almost identical to standard docker
  • oc = OpenShift command line interface to deploy and configure OpenShift services etc.
  • helm = tool used to package and deploy OpenShift applications automatically
  • TPLS = Traffic Parrot License Server
  • TP = Traffic Parrot

If the end goal is to deploy Traffic Parrot in OpenShift, you need the following:

  • TPLS Docker image built and pushed to OpenShift Docker registry
  • TPLS Helm Chart built and deployed to OpenShift Cluster
  • TP Docker image built and pushed to OpenShift Docker registry
  • TP Helm Chart built and deployed to OpenShift Cluster

There will be several steps to deploy things in OpenShift that we need to go through:

  1. (One-time learning) Discuss the industry standard Docker and OpenShift workflow
  2. (One-time setup) Establish OpenShift cluster connectivity from your localhost
  3. (One-time setup) Establish Docker registry connectivity from your localhost
  4. (One-time learning) Discuss the client-specific OpenShift workflow (there may be additional steps beyond the industry standard ones)
  5. (One-time setup) Create a TPLS Docker image using podman
  6. (One-time test) Deploy TPLS in OpenShift using oc and test it works as expected
  7. (One-time test) Test that localhost TP can connect to OpenShift TPLS
  8. (One-time setup) Create a TP Docker image using podman
  9. (One-time test) Deploy TP and TPLS in OpenShift using oc and test it works as expected
  10. (One-time setup) Create a pipeline to deploy TPLS in OpenShift from GitHub sources
  11. (One-time setup) Create a pipeline to test TP API mocks and  deploy TP in OpenShift from GitHub sources
  12. (One-time setup) Create a client internal confluence page for API mocks developers on how to make changes to Traffic Parrot client API mocks and deploy them using the automated pipelines
  13. (One-time test) Test TP API mocks with a selected use case
  14. (Ongoing process) Develop TP API mocks locally, then commit configuration to GitHub (which will be deployed by a pipeline automatically to OpenShift)
  15. (Ongoing process) Run TP pipeline to test TP API mocks and deploy to OpenShift automatically with rolling releases for partners
We can help you with all those by providing standard scripts our customers use.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Traffic Parrot 5.37.7 released, what's new?

We have just released version 5.37.7. Here is a list of the changes that came with the release:


  • New HTTP request matching script can be used to e.g. match a request header using a regular expression
  • New {{evaluate}} helper to evaluate a JavaScript command
  • JMS recording now supports requests that use JMSReplyTo
  • JMS IBM MQ new toggle in connection to allow MQ JMS to copy request message id to response message id
  • RabbitMQ JMS improvements including:
    • RabbitMQ RPC support
    • RabbitMQ replyTo support
    • RabbitMQ virtual host support
    • Declare queue if it does not already exist in the broker on record/replay start using the arguments specified in the connection e.g. x-max-length
  • Object store improvements including:
    • All operations are now thread safe within a single Traffic Parrot instance
    • A default value can be specified to return if an object is not found
  • property is now also taken into account for {{ dataSource }} CSV file access


  • Allow API requests to set the Accept header with multiple content types, so long as the first one listed is application/json
  • Fixed an issue with the scenario dropdown when no default port specified
  • If there is an exception when starting, e.g. due to a missing property, startup fails immediately instead of waiting the full timeout duration to fail
  • If the trafficparrot.license does not exist on startup, a relevant message is now displayed in the UI
  • Improved compatibility with OpenShift 4 when using a TLS passthrough route to the license server


  • gRPC matching now returns the closest match if multiple candidate responses match and warns in the logs about multiple matches
  • Bundle instead of many small license text files, which were slow to extract on Windows

Friday, 24 February 2023

Effective OKR for a Director of Quality Assurance

An effective OKR (Objectives and Key Results) for a Director of Quality Assurance (QA) should include the following attributes:

  • Clear and Specific Objective: The objective of the OKR should be clear, specific, and measurable. For example, "Improve the quality of our software products" is too broad, while "Reduce customer-reported software bugs by 30%" is specific and measurable.
  • Alignment with Company Goals: The OKR should align with the company's goals and mission. It should support the company's strategic objectives and contribute to its success.
  • Challenging but Achievable: The OKR should be challenging enough to motivate the team but achievable within the given time frame. It should stretch the team's capabilities and drive them to perform at their best.
  • Focus on Outcomes, not Activities: The OKR should focus on outcomes, not activities. It should specify the desired outcome, and the team should have the autonomy to decide the best way to achieve it.
  • Measurable Key Results: The Key Results should be measurable and quantifiable and provide clear evidence of progress towards the objective. For example, "Reduce software bugs by 30%" is measurable, while "Improve software quality" is not.
  • Time-Bound: The OKR should have a specific time frame for achieving the objective and key results. This creates a sense of urgency and accountability and helps the team stay focused on the goal.
  • Relevant to the Role: The OKR should be relevant to the Director of QA's role and responsibilities. It should align with their areas of expertise and the available resources.

Overall, an effective OKR for a Director of QA should be clear, specific, challenging but achievable, aligned with company goals, focused on outcomes, measurable, time-bound, and relevant to the role. 

ORKs and KPIs for a QA Manager in 2023

As a QA Manager in 2023, keeping track of your team's performance and ensuring they are meeting company goals is essential. One way to do this is by implementing OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your team.

OKRs are a management tool that helps to align your team's goals with the company's objectives. They consist of an objective, the goal you want to achieve, and key results, which are the measurable outcomes that show progress towards that goal.

On the other hand, KPIs are metrics that help you track your team's performance. They can measure anything from the number of bugs found per sprint to the time it takes to complete a task.

To implement OKRs and KPIs effectively, it's essential to follow a few key steps:

  1. Define your company's objectives: This should be done at the beginning of each quarter or year. These objectives should be specific, measurable, and achievable.
  2. Set individual objectives: Once you have your company objectives in place, set individual objectives for your team members. These should align with the company objectives and be specific to their role.
  3. Define key results: Determine the key results that will show progress towards achieving the objectives. These should be measurable and achievable within the timeframe.
  4. Set KPIs: Identify the KPIs that will help you track your team's performance towards the objectives. These should be measurable, relevant, and timely.
  5. Review and adjust: Regularly review your team's progress towards the objectives and adjust as needed. Celebrate successes and identify areas for improvement.

By implementing OKRs and KPIs, you can ensure that your team is aligned with the company's objectives and track their performance towards achieving them. This will help you identify improvement areas and ensure that your team is working effectively and efficiently.