Traditionally, upgrading or replacing an interface engine involves running the new interface engine through a battery of tests in an attempt to cover all of the possible use and test cases it may encounter in the real world. Once testing is complete, the interface engine is switched over with fervent hopes that there are no problems.
However thorough testing may be, this approach rarely delivers on eliminating the inherent risk of upgrading an interface engine without the payoff of a flawless transition.
iNTERFACEWARE, with nearly two decades of integration experience, has designed a more efficient and accurate migration strategy to help organizations better prepare for and minimize the risk of performing these updates. iNTERFACEWARE’s philosophy of beginning with real data when developing and testing interfaces results in testing that is not only faster, but also more secure when upgrading or replacing an interface.
Nothing is riskier to upgrade or replace than an interface engine within an integrated multi- corporate environment. Not only does the interface engine play a key role in the production infrastructure, it also connects various different systems, significantly increasing the impact, associated costs, and visibility of an unsuccessful migration.
Rather than using a number of simulated test messages, iNTERFACEWARE advocates testing new interfaces with the best test messages available: messages from the real world.
Using the same data in both test and production environments greatly increases the testing accuracy of new or updated interfaces. A lightweight modern interface engine creates a concurrent flow of data and then reconciles the original and new results for analysis, allowing for a much faster testing cycle by focusing only on items where differences exist. As a result, testing and implementation times are reduced by up to 85%.
An interface engine essentially acts as a bridge between two systems. The source system generates the message and sends it to the interface system. The interface system translates, transforms, validates and transmits the modified message to the target system.
In order to gather the messages, a new interface, built using our lightweight interface engine, is inserted between the source system and the old interface. A lightweight but full-featured interface engine guarantees the stability and security of the entire integration process.
Iguana’s structure offers a number of benefits over traditional testing methods:
- Test data is easily available
- Test data accurately reflects production data even if the messages have changed over time
- Test messages can be modified, rerun, or deleted without affecting the production system
- Testing does not affect production
There are some local requirements that need to be considered when this tactic is utilized:
- “Matching criteria” needs to be customized to allow the incoming message to be properly associated with the outgoing message. This will normally require that parts of the source message be extracted or a serial be used.
- If the message includes Personal Health Information or other Confidential Information, encryption, de-identification or other security measures may need to be taken.
By using a testing practise that combines real data with the direct comparison of live and test results, a highly accurate and responsive test environment can be deployed without undue expense and risk. This lowers the cost, risk and time required for the utilization of an upgraded or replacement interface engine.