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From "Phil Steitz" <phil.ste...@gmail.com>
Subject [Proposal] Java Resource Simulator (JRS)
Date Sun, 24 Jun 2007 18:24:39 GMT
This is a proposal to develop a Java-based interface response
capture/playback tool.  The full proposal is here:

http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/JrsProposal

Comments and questions are welcome.  We are by no means wedded to the
name "JRS" and have not yet done name searches, etc.  If there are
concerns with the name, we can come up with an alternative, but our
preference would be for a descriptive name.
Attached for convenience below is the text of the initial revision of
the proposal on the Wiki.  When discussion has reached the point where
an acceptance VOTE is appropriate (assuming generally favorable
response), I will call for the vote on this list, attaching the final
proposal text to the post that kicks off the VOTE.

Thanks!

Phil

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Java Resource Simulator (JRS) Proposal

The following is a proposal for a new top-level project within the ASF.

Abstract
-------------
The Java Resource Simulator (JRS) is a Java-based interface response
capture/playback tool for testing purposes, intended for use in
development or testing environments.
Proposal

JRS will provide a lightweight (meaning no or very little code changes
to the application under test) utility for Java applications that
simulates interactions with remote services, without having to have an
active connection to those remote services. JRS is currently a
community source, internal project at American Express. This proposal
is to develop the JRS code and community at the ASF.

Background
-------------------
A big problem that legacy-dependent development groups have is that
when developing new applications, the legacy systems that they depend
on move relatively slowly from a development and integration
standpoint, are often unavailable during development and test and
require long lead times to set up test data sufficient to give good
path and data coverage for front end testing. For this reason, people
tend to develop ad hoc "simulators" or "smart stubs" over and over
again to enable modularity in development. JRS aims to provide a
generic solution to this problem, or at least to minimize the work
required to set up and maintain effective resource simulators.

Rationale
--------------
Increasingly, systems are being built by aggregating services from
multiple sources. While there are a number of advantages to this
approach, testing these service-client systems can be a challenge.
Test services have to be deployed and maintained, test data must be
managed, test service nodes must be up and running and accessible to
clients. Every additional service used adds an additional dependency
that makes testing harder to coordinate, execute, and manage in a
repeatable fashion.

Core use cases that JRS aims to address:
   1.  Mock Design. When building a system, external resources are not
yet available, so those interfaces can be simulated by manually
writing hard-coded responses which are played back through JRS. The
manually-written responses may allow more experimentation in new
development situations where the interactions are not clear, and when
established these test cases may help drive the final definition of
the interfaces.
   2. Code Coverage. When attempting to achieve high code coverage in
a set of tests, it may be easier to artificially hard code responses
from external systems rather than attempting to prod the desired
behavior out of those external systems. The responses are then played
back through JRS.
   3. Test Without Dependence. When building a system, it may be
problematic to repeatedly execute tests against external resources,
because they are unstable, intermittently available, inaccessible, or
just difficult to repeatedly populate with test data sets. The
external interactions are recorded once, possibly edited, and played
back multiple times as needed without requiring that the external
resources be available. In this way, regression tests can be run
against the system-under-test without having to coordinate with
external systems.
   4. Stress Test. JRS can be used for pre-production stress testing.
This is not a substitute for production stress testing since it is the
interaction with external resources themselves where bottlenecks often
occur and JRS is only simulating these interactions. Stress testing
using JRS can help identify bottlenecks within the system under test
itself, and offers the advantage that delay factors can be
artificially varied in order to observe the effect of changing remote
system latencies.

JRS will provide a framework for simulating remote systems in each of
the following ways:

    * Interactions can be recorded (this requires the remote service
to be connected), and later played back (the remote service does not
have to be connected).
    * Request/response pairs can be manually added or edited (e.g.
after having been recorded).
    * Custom Java handlers can be defined

JRS will operate as a library (jar file) that is included with the
application that intercepts calls to supported protocols. The
persistence component ("JRS server" -- for record/playback) can run in
the same JVM as the system under test, or it can be run remotely as
indicated in a JRS configuration file. The current (working) version
supports JMS, Session EJBs, and web services. Support for JDBC is in
early stages of development.

Why ASF?
---------------
The developers of JRS are interested in joining the Apache Software
Foundation for several reasons:
    * We would like to see the framework extended and improved via
open, standards-based development.
    * We would like open development of JRS to take place within the
ASF legal, licensing and oversight structure.
    * As indicated in the "Alignment" section below, JRS has
dependencies on and natural connections with several ASF projects. We
would like to establish and leverage cross-pollinating relationships
with these communities to improve the design of JRS, its
standards-compliance, and ease of use.

Initial Goals
-----------------
In addition to establishing an open development community, the
immediate goal is to continue the development of the framework. Main
areas of effort:
    * Add JDBC support.
    * Provide JRS server real-time console.
    * Implement additional mechanisms to reduce record conflicts (same
recorded input generates different responses at different times).
Options include understanding ordered sequences or more generally
support for stateful client-server dialogs, as well as techniques to
map test sequences to separate namespaces.
    * Implement multi-user JRS server support, enabling separate
projects to share a common test server.
    * Implement more robust JRS configuration management for n client
x m server scenarios.
    * Full JMS support (currently only pseudo synchronous supported).
    * Add import/export to facilitate early stage test-driven development.

Current Status
---------------------
JRS is currently a community source, internal project at American
Express. The code base has been in development for 18 months and an
initial internal release is being used by American Express development
projects. Along with several other internally maintained components,
JRS was opened internally as a community source project earlier this
year.

Meritocracy
----------------
The JRS project will be meritocractic open development. The purpose of
this submission is to make a quality product that will be used by many
users, and the only way to achieve that is by recognizing the value of
community. There are many difficult design and implementation problems
to solve in JRS and we feel strongly that open, meritocratic
development will result in a substantially better, more extensible and
fully-featured product than we could develop internally.

Community
----------------
JRS has been developed over the last couple of years as a corporate
internal project, with most of the work done by three developers and
one architect. Nevertheless, there has been from the beginning an
interest to eventually open source the project, as such the project
has been opened as an internal "community source" project at American
Express. While this clearly does not equate to an open source
community development, we believe it gives us a strong base to build
upon.

Core Developers
-----------------------
The initial developers for the project are associated with the
donating company. Two of the developers have worked on open source
projects before (one is an ASF member) and have experience with open
development principles. There are a number of other strong developers
in the internal community that have expressed interest and we expect
will prove themselves worthy committers in a short period of time. In
addition, there are some current ASF committers interested in
participating in the project and we have included them in the list of
initial committers.

Alignment
--------------
The initial code has been implemented in Java and uses a number of
Apache and other open source components, such Maven, Log4J, XStream,
JUnit, etc. It is expected that further integration may happen with
Apache projects such as Oro (regular expressions processing of
requests), Axis/CXFire/Mina (alternative JRS client-server protocol
and server implementation), Derby (for DBMS persistence of messages),
Struts (for JRS server console), and ActiveMQ (for processing JMS
selectors during playback).

Known Risks
------------------
Orphaned products
---------------------------
The initial committers are users of this package and have a long-term
interest in use and maintenance of the code. All of the active
developers would like to become JRS Committers and plan to remain
active in the project.

Inexperience with open source
------------------------------------------
The initial committers have varying degrees of experience with open
source projects as users, participants or committers, with one being
an active ASF member. All have been involved with source code that has
been released under an open source license and with internal open
source projects.

Homogeneous developers
--------------------------------------
Since the Java Resource Simulator has been developed to date by
American Express, the initial contributors to the project are
associated with that corporation, though not all are employees of
American Express. They are experienced working in a geographically
distributed and diverse team and they have a broad range of
experiences with open source, industry standards, emerging
technologies and product development. Furthermore, our strong
intention is to attract a diverse set of additional committers, beyond
the initial contributors and current Apache committers listed below.

Reliance on salaried developers
---------------------------------------------
It is expected that, at the beginning, JRS development will occur on
both salaried time and on volunteer time, after hours. While there is
reliance on developers associated with American Express, through the
incubation process, we expect the independent Community to become
actively involved in the project.

No ties to other Apache products
-----------------------------------------------
JRS currently uses or is planned to use a number of Apache and other
open source projects. These have been outlined above.

A fascination with the Apache brand
---------------------------------------------------
JRS has been started as a response to real and critical needs of
development projects over many years. The originating environment has
been IT internal of a non-software company, as such there was/is no
need to associate the Apache brand with JRS. We believe that JRS will
solve in an elegant and lightweight manner development lifecycle
problems and, as such, we are interested in the best way for the
project to develop and flourish. We have no interest or intention of
"productizing" JRS for commercial purposes or offering paid services
associated with its use; though part of our motivation for pursuing
open development of JRS under the ASL is that this will not prevent
others from doing so.

Scope of the project
----------------------------
The scope of the JRS project at ASF would be to continue the product
development and would include adding new features and improving
performance, scalability, quality, and extensibility.

Documentation
---------------------
Documentation is available on request. See below.

Initial source
-----------------
Until the project has been accepted, code grant executed and ASL
applied, we do not want to make the sources publicly available. This
is in part because the sources currently include license headers
inconsistent with public distribution. Interested parties may
individually contact the proposal Champion below to work out the
logistics of access to the source code during proposal review.

Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
American Express is prepared to submit a code grant and a CCLA and to
license all JRS code under the ASL. All rights to the current codebase
are owned by American Express. The initial committers have or will all
submit ICLAs.

External Dependencies
----------------------------------
The current implementation depends on the following components:
    * XStream- BSD- [WWW] http://xstream.codehaus.org/license.html
    * JUnit- CPL - [WWW] http://www.opensource.org/licenses/cpl.php
    * Maven - ASF
    * Log4J - ASF
    * J2EE API - CDDL
    * XPP3 - [WWW]
http://www.extreme.indiana.edu/viewcvs/~checkout~/XPP3/java/LICENSE.txt
All dependencies have ASL or ASL-compatible licenses.

Cryptography
---------------------
JRS currently makes no direct use of cryptographic functions.

Required resources
---------------------------
Mailing lists
----------------
    * jrs-private (with moderated subscriptions)
    * jrs-dev
    * jrs-commits
    * jrs-user

Subversion or CVS repositories
---------------------------------------------
JRS would like to use a Subversion repository: [WWW]
https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/incubator/jrs

Issue tracking
--------------------
Since JRS would have its own release cycle, it should have its own JIRA project
   * Project Name: JRS
   * Project Key: JRS

Initial set of committers
-----------------------------------
    * Brendan McCarthy (brendan_dot_mccarthy_at_ gorillalogic_dot_com)
    * Tony Ambrozie (tony_dot_a_dot_ambrozie_at_aexp_dot_com)
    * Phil Steitz (psteitz_at_apache_dot_org)
    * Ian Gray (ian_dot_d_dot_gray_at_aexp_dot_com)
    * Rahul Akolkar (rahul_at_apache_dot_org)
    * Sebastian Bazley (sebb_at_apache_dot_org)
    * Martin van den Bemt (mvdb_at_apache_dot_org)
    * Henri Yandell (bayard_at_apache_dot_org)

Affiliations
-----------------
Tony Ambrozie, Phil Steitz and Ian Gray are employees of American
Express. Brendan McCarthy is an employee of Gorilla Logic, working
under contract to American Express. The rest are ASF committers
working for distinct companies. As individuals, none of the ASF
committers have any contract or employment relationship with American
Express.

Sponsors
-------------
Champion
---------------
   * Phil Steitz

Nominated Mentors
----------------------------
    * Phil Steitz
    * Sebastian Bazley
    * Martin van den Bemt
    * Henri Yandell

Sponsoring Entity
-------------------------
We are asking the Incubator PMC to sponsor this proposal.

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