Web apps soon put to the test

Segue Software and Performance Awareness plan to give much-needed tools to Web developers who want to make sure their applications work as well as they think they do.

Mike Ricciuti Staff writer, CNET News
Mike Ricciuti joined CNET in 1996. He is now CNET News' Boston-based executive editor and east coast bureau chief, serving as department editor for business technology and software covered by CNET News, Reviews, and Download.com. E-mail Mike.
Mike Ricciuti
2 min read
Two software tool makers, Segue Software (SEGU) and Performance Awareness, are planning to give much-needed tools to Web developers who want to make sure their applications work as well as they think they do.

Testing tools allow developers to check code for bugs before applications are deployed. While such tools are de rigeur for general application development, there is a dearth of them for Web applications. But as Web developers create ever-more complicated applications, tools developers have sensed that there is a new niche to fill.

Segue said today that it is working with Netscape Communications to build automated tools for testing Web-based applications. The company said it has developed new testing technology, code-named Silk, that can test Web applications, regardless of the authoring and development tools used to build the application.

Silk, currently in alpha testing, will automatically check HTML, JavaScript, and Java code, as well as Netscape Application Programmer Interface links and Netscape plug-ins from multiple vendors. The company has not yet announced a final ship date and pricing.

Performance Awareness is actually ahead of Segue, at least in terms of delivery. The company today released preVue 5.0, an update to an existing tool that now includes utilities for stress-testing Web server application loads.

A feature called preVue Web, which works with any Web browser, tests access times by pretending that thousands of users are hitting a single Web site. The tool also can test the access times for the downloading and execution of Java applets, said the company.

preVue 5.0 also tests client-server, character-based, and X Window applications as well as emulating most popular database servers and transaction monitors. Pricing for the entire tool starts at $9,250 and preVue Web will ship in November as an optional component.