Aside from the automation technology to enable service emulation quickly and easily, the pitfalls mostly lie in the process. Emulated services need to be governed in a similar way to how SOA is governed in general. For example, groups need to consistently register and keep track of emulated services in terms of where they are and who owns them. Then the lifecyle of the emulated services needs to be managed so they are maintained to remain up to date with respect to any changes in the services they are intended to emulate; therefore, a process needs to be in place to ensure that.
Another management challenge is to keep track of what emulated services are being exercised by business processes or ESB workflows during test execution. For example, if you have a BPEL process that is being tested with a variety of regression tests, you need to be able to manage the tests and tell what partner links and services (real or emulated) are being consumed by the process in each case.
This was first published in July 2008