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February 8, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM has put some more goodies up on its alphaWorks web site in the hope of attracting developers to its technology. The latest tempting sweet is IBM’s Distributed Application Tester (DAT), a Java-based system for testing the performance and reliability of web-based distributed applications. Big Blue says DAT takes advantage of Java’s platform-independence, noting that the complexity of typical distributed applications makes them hard to test. DAT works by creating a test case, keeping a record of all HTTP and SSL traffic between a web server and browser or client applications. A function test then plays the same requests over and over, checking the received responses against what it came up with the first time. If the application passes the function test, DAT simulates multiple simultaneous web requests to test response times under heavy loads. If that works, IBM says the application is ready to roll out the door. At the time of writing, DAT supports HTTP, SSL, cookies, JavaScript, applets, CGI and servlets. Support for more internet protocols is coming. The tester, which is only in alpha release, has been made available for free download because IBM wants developers to try it out and provide feedback. The alphaWorks unit is charged with identifying promising net and Java-based technologies within IBM, and with speeding them to market.

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