ActiveVOS BUnit

While I don’t normally comment on press releases that I occasionally receive in email, one tidbit in a release from Active Endpoints about ActiveVOS™ 5.0 caught my eye:

Active Endpoints, Inc. (, inventor of visual orchestration systems (VOS), today announced the general availability of ActiveVOS™ 5.0. …

Scenario testing and remote debugging. ActiveVOS 5.0 fundamentally and completely solves a major pain experienced by all developers: the question of how to adequately test loosely-coupled, message-based applications. ActiveVOS 5.0 includes a new BUnit (or “BPEL unit test”) function, which allows developers to simulate the entire orchestration offline, including the ability to insert sample data into the application. A BUnit can be created by simply recording a simulation in the ActiveVOS 5.0 Designer. Multiple BUnits can be combined into BSuites, or collections of smaller simulations, to build up entire test suites. Once deployed into a production environment, ActiveVOS 5.0 delivers precisely the same experience for testing and debugging a production orchestration as it does for an application in development. Remote debugging includes the ability to inspect and/or alter message input and output, dynamically change endpoint references and alter people assignments in the application.

Back in November, in my post titled Test Driven Model Development, I lamented the fact that when a new development paradigm comes along, like the graphical environments common in BPM tooling, we run the risk of taking one or more steps backward in our SDLC technologies. I used the example of test-driven development as an example. As a result, I’m very happy to see a vendor in this space emphasizing this capability in their product. While it may not make a big difference in the business solutions out there, things like this can go a long way in getting some of the hard-core Java programmers to actually give some of these model-driven tools a shot.

3 Responses to “ActiveVOS BUnit”

  • bex:

    a good start, but…

    the reason why these orchestrated systems fail is the classic law of unintended consequences: when a simple system (BPEL/ESB) tries to manage a complex system (dozens of enterprise applications), negative side effects are inevitable.

    An ‘offline’ testing tool is good… but it won’t catch the weird, exotic problems that occur due to the complexity of the system.

  • […] of all the early comment and discussion we have seen, the most satisfying to me personally is this blog post by Todd […]

  • […] Todd Biske commented on an interesting new release from Active Endpoints, which provides a full lifecycle tool for developing BPEL orchestrations. We’ve seen a demo, and it looks a lot like the visual workflow automation tools that have become a dime a dozen over the years — but with an important difference: it covers not only modeling and development, but deployment and utilization as well. And as Biske points out, it addresses an important gap that he’s seen emerging with BPM tooling: the lack of rigor given to testing. It seems that, after all these years of trying to develop test-driven methodologies for the SDLC (software development lifecycle), a lot of BPM tools have gotten a case of amnesia. We’d ascribe it to the fact that BPM tools typically don’t address developer audiences, but also to the fact that most of them have historically been focused on modeling, not deployment or execution. Admittedly, that last part is slowly changing, but as Biske previously pointed out, it would pay for these folks to listen to a few of the lessons learned by the development community over the years, even if they’re focusing on products that lessen dependence on developers. […]

Leave a Reply


This blog represents my own personal views, and not those of my employer or any third party. Any use of the material in articles, whitepapers, blogs, etc. must be attributed to me alone without any reference to my employer. Use of my employers name is NOT authorized.