XML automation support in Load Tester PRO 5

In Load Tester 4.2 we added a new fields view with vastly expanded options to configure each field.  In Load Tester 4.3 we added support for JSON as well as ad-hoc custom regular expression and name-value delimited parsers.  In Load Tester 5, we are adding support for XML automation.  Hierarchical XML data structures that appear in form fields or as HTTP POST content will appear in the fields view, and Load Tester’s application state management (ASM) tool will automatically assign any XML value or attribute for which it can identify an appropriate data source.

Each XML field will be named after the opening tag, and its value will be the content between the opening and closing tags, unless there is no such content, in which case the value will be the attributes of the tag.  In either case, unfolding the XML field will reveal a list of all of the attributes and child elements of that field.  CDATA sections are handled correctly, and split out as separate fields.

XML support also means that we support most SOAP transactions as well, although this does not yet include support for the cryptographic features of SOAP.

That said, automatic configuration of XML content is likely to require at least some human supervision.  At a minimum, there are likely to be cases where some data appears under one name when received but appears under a different name when transmitted back to the server.  In these cases, a new feature of ASM allows users to easily provide field name equivalency rules.  These rules work for both XML and JSON, and in the simplest case consist of just two plain text strings that should be treated as equal.  We also support rules that use regular expressions.

By default, Load Tester will probably not include any field name equivalencies.  However, adding them is easy, and they will automatically apply to all current and future recordings once they have been set.

I look forward to the upcoming release of Load Tester 5 and your feedback on the new XML support.

–Lane,

Engineer at Web Performance.

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