Service handlers

The architectural approach followed by GITB TDL is to capture in the test case the high level testing flow and delegate detailed domain-specific processing to separate services. These services can cover messaging between actors, complex processing or content validation and implement APIs that are defined in the GITB specification. The components implementing these services are termed generally handlers and, depending on their purpose can be:

Another important distinction for handlers is whether they are embedded within the test bed software or external. Considering that handlers are typically used to extend the test bed for domain-specific operations, the norm is to externalise them as remotely callable services. Embedded handlers are typically defined for generic and simple use cases that are frequently encountered in test cases.

One thing that needs to be clear to test case authors is that the use of embedded handlers limits the portability of their test cases. Each embedded handler used needs to be implemented in exactly the same way in another test bed and furthermore needs to be identified using the same name.

Specifying the handler implementation

Handlers are defined in the following steps:

  • btxn: When beginning a messaging transaction.

  • bptxn: When beginning a processing transaction.

  • verify: When validating content.

The element corresponding to each of these steps defines a handler attribute to identify the handler implementation. In case an embedded handler is to be used the value specified here is the name of the handler (see Embedded handlers). Using an external handler implementation is achieved by specifying as the handler value the address where the service’s WSDL file is located. The test bed will automatically detect in this case that the handler is external and will internally replace local method invocations with web service calls.

The value provided for the handler attribute can also be provided with a pure variable reference (see Referring to variables) allowing the actual value to be determined from configuration or even dynamically based on the test session context. In such a case the variable reference is first evaluated to a string that is then considered to determine whether the handler is a remote or embedded one.

The following example shows three validation steps taking place, the first one using an embedded XSDValidator, the second one using an external validation service, and the third one using an external validation service whose address is configurable:

<!--
    Call a local, embedded validation handler called "XSDValidator"
-->
<verify handler="XSDValidator" desc="Validate content local">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="xsddocument">$schemaFile</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Call a remote validation service handler
-->
<verify handler="https://serviceaddress?wsdl" desc="Validate content remote">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="xsddocument">$schemaFile</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Call a remote validation service handler (address in configuration)
-->
<verify handler="$DOMAIN{validationHandlerAddress}" desc="Validate content remote">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="xsddocument">$schemaFile</input>
</verify>

Using remote service handlers is considered a best practice based on the benefits they offer:

  • Scalability: Potentially heavy processing is handled by a dedicated service outside the test bed that can be scaled appropriately.

  • Separation of concerns: The test bed focuses on test orchestration whereas domain specific logic is captured only in the test case and the services it uses.

  • Extensibility: New capabilities can be added to the test bed by simply making available a new service to call.

  • Maintenance: Updates to service handlers can take place without impacting test bed operations or requiring new versions of the test bed software. Similarly external service updates would not require new test suite versions.

  • Better presentation: Remote service handlers can encapsulate multiple custom actions leading to better test session presentation. If e.g. a document needs to be validated by one XSD and two Schematron files we would only show a single, concise validation step versus three separate validations.

Embedded handlers

The sections that follow list the handler implementations that already exist as predefined embedded implementations in the GITB test bed software.

Embedded messaging handlers

Each following section defines a table with the information expected by each messaging handler. The meaning of this information is as follows:

  • Input: These are the inputs provided for the send step.

  • Output: These are the outputs returned from the receive step.

  • Actor configuration: These are configuration properties that will be automatically set for simulated actors using this handler.

  • Receive configuration: These are configuration properties expected by the receive step.

  • Send configuration: These are configuration properties expected by the send step.

  • Transaction configuration: These are configuration properties defined in the btxn or bptxn step.

The title of each section corresponds to the name of the handler that needs to be configured in the relevant step’s handler attribute.

HttpMessaging

Used to send or receive content over HTTP.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

http_version

Input

No

string

The HTTP version to consider.

http_headers

Input

No

map

The map of HTTP headers to send.

http_body

Input

No

binary

The HTTP request body’s bytes.

http_parts

Input

No

map

A map including the definition of the parts (see description below).

http_method

Output

No

string

The HTTP method.

http_version

Output

No

string

The HTTP version.

http_path

Output

No

string

The HTTP request path.

http_headers

Output

No

map

The map of received headers.

http_body

Output

No

binary

The bytes of the received body.

http_parts

Output

No

map

A map including the received parts (see description below).

network.host

Actor configuration

Yes

string

The host of the actor.

network.port

Actor configuration

Yes

number

The listen port for the actor.

http.uri

Actor configuration

No

string

The request path for the request.

status.code

Receive configuration

No

string

The status code for responses.

http.method

Send configuration

Yes

string

The HTTP method to use when sending.

http.uri

Send configuration

No

string

The request path URI to send to.

http.uri.extension

Send configuration

No

string

HTTP URI extension for the address.

status.code

Send configuration

No

string

Status for responses.

http.ssl

Transaction configuration

No

boolean

Whether or not connections should be over HTTP (default) or HTTPS.

<btxn from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" handler="HttpMessaging"/>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1">
    <config name="http.method">"POST"</input>
    <config name="http.uri">"/path/to/service"</input>
    <input name="http_body">$binaryContent</input>
</send>
<receive id="dataReceive" desc="Receive data" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" txnId="t1">
    <config name="status.code">"200"</input>
</receive>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

Note

Isolating communications: When using a HttpMessaging handler to receive communication from a SUT, the test bed dynamically starts listening on a new port for incoming traffic. This port (along with the host) are presented to the test bed user upon test initiation so that he/she can configure the SUT accordingly. To avoid unwanted communication being received on this port that is unrelated to the test session, the test bed will only listen to requests originating from the SUT’s address, ignoring others originating from other sources. To achieve this, the test bed uses the network.host parameter configured for the SUT that needs to be provided by the tester as part of the SUT’s configuration before starting a test.

The value for the network.host parameter must be set with the public IP Address of the SUT endpoint.

Using HTTPS

The HttpMessaging handler can be used both for HTTP and (one-way) HTTPS connection. The default setting is connection over HTTP. Switching to HTTPS is done at the level of the handler’s enclosing transaction and applies to all subsequent send or receive steps. Enabling HTTPS is achieved by passing a configuration parameter named “http.ssl” with a value of true or false (case insensitive) as part of the begin transaction step (step btxn). This must be provided at this point because it is needed when creating the sender and receiver implementation.

The following example illustrates its use:

<btxn from="sender" to="receiver" txnId="t1" handler="HttpMessaging">
    <config name="http.ssl">true</config>
</btxn>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="sender" to="receiver" txnId="t1">
    <config name="http.method">POST</config>
    <input name="http_body">$content</input>
</send>

Note that the value “true” in this example could also have been provided as a variable reference (e.g. $isHTTPS) allowing a test case to remain unaffected if the underlying communication needs to be over HTTP or HTTPS. This could be especially interesting in cases where the SoapMessaging handler is used to test SUT endpoints over which the test bed has no control over the underlying transport channel. In this case the “http.ssl” parameter could be set as part of the system’s configuration, as in the following example (assuming an endpoint name of “sutInfo” and an endpoint parameter named “isHTTPS”):

<btxn from="sender" to="receiver" txnId="t1" handler="HttpMessaging">
    <config name="http.ssl">$sutInfo{isHTTPS}</config>
</btxn>

Support for sending and receiving multipart form data

When receiving, a multipart message is detected if the ContentType header contains a boundary part. The http_parts output is a map that contains:

  • http_parts{parts}: A list of all parts in sequence.

  • http_parts{parts}{0}{header}: The part’s header as a string.

  • http_parts{parts}{0}{content}: The part’s content as a binary.

  • http_parts{partsByName}: A map of parts by name (for easy lookup of named parts):

  • http_parts{partsByName}{NAME}{header}: The part’s header as a string.

  • http_parts{partsByName}{NAME}{content}: The part’s content as a binary.

When sending, if a http_body input is present this takes precedence. If not, and a http_parts input is provided, then a multipart request is created. The http_parts input is a list of maps (one map per part). To send a part as a file the file_name property needs to be passed. Specifically the information on a part is as follows:

  • http_parts{0}{name}: The name of the part.

  • http_parts{0}{content_type}: The mime type of the part (text/plain for simple text).

  • http_parts{0}{file_name}: The name of the file to set for the part if this is a file/binary p

The following TDL example illustrates how to populate and send a multipart request with three parts (two file parts and one test part):

<imports>
    <artifact type="schema" encoding="UTF-8" name="file1">testSuite1/artifacts/file1.xml</artifact>
    <artifact type="binary" encoding="UTF-8" name="file2">testSuite1/artifacts/file2.zip</artifact>
</imports>
<variables>
    <var name="parts" type="list[map]"/>
    <var name="filePartInfo1" type="map"/>
    <var name="filePartInfo2" type="map"/>
    <var name="textPartInfo1" type="map"/>
</variables>
<actors>
    ...
</actors>
<steps>
    <!--
        Define first file part.
    -->
    <assign to="$filePartInfo1{name}" type="string">"file1"</assign>
    <assign to="$filePartInfo1{content_type}" type="string">"text/xml"</assign>
    <assign to="$filePartInfo1{file_name}" type="string">"file1.xml"</assign>
    <assign to="$filePartInfo1{content}" type="binary">$file1</assign>
    <!--
        Define second file part.
    -->
    <assign to="$filePartInfo2{name}" type="string">"file2"</assign>
    <assign to="$filePartInfo2{content_type}" type="string">"application/zip"</assign>
    <assign to="$filePartInfo2{file_name}" type="string">"file2.zip"</assign>
    <assign to="$filePartInfo2{content}" type="binary">$file2</assign>
    <!--
        Define a third text part.
    -->
    <assign to="$textPartInfo1{name}" type="string">"text1"</assign>
    <assign to="$textPartInfo1{content_type}" type="string">"text/plain"</assign>
    <assign to="$textPartInfo1{content}" type="string">"A simple text value"</assign>
    <!--
        Put all parts in a list.
    -->
    <assign to="$parts" append="true">$filePartInfo1</assign>
    <assign to="$parts" append="true">$filePartInfo2</assign>
    <assign to="$parts" append="true">$textPartInfo1</assign>
    <!--
        Send the request.
    -->
    <btxn from="Sender" to="Receiver" txnId="t1" handler="HttpMessaging"/>
    <send desc="Send file" from="Sender" to="Receiver" txnId="t1">
        <config name="http.method">POST</config>
        <input name="http_parts">$parts</input>
    </send>
    <etxn txnId="t1"/>
</steps>

HttpsMessaging

Used to send or receive content over HTTPS.

Note

Deprecation of HttpsMessaging: As of release 1.4.1 handler HttpsMessaging is deprecated in favour of the more flexible HttpMessaging which can now be configured to support HTTPS.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

http_headers

Input

No

map

The map of HTTP headers to send.

http_body

Input

No

binary

The HTTP request body’s bytes.

http_method

Output

No

string

The HTTP method.

http_version

Output

No

string

The HTTP version.

http_uri

Output

No

string

The HTTP request path.

http_headers

Output

No

map

The map of received headers.

http_body

Output

No

binary

The bytes of the received body.

network.host

Actor configuration

Yes

string

The host of the actor.

network.port

Actor configuration

Yes

number

The listen port for the actor.

http.uri

Actor configuration

No

string

The request path for the request.

status.code

Receive configuration

No

string

The status code for responses.

http.method

Send configuration

Yes

string

The HTTP method to use when sending.

http.uri.extension

Send configuration

No

string

HTTP URI extension for the address.

status.code

Send configuration

No

string

Status for responses.

<btxn from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" handler="HttpsMessaging"/>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1">
    <config name="http.method">"POST"</input>
    <config name="http.uri.extension">"/path/to/service"</input>
    <input name="http_body">$binaryContent</input>
</send>
<receive id="dataReceive" desc="Receive data" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" txnId="t1">
    <config name="status.code">"200"</input>
</receive>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

Note

Isolating communications: Handler HttpsMessaging builds upon the mechanism of HttpMessaging to isolate test session communications when receiving data. Check it’s documentation on what is needed to achieve this.

HttpProxyMessaging

Used to proxy HTTP requests and responses between two actors.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

request_data

Input

No

map

The map of data to consider. Contains the http_method, http_path, http_body, http_headers inputs from the HttpMessaging handler.

http_method

Output

No

string

The HTTP method.

http_version

Output

No

string

The HTTP version.

http_path

Output

No

string

The HTTP request path.

network.host

Actor configuration

Yes

string

The host of the actor.

network.port

Actor configuration

Yes

number

The listen port for the actor.

proxy.address

Send configuration

No

string

Address of the proxied service.

In this case the request_data input map is defined as a convenience considering that we will always be receiving a call that we want to proxy to a final destination. The HTTP-related parameters to send to the destination need to match the initial parameters received.

<btxn from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" handler="HttpProxyMessaging"/>
<receive id="receiveData" desc="Receive call" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" />
<send desc="Send call" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" txnId="t1">
    <config name="proxy.address">http://PROXIED_SERVICE_ADDRESS</config>
    <input name="request_data" source="$receiveData" />
</send>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

SimulatedMessaging

Used to add simulated messaging steps to the test execution diagram without any actual message exchanges taking place.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

parameters

Send/receive input

No

map

An optional map of data to display in the step report.

contentTypes

Send/receive input

No

map

An optional map including the content types (e.g. application/json) to consider when displaying different parameters.

result

Send/receive input

No

string

Set to SUCCESS, WARNING or FAILURE to specify the step’s result (default is SUCCESS).

delay

Receive input

No

number

An optional number of milliseconds to delay before presenting the receive step as completed.

The following example illustrates usage of the SimulatedMessaging handler to present a simulated exchange between actors, each with its own report:

<assign to="map1{valueFile}">$templateFile</assign>
<assign to="map1{valueText}">'A text'</assign>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" handler="SimulatedMessaging">
    <input name="parameters">$map1</input>
</send>
<assign to="map2{valueFile}">$templateFile</assign>
<assign to="map2{valueText}">'Another text'</assign>
<receive id="dataReceive" desc="Receive data" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" reply="true" handler="SimulatedMessaging">
    <input name="parameters">$map2</input>
    <input name="result">'FAILURE'</input>
    <input name="delay">3000</input>
</receive>

In case the SimulatedMessaging handler displays reports with large content or complete files, we can also provide a hint to the test engine on how such data is to be displayed. This is done by means of the contentTypes input, an optional map that can be set with the content types (e.g. application/json) to consider per parameter. When a content type is set for a given parameter this will affect its syntax highlighting when displaying it within editors and also the type of file generated when it is downloaded.

The approach used to specify content types is to match fully, in terms of parameter names and structure, the corresponding parameters map. Matching of specific parameters is done on the basis of their map key and nesting level, whereas the content type values are of type string.

To clarify this, consider the following example where a SimulatedMessaging handler is used for a send step, displaying a report with two files (named input and output). Notice how the contentTypes input is defined in a manner identical to the actual data to be displayed.

<!-- Define the data. -->
<assign to="params{input}">$file1</assign>
<assign to="params{output}">$file2</assign>
<!-- Define the content types. -->
<assign to="contentTypes{input}">'application/json'</assign>
<assign to="contentTypes{output}">'application/xml'</assign>
<send desc="Send message" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" handler="SimulatedMessaging">
    <input name="parameters">$params</input>
    <input name="contentTypes">$contentTypes</input>
</send>

Content types don’t need to cover all parameters, only those for which they are relevant or known. For example in the following case we only define a content type for the first displayed file, omitting it for simple strings and for the second file for which the content type is unknown.

<!-- Define the data. -->
<assign to="params{aFile}">$file</assign>
<assign to="params{countryCode}">$countryCode</assign>
<assign to="params{message}">"Transformation was successful."</assign>
<assign to="params{aSecondFile}">$secondFile</assign>
<!-- Define the content type only for the first file. -->
<assign to="contentTypes{aFile}">'application/xml'</assign>
<send desc="Send message" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" handler="SimulatedMessaging">
    <input name="parameters">$params</input>
    <input name="contentTypes">$contentTypes</input>
</send>

Finally, the following example illustrates how content types can be provided when the parameters are defined within complex structures (maps and lists, nested at different levels).

<!-- Define the data. -->
<assign to="params{input}{file1}">$file1</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{file2}">$file2</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{messageId}">$messageIdentifier</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{attachments}" append="true">$attachment1</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{attachments}" append="true">$attachment2</assign>
<assign to="params{output}{response}">$response</assign>
<assign to="params{output}{message}">"Input processed successfully."</assign>
<!-- Define the content types. -->
<assign to="types{input}{file1}">"application/xml"</assign>
<assign to="types{input}{file2}">"application/xml"</assign>
<assign to="types{input}{attachments}" append="true">"text/plain"</assign>
<assign to="types{input}{attachments}" append="true">"application/pdf"</assign>
<assign to="types{output}{response}">"application/json"</assign>
<!-- Call the send step. -->
<send desc="Send message" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" handler="SimulatedMessaging">
    <input name="parameters">$params</input>
    <input name="contentTypes">$types</input>
</send>

SoapMessaging

Used to send or receive payloads via SOAP web service calls.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

http_headers

Input

No

map

A map of HTTP headers to include.

soap_message

Input

Yes

object

The SOAP envelope to send.

soap_attachments

Input

No

map

A map of binary attachments.

http_headers

Output

No

map

The HTTP headers received.

soap_header

Output

Yes

object

The received SOAP header.

soap_body

Output

Yes

object

The received SOAP body.

soap_message

Output

Yes

object

The received SOAP envelope.

soap_content

Output

Yes

object

The XML content of the received SOAP body.

soap_attachments

Output

No

map

A map of received binary attachments.

soap_attachments_size

Output

No

number

The number of attachments received.

network.host

Actor configuration

Yes

string

The host of the actor.

network.port

Actor configuration

Yes

number

The listen port for the actor.

http.uri

Actor configuration

No

string

The request path to send the SOAP request to.

soap.version

Receive configuration

Yes

string

SOAP Version. Can be 1.1 or 1.2.

soap.version

Send configuration

Yes

string

SOAP Version. Can be 1.1 or 1.2.

soap.encoding

Send configuration

No

string

Character set encoding.

http.uri.extension

Send configuration

No

string

HTTP URI extension for the address.

http.ssl

Transaction configuration

No

boolean

Whether or not connections should be over HTTP (default) or HTTPS.

<btxn from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" handler="SoapMessaging"/>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1">
    <config name="soap.version">1.2</config>
    <input name="soap_message">$soapMessage</input>
</send>
<receive id="dataReceive" desc="Receive data" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" txnId="t1">
    <config name="soap.version">1.2</config>
</receive>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

Using HTTPS

The SoapMessaging handler can be used both over an HTTP and (one-way) HTTPS connection. The default setting is connection over HTTP. Switching to HTTPS is done at the level of the handler’s enclosing transaction and applies to all subsequent send or receive steps. Enabling HTTPS is achieved by passing a configuration parameter named “http.ssl” with a value of true or false (case insensitive) as part of the begin transaction step (step btxn). This must be provided at this point because it is needed when creating the sender and receiver implementation.

The following example illustrates its use:

<btxn from="sender" to="receiver" txnId="t1" handler="SoapMessaging">
    <config name="http.ssl">true</config>
</btxn>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="sender" to="receiver" txnId="t1">
    <config name="soap.version">$soapVersion</config>
    <input name="soap_message">$soapMessage</input>
</send>

Note that the value “true” in this example could also have been provided as a variable reference (e.g. $isHTTPS) allowing a test case to remain unaffected if the underlying communication needs to be over HTTP or HTTPS. This could be especially interesting in cases where the SoapMessaging handler is used to test SUT endpoints over which the test bed has no control over the underlying transport channel. In this case the “http.ssl” parameter could be set as part of the system’s configuration, as in the following example (assuming an endpoint name of “sutInfo” and an endpoint parameter named “isHTTPS”):

<btxn from="sender" to="receiver" txnId="t1" handler="SoapMessaging">
    <config name="http.ssl">$sutInfo{isHTTPS}</config>
</btxn>

Note

Isolating communications: Handler HttpsMessaging builds upon the mechanism of HttpMessaging to isolate test session communications when receiving data. Check it’s documentation on what is needed to achieve this.

TCPMessaging

Used to send or receive an arbitrary byte stream over TCP.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

content

Input

Yes

binary

The stream of bytes to send.

content

Output

Yes

binary

The stream of bytes received.

network.host

Actor configuration

Yes

string

The host of the actor.

network.port

Actor configuration

Yes

number

The listen port for the actor.

<btxn from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" handler="TCPMessaging"/>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1">
    <input name="content">$binaryContent</input>
</send>
<receive id="dataReceive" desc="Receive data" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" txnId="t1"/>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

UDPMessaging

Used to send or receive arbitrary bytes over UDP.

Element name

Element type

Required?

Type

Description

content

Input

Yes

binary

The stream of bytes to send.

content

Output

Yes

binary

The stream of bytes received.

network.host

Actor configuration

Yes

string

The host of the actor.

network.port

Actor configuration

Yes

number

The listen port for the actor.

<btxn from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1" handler="UDPMessaging"/>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send data" from="Actor1" to="Actor2" txnId="t1">
    <input name="content">$binaryContent</input>
</send>
<receive id="dataReceive" desc="Receive data" from="Actor2" to="Actor1" txnId="t1"/>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

Embedded processing handlers

Base64Processor

Used to manipulate Base64-encoded content for use in test cases. This processing handler supports but does not require a processing transaction to be established. The following operations are supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

encode

Receive a binary input and return a string with its Base64-encoded representation.

Yes

A string named output in the resulting step’s map.

decode

Receive a string input that is Base64-encoded and return the binary output it corresponds to.

Yes

A binary value named output in the resulting step’s map.

The input parameters expected by the different operations are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

encode

input

Yes

The binary value that will be encoded as a Base64 string.

encode

dataUrl

No

A boolean flag that indicates whether or not the output should be formatted as a data URL (default is false).

decode

input

Yes

The string value (expected to be Base64-encoded or formatted as a data URL) that will be processed to return its corresponding binary value.

Base64 encoding is a technique often used to represent arbitrary byte sequences as text. Using this processing handler you can work with Base64 encoded texts that need to be decoded in test cases, but also encode binary content where this is needed. In both the encoding and decoding steps there is support for Base64 content and also data URLs. Data URLs are commonly used in web representations for the inline definition of binary resources. A data URL is essentially the Base64-encoded bytes prefixed with the content’s mime type as data:[mime type],base64,[BASE64 encoded string] (e.g. data:application/xml;base64,YXNoZGl1cXcgaGRva...).

The following examples illustrate use of this handler to work with Base64 encoding:

<!--
    Encode the binary variable "aBinaryVariable" and return the encoded string as "data1{output}".
-->
<process id="data1" handler="Base64Processor">
    <operation>encode</operation>
    <input name="input">$aBinaryVariable</input>
</process>
<!--
    Encode the binary variable "aBinaryVariable" and return the encoded string as "data2{output}".
    The result in this case is formatted as a data URL.
-->
<process id="data2" handler="Base64Processor">
    <operation>encode</operation>
    <input name="input">$aBinaryVariable</input>
    <input name="dataUrl">'true'</input>
</process>
<!--
    Decode a Base-64 encoded string to return its binary equivalent as "data3{output}". In this case
    the result will be identical to the "aBinaryVariable" variable used in the first step.
-->
<process id="data3" handler="Base64Processor">
    <operation>decode</operation>
    <input name="input">$data1{output}</input>
</process>
<!--
    Decode a Base-64 encoded string to return its binary equivalent as "data4{output}". In this example
    the handler is provided the data URL produced in the second step and will result in the same output
    as "data3" that matches the original input ("aBinaryVariable").
-->
<process id="data4" handler="Base64Processor">
    <operation>decode</operation>
    <input name="input">$data2{output}</input>
</process>

CollectionUtils

Used to process collections (maps and lists) in ways not possible otherwise with TDL expressions. This processing handler does not require a processing transaction to be established. The following operations are supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

clear

Receive a collection as input and empty it.

Yes

No.

contains

Check to see whether a collection contains a given value.

Yes

Yes, a boolean representing the check result.

randomKey

Return a random key from a map.

Yes

Yes, one of the map’s string keys.

randomValue

Return a random value from a collection.

Yes

Yes, the selected value (type varies depending on the content).

remove

Remove an entry from a collection.

Yes

No.

size

Receive a collection as input and return the number of elements it contains.

Yes

Yes, a number named output in the resulting step’s map.

The input parameters expected by the different operations are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

clear

list

No

The list to be cleared (if the collection is a list). Either this or the map input must be provided.

clear

map

No

The map to be cleared (if the collection is a map). Either this or the list input must be provided.

contains

list

No

The list to be considered (if the collection is a list). Either this or the map input must be provided.

contains

map

No

The map to be considered (if the collection is a map). Either this or the list input must be provided.

contains

value

Yes

The value to look for.

randomKey

map

No

The map to be considered (if the collection is a map). Either this or the list input must be provided.

randomValue

list

No

The list to be considered (if the collection is a list). Either this or the map input must be provided.

randomValue

map

No

The map to be considered (if the collection is a map). Either this or the list input must be provided.

remove

list

No

The list to be considered (if the collection is a list). Either this or the map input must be provided.

remove

map

No

The map to be considered (if the collection is a map). Either this or the list input must be provided.

remove

item

Yes

In case of a list this is a number set with the zero-based index of the element to remove. For a map this is the string key of the entry to be removed.

size

list

No

The list of which the elements are to be counted (if the collection is a list). Either this or the map input must be provided.

size

map

No

The map of which the elements are to be counted (if the collection is a map). Either this or the list input must be provided.

Collection or container variables represent flexible means of recording arbitrary sequences of data or hierarchical data structures. In particular map variables are very common as these are used to store results of processing, messaging and validation operations. Adding new elements to collections or replacing existing values is achieved using the assign step, where the expressions used may also determine collections that don’t previously exist. The CollectionUtils processing handler complements such operations by allowing further manipulations that cannot be achieved through simple expressions.

The size operation allows a test case to determine a collection’s size. This can be particularly useful in the case of operations that return an arbitrary number of data items as a list which we need to iterate over. The following examples illustrate how this operation can be used:

<!-- Create a map with three elements -->
<assign to="aMap{a}">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{b}">'Value 2'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{c}">'Value 3'</assign>
<!-- Create a list with two elements -->
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 2'</assign>
<!-- Calculate the size of the map -->
<process id="aMapSize" handler="CollectionUtils">
    <operation>size</operation>
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "3" -->
<log>$aMapSize{output}</log>
<!-- Calculate the size of the list -->
<process id="aListSize" handler="CollectionUtils">
    <operation>size</operation>
    <input name="list">$aList</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "2" -->
<log>$aListSize{output}</log>
<!-- Print each list element. -->
<foreach desc="Iterate list" counter="index" start="0" end="$aListSize{output}">
    <do>
        <!-- Prints "Value 1" and then "Value 2" -->
        <log>aList{$index}</log>
    </do>
</foreach>

Note

Nested collections: If a collection structure contains itself further collection structures as elements, the size operation will only count the collection’s top level elements.

The clear operation on the other hand allows a test case to empty the contents of a given collection if this becomes necessary. The following examples illustrate how this works for lists and maps:

<!-- Create a map with three elements -->
<assign to="aMap{a}">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{b}">'Value 2'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{c}">'Value 3'</assign>
<!-- Create a list with two elements -->
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 2'</assign>
<!-- Empty the map -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils">
    <operation>clear</operation>
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
</process>
<!-- Empty the list -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils">
    <operation>clear</operation>
    <input name="list">$aList</input>
</process>

The contains operation allows for a simple lookup of a value with a collection. In case the collection is a map, the lookup is done on the basis of the entries’ keys. Otherwise for a list the lookup considers the contained elements’ values. The following examples illustration the operation’s use:

<!-- Create a map -->
<assign to="aMap{a}">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{b}">'Value 2'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{c}">'Value 3'</assign>
<!-- Lookup an existing value -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="mapCheck1" operation="contains">
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
    <input name="value">'b'</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "true" -->
<log>$mapCheck1</log>
<!-- Lookup an non-existing value -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="mapCheck2" operation="contains">
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
    <input name="value">'x'</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "false" -->
<log>$mapCheck2</log>

<!-- Create a list -->
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 2'</assign>
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 3'</assign>
<!-- Lookup an existing value -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="listCheck1" operation="contains">
    <input name="map">$aList</input>
    <input name="value">'Value 1'</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "true" -->
<log>$listCheck1</log>
<!-- Lookup an non-existing value -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="listCheck2" operation="contains">
    <input name="map">$aList</input>
    <input name="value">'Value X'</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "false" -->
<log>$listCheck2</log>

Using the randomKey and randomValue operations we can retrieve random entries from collections. The following examples illustrate their usage:

<!-- Create a map -->
<assign to="aMap{a}">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{b}">'Value 2'</assign>
<!-- Get one of the map's keys -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="value1" operation="randomKey">
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints either "a" or "b" -->
<log>$value1</log>
<!-- Get one of the map's values -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="value2" operation="randomValue">
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints either "Value 1" or "Value 2" -->
<log>$value2</log>

<!-- Create a list -->
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 2'</assign>
<!-- Get one of the list's values -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" output="value3" operation="randomValue">
    <input name="list">$aList</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints either "Value 1" or "Value 2" -->
<log>$value3</log>

The remove operation is used to remove specific entries from a collection. When using a map the removed entry is matched based on its key. For lists, the entry to remove is identified by its zero-based index. The following examples illustrate the operation’s use:

<!-- Create a map -->
<assign to="aMap{a}">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aMap{b}">'Value 2'</assign>
<!-- Remove the entry with key "a" -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" operation="remove">
    <input name="map">$aMap</input>
    <input name="item">'a'</input>
</process>

<!-- Create a list -->
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="aList" append="true">'Value 2'</assign>
<!-- Remove the second entry from the list -->
<process handler="CollectionUtils" operation="remove">
    <input name="list">$aList</input>
    <!-- Providing "1" given that indexes are zero-based -->
    <input name="item">1</input>
</process>

DelayProcessor

Used to pause a test session for a given duration. The following operations are supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

delay

Delay the test session for a given duration.

Yes

No.

The input parameters expected by the delay operation are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

delay

duration

Yes

A number representing the duration (expressed in milliseconds) to delay for.

The following examples illustrate how the DelayProcessor can be used to force the test session to wait.

<!-- Wait for a fixed 5 seconds before proceeding. -->
<process handler="DelayProcessor" operation="delay" input="5000"/>

<!-- Wait for a random duration between 5 and 10 seconds. -->
<process handler="TokenGenerator" operation="random" output="randomDelay">
    <input name="minimum">5</input>
    <input name="maximum">10</input>
    <input name="integer">true()</input>
</process>
<process handler="DelayProcessor" operation="delay" output="$randomDelay"/>

DisplayProcessor

Used to display arbitrary content to users as a report. Using this instead of a user interaction step allows you to display content when the user clicks the relevant step report, as opposed to always producing a popup. This makes it a useful mechanism for including additional information in the test’s output without distracting the user. The following operation is supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

display

Include the provided data in a step report that the user may choose to view.

Yes

No.

The input parameters expected by the display operation are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

display

parameters

No

A map including the values to display (labelled using the map keys).

display

contentTypes

No

A map including the content types (e.g. application/json) to consider when displaying different parameters.

The following example illustrates usage of the DisplayProcessor to create a step report for a given set of data that the user may choose to view:

<assign to="parameters{textValue}">'A sample value'</assign>
<assign to="parameters{listValues}" append="true">'Value 1'</assign>
<assign to="parameters{listValues}" append="true">'Value 2'</assign>
<assign to="parameters{listValues}" append="true">`Value 3`</assign>
<process desc="Show values" hidden="false" handler="DisplayProcessor" input="$parameters"/>

In case the DisplayProcessor is used to display large content or complete files, we can also provide a hint to the test engine on how such data is to be displayed. This is done by means of the contentTypes input, an optional map that can be set with the content types (e.g. application/json) to consider per parameter. When a content type is set for a given parameter this will affect its syntax highlighting when displaying it within editors and also the type of file generated when it is downloaded.

The approach used to specify content types is to match fully, in terms of parameter names and structure, the corresponding parameters map. Matching of specific parameters is done on the basis of their map key and nesting level, whereas the content type values are of type string.

To clarify this, consider the following example where a DisplayProcessor is used to display two files (named input and output). Notice how the contentTypes input is defined in a manner identical to the actual data to be displayed.

<!-- Define the data. -->
<assign to="params{input}">$file1</assign>
<assign to="params{output}">$file2</assign>
<!-- Define the content types. -->
<assign to="contentTypes{input}">'application/json'</assign>
<assign to="contentTypes{output}">'application/xml'</assign>
<process desc="Process data" hidden="false" handler="DisplayProcessor">
    <input name="parameters">$params</input>
    <input name="contentTypes">$contentTypes</input>
</process>

Content types don’t need to cover all parameters, only those for which they are relevant or known. For example in the following case we only define a content type for the first displayed file, omitting it for simple strings and for the second file for which the content type is unknown.

<!-- Define the data. -->
<assign to="params{aFile}">$file</assign>
<assign to="params{countryCode}">$countryCode</assign>
<assign to="params{message}">"Transformation was successful."</assign>
<assign to="params{aSecondFile}">$secondFile</assign>
<!-- Define the content type only for the first file. -->
<assign to="contentTypes{aFile}">'application/xml'</assign>
<process desc="Process data" hidden="false" handler="DisplayProcessor">
    <input name="parameters">$params</input>
    <input name="contentTypes">$contentTypes</input>
</process>

Finally, the following example illustrates how content types can be provided when the parameters are defined within complex structures (maps and lists, nested at different levels).

<!-- Define the data. -->
<assign to="params{input}{file1}">$file1</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{file2}">$file2</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{messageId}">$messageIdentifier</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{attachments}" append="true">$attachment1</assign>
<assign to="params{input}{attachments}" append="true">$attachment2</assign>
<assign to="params{output}{response}">$response</assign>
<assign to="params{output}{message}">"Input processed successfully."</assign>
<!-- Define the content types. -->
<assign to="types{input}{file1}">"application/xml"</assign>
<assign to="types{input}{file2}">"application/xml"</assign>
<assign to="types{input}{attachments}" append="true">"text/plain"</assign>
<assign to="types{input}{attachments}" append="true">"application/pdf"</assign>
<assign to="types{output}{response}">"application/json"</assign>
<!-- Call the process step. -->
<process desc="Process data" hidden="false" handler="DisplayProcessor">
    <input name="parameters">$params</input>
    <input name="contentTypes">$types</input>
</process>

Note

DisplayProcessor in non-hidden steps: Process steps are by default set as hidden, meaning that they execute but are not displayed and do not produce a visible report. When using the DisplayProcessor you need to ensure that hidden is set to false for its use to be meaningful.

JSONPointerProcessor

Used to extract values or complete elements from JSON content based on a provided JSON Pointer expression. The following operations are supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

process

Use a JSON Pointer expression to extract a value or full elements from the provided JSON content.

Yes

A string named output in the resulting step’s map.

The input parameters expected by the process operation are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

process

content

Yes

A string representing the JSON content to process.

process

pointer

Yes

A string representing the JSON Pointer expression to use.

The following example illustrates how the JSONPointerProcessor can be used to extract a value from JSON content provided by the user via an interact step:

<!--
    Have the user enter the JSON content to process.
-->
<interact id="data" desc="Receive input">
    <request name="json" desc="Enter JSON content:" inputType="CODE" mimeType="application/json"/>
</interact>
<!--
    Retrieve a value from the provided JSON content. The content is expected to structured as follows:
    {
        "user": {
            "address": {
                "streetName": "An address"
            }
        }
    }
-->
<process handler="JSONPointerProcessor" operation="process" output="result">
    <input name="content">$data{json}</input>
    <input name="pointer">"/user/address/streetName"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Log the result.
-->
<log>$result</log>

RegExpProcessor

Used to process texts using regular expressions, to verify whether they match a specific pattern or to extract data. This processing handler does not require a processing transaction to be established. The following operations are supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

check

Check to see if a string matches an expression.

Yes

Yes, a boolean named output in the resulting step’s map.

collect

Use an expression to collect data from a provided string based on the expression’s capturing groups.

Yes

A list of string values, one value per matched group.

The input parameters expected by the different operations are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

check

input

Yes

The string to check.

check

expression

Yes

A string with the expression that will be used to check the input.

collect

input

Yes

The string to process to collect data.

collect

expression

Yes

A string with the expression to collect data with. The provided expression must define at least one capturing group.

Regular expressions offer a very powerful means of describing a text’s content and extracting from it certain parts for further processing. They can be used against any text content, offering a counterpart to the use of XPath in the assign step that is best adapted, but also limited, to XML structures. The regular expressions are expected to be provided using the syntax used by the Java language.

The check operation can be used to verify whether a given text matches a specific pattern. This may at first appear similar to the RegExpValidator, however there is a subtle difference: using the RegExpValidator constitutes an assertion made by the test case which, if failed, would likely mean that the test session itself is considered failed. The check operation doesn’t presume anything for the test session’s status, but is rather used as an internal check to e.g. determine whether an optional set of steps should be followed. The following example illustrates its use:

<!-- Check if a given text includes "test" in a case-insensitive manner -->
<process id="check" handler="RegExpProcessor">
    <operation>check</operation>
    <input name="input">$someTextData</input>
    <!-- Flags are passed in embedded format (e.g. case insensitive match). -->
    <input name="expression">"(?i)test"</input>
</process>
<if desc="Optional steps">
    <cond>$check{output}</cond>
    <then>
        ...
    </then>
</if>

The collect operation is used to process a provided text using an expression that defines one or more capturing groups. This operation can be particularly powerful as it can collect data from both structured and unstructured data. Each matching group is appended to a list of string elements in the sequence with which it was matched, otherwise resulting in an empty list if no matches were made. Consider the following example to see how this can be used:

<!-- Define a firstname and lastname in an unstructured text block -->
<assign to="aText">"My firstname is 'John' and my lastname is 'Doe'."</assign>
<!-- Collect the data using an expression with two capturing groups -->
<process id="personData" handler="RegExpProcessor">
    <operation>collect</operation>
    <input name="input">$aText</input>
    <input name="expression">".+ firstname is '([\w]+)' .+ lastname is '([\w]+)'"</input>
</process>
<!-- Prints "John" -->
<log>$personData{0}</log>
<!-- Prints "Doe" -->
<log>$personData{1}</log>

TemplateProcessor

Used to generate text data based on a provided template. Using this processing handler instead of the basic GITB TDL templating capabilities permits the decoupling of information in the test session context and the template, and also generation of complex content based on FreeMarker templates. This processor should be used for any template-based data generation that is not limited to simple placeholder replacements.

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

process

Process the provided template and parameters to produce the output.

Yes

Yes, a string named data in the resulting step’s map.

The input parameters expected by the process operation are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

process

template

Yes

The template content to use (can be of any type that results in a string).

process

parameters

No

A map with named inputs to use as the template’s input.

process

syntax

No

A string to specify what syntax the template uses. Accepted values are gitb (the default) and freemarker.

The following example illustrates usage of the TemplateProcessor to create a message based on a FreeMarker template:

<assign to="parameters{value1}">'Value to use'</assign>
<assign to="parameters{listValues}" append="true">1</assign>
<assign to="parameters{listValues}" append="true">2</assign>
<assign to="parameters{listValues}" append="true">3</assign>

<process output="message" handler="TemplateProcessor">
    <input name="parameters">$parameters</input>
    <input name="template">$freemarkerTemplateFile</input>
    <input name="syntax">'freemarker'</input>
</process>

<log>$message</log>

In this example the “freemarkerTemplateFile” variable is set (e.g. via import) to a template with the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<data>
    <content>
        <value>${value1}</value>
        <items>
        <#list listValues as listValue>
            <item>${listValue}</item>
        </#list>
        </items>
    </content>
</data>

Notice here how the template defines FreeMarker constructs (a list iteration) to go over the items of a collection named “listValues”. This was passed in the “parameters” map when calling the process step. When executed, and considering the example’s input, this step will produce data as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<data>
    <content>
        <value>Value to use</value>
        <items>
            <item>1</item>
            <item>2</item>
            <item>3</item>
        </items>
    </content>
</data>

TokenGenerator

Used to generate tokens that can be used as data in test cases. This processing handler supports but does not require a processing transaction to be established. The following operations are supported:

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

uuid

Generate a random UUID text value matching a Java UUID (e.g. “123e4567-e89b-12d3-a456-556642440000”). This is a value that can be considered as unique for test purposes.

No

A string named value in the resulting step’s map.

timestamp

Generate a timestamp for the current or a provided time based on a format string.

Yes

A string named value in the resulting step’s map.

string

Generate a text token with potentially fixed and/or random parts to match a provided regular expression.

Yes

A string named value in the resulting step’s map.

random

Generate a random integer of double precision number between optional minimum and maximum bounds.

Yes

A number named value in the resulting step’s map.

The input parameters expected by the different operations are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

uuid

prefix

No

An optional string to add as a prefix to the generated part of the UUID.

uuid

postfix

No

An optional string to add as a postfix to the generated part of the UUID.

timestamp

format

No

The formatting pattern to apply provided as a string matching the Java date/time formatting specifications (see Formatting configuration). If unspecified the current Epoch milliseconds are returned.

timestamp

zone

No

The timezone to consider when generating a formatted timestamp provided as a string. Expected values are those defined by Java (see Timezone codes). If unspecified the default consider is UTC.

timestamp

time

No

A number representing the Epoch milliseconds to use as the date/time to format. If unspecified the current date/time is used.

timestamp

date

No

A string representing a date/time to use as the value to format. If specified along with time, the time input takes precedence.

timestamp

inputFormat

No

The formatting pattern to use to interpret the date input (if provided), matching the Java date/time formatting specifications (see Formatting configuration).

timestamp

diff

No

A number representing the milliseconds to consider as a diff from the considered time or date. This value (default 0) is added to the considered time or date before formatting (i.e. a negative value signals an earlier time).

string

format

Yes

A regular expression acting as a template to determine the generated token’s format.

random

minimum

No

A number representing the minimum bound (inclusive) for the value to produce. If not provided the default considered is zero.

random

maximum

No

A number representing the maximum bound (exclusive) for the value to produce.

random

integer

No

A boolean determining whether the produced value will be an integer (when true) or a double-precision number (when false). By default a double-precision number is produced.

A typical use case for the TokenGenerator is to generate text tokens that can be used in test cases either as input parameters to e.g. messaging calls (see Handler inputs and outputs) or as values to replace in loaded text templates (see Expressions and templates). The uuid operation provides a random and unique identifier where special formatting is not required (apart from an optional prefix and postfix), whereas the timestamp operation generates a timestamp string that includes date/time values but can also have fixed parts (e.g. if you need to generate a text token with a fixed part and a variable part based on the current date/time). The string operation can be used to generate any kind of text token with both fixed and random parts following a pattern based on a provided regular expression. Finally, the random operation is used to generate random numbers that can be used as-is, or help in selecting random elements from a list, or as part of XPath expressions.

Note

Default format for input dates: If a date is provided without an inputFormat, the pattern of dd/MM/yyyy'T'HH:mm:ss.SSSZ is assumed by default. Moreover, all parts are considered optional allowing you to specify only parts of a date, making use of the following defaults for those that are missing:

  • Day of year (dd): The 1st day of the month.

  • Month (MM): The 1st month of the year (January).

  • Year (yyyy): The current year.

  • Time elements (HH, mm, ss and SSS): A value of zero.

  • Time zone (Z): UTC.

The examples that follow illustrate use of these operations to generate a series of tokens that are then presented to the user by means of an interact step. Note in all cases how the produced value is retrieved from the map resulting from the process step that is named based on the steps’ id. The value itself is retrieved from within each map under the value key:

<!--
    Generate a UUID (e.g. "971b4df9-4351-4cb8-9ba5-1f6373717ae0").
-->
<process id="uuid" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>uuid</operation>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a UUID with a prefix and postfix (e.g. "message-971b4df9-4351-4cb8-9ba5-1f6373717ae0@my.org").
-->
<process id="uuid" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>uuid</operation>
    <input name="prefix">"message-"</input>
    <input name="postfix">"@my.org"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a timestamp for the current time without specifying formatting.
    Example output would be "1560238501040".
-->
<process id="defaultTimestamp" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a timestamp for the current time with provided formatting.
    Example output would be "DATE[2019-05-22] TIME[11:48:06]".
-->
<process id="formattedTimestamp" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="format">"'DATE['yyyy-MM-dd'] TIME['HH:mm:ss']'"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate an XML timestamp for the current time.
-->
<process id="formattedTimestamp" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="format">"yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSSXXX"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate an XML timestamp for the current time but expressed in the GMT+2 timezone.
-->
<process id="formattedTimestamp" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="format">"yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSSXXX"</input>
    <input name="zone">"GMT+2"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a timestamp for the provided time and formatting.
    The output would be "2014-05-11".
-->
<process id="formattedTimestampProvidedTime" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="time">'1399792366000'</input>
    <input name="format">"yyyy-MM-dd"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a timestamp for the current time minus one minute (600000 milliseconds) using the provided formatting.
    Example output would be "2019-06-11 10:23:10".
-->
<process id="formattedTimestampDiff" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="diff">-600000</input>
    <input name="format">"yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Obtain the current time (T) and then generate two timestamps:
    - T minus one hour.
    - T plus one hour.
-->
<process id="now" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
</process>
<process id="nowMinusOneHour" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="time">$now{value}</input>
    <input name="diff">-3600000</input>
    <input name="format">"yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss"</input>
</process>
<process id="nowPlusOneHour" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="time">$now{value}</input>
    <input name="diff">3600000</input>
    <input name="format">"yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a timestamp based on an existing date/time string plus one hour
-->
<process id="timestampFromFormattedString1" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="date">'20-10-2021 13:30:00'</input>
    <input name="inputFormat">'dd-MM-yyyy HH:mm:ss'</input> <!-- Assumes UTC -->
    <input name="diff">3600000</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a timestamp based on an existing date/time string plus one hour (default formatting)
-->
<process id="timestampFromFormattedString2" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>timestamp</operation>
    <input name="date">'20/10'</input> <!-- Assumes the current year, midnight, and a UTC timezone -->
    <input name="diff">3600000</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a random string with 2 characters followed by 10 digits.
    Example output would be "cD6723820231".
-->
<process id="stringRandom" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>string</operation>
    <input name="format">"[a-zA-Z]{2}\d{10}"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a random string:
    - Starting with "PREFIX" and ending with "POSTFIX".
    - With random parts of (a) 5 digits, (b) 5 occurences of 'a', 'b' or 'c', and (c) 2 digits.
    - With hyphens between all fixed and random parts.
    Example output would be "PREFIX-32145-abcaa-02-POSTFIX".
-->
<process id="stringRandomAndFixed" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>string</operation>
    <input name="format">"PREFIX-\d{5}-[abc]{5}-\d{2}-POSTFIX"</input>
</process>
<!--
    Generate a random integer between 1 and 10 (exclusive).
-->
<process id="numberRandom" handler="TokenGenerator">
    <operation>random</operation>
    <input name="minimum">1</input>
    <input name="maximum">10</input>
    <input name="integer">true()</input>
</process>
<!--
    Display all generated tokens to the user.
-->
<interact desc="Generated tokens">
    <instruct desc="UUID:">$uuid{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="The default timestamp:">$defaultTimestamp{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="A formatted timestamp:">$formattedTimestamp{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="A formatted timestamp for provided time:">$formattedTimestampProvidedTime{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="A timestamp using a diff:">$formattedTimestampDiff{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="Now minus one hour:">$nowMinusOneHour{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="Now plus one hour:">$nowPlusOneHour{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="Plus one hour of formatted string:">$timestampFromFormattedString1{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="Plus one hour of default formatted string:">$timestampFromFormattedString2{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="A random string:">$stringRandom{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="A random string with fixed parts:">$stringRandomAndFixed{value}</instruct>
    <instruct desc="A random number:">$numberRandom{value}</instruct>
</interact>

Note

Timestamps for use in XML content: Formatted timestamps generated for use in XML content should match the formatting of the ISO 8601 version of the W3C XML Schema dateTime definition. The pattern to apply to get a XSD-valid timestamp is: yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss.SSSXXX.

XSLTProcessor

Used to transform XML content using an XSLT style sheet, both being provided as inputs, and output the result.

Operation

Description

Input(s)

Output(s)

process

Process XML content using an XSLT style sheet and return the transformed result.

Yes

Yes, a string named output in the resulting step’s map.

The input parameters expected by the process operation are as follows:

Operation

Input name

Required?

Description

process

xml

Yes

The XML content to transform.

process

xslt

Yes

The XSLT style sheet to use for the transformation.

The following example illustrates usage of the XSLTProcessor to transform the provided “xmlContent” (the XML input) using the “xsltContent” (the XSLT style sheet). These variables may be provided in any manner, for example the “xmlContent” could be uploaded via a user interaction step whereas the “xsltContent” could be imported from the test suite’s resources.

<process output="result" handler="XSLTProcessor">
    <input name="xml">$xmlContent</input>
    <input name="xslt">$xsltContent</input>
</process>
<log>$result</log>

Embedded validation handlers

ExpressionValidator

Used to verify whether a provided expression evaluates to true. The ExpressionValidator is the most generic validation handler as it can be used to check any arbitrary condition.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

expression

Yes

Expression

The expression to evaluate.

<verify handler="ExpressionValidator" desc="Validate UUID">
    <input name="expression">$variable != "unwantedValue"</input>
</verify>

Note

The expression input is not presented in the verify step’s validation report as it would only ever display a “true” or “false”.

NumberValidator

Used to verify that a provided number matches an expected value.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

actualnumber

Yes

number

The value to check.

expectednumber

Yes

number

The expected value.

<verify handler="NumberValidator" desc="Check number">
    <input name="actualnumber">$aNumber</input>
    <input name="expectednumber">'10'</input>
</verify>

RegExpValidator

Used to verify that a provided string matches a regular expression.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

input

Yes

string

The value to check.

expression

Yes

string

The expression to match.

<verify handler="RegExpValidator" desc="Check string">
    <input name="input">$aString</input>
    <input name="expression">'^REF\-\d+$'</input>
</verify>

The regular expression provided for the expression input is expected to be provided using the syntax used by the Java language. This syntax also supports expression flags provided in an embedded manner, within an expression.

<verify handler="RegExpValidator" desc="Check string">
    <input name="input">$aString</input>
    <!-- Same expression but executed in a case insensitive (?i) and multiline (?m) manner. -->
    <input name="expression">'(?im)^REF\-\d+$'</input>
</verify>

SchematronValidator

Used to validate an XML document against a Schematron file.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

schematron

Yes

schema

The Schematron file to use for the validation (XSTL or SCH).

xmldocument

Yes

object

The XML document to validate.

type

No

string

The type of Schematron file to consider (xslt or sch) in case this cannot be determined from the resource’s file suffix. The overall default considered is sch.

showSchematron

No

boolean

Whether or not to include in the step’s report the Schematron used for the validation (default is true).

sortBySeverity

No

boolean

Whether to sort findings by severity (true) or location in the input (false - the default).

showTests

No

boolean

Whether or not to include in the step’s report the assertion performed for each finding (default is false).

Note

XSLT vs SCH Schematron files: XSLT versions of Schematron files are pre-processed files and offer significantly better performance for complex rule cases. In addition, if Schematron rules import other resources, use of XSLT files is required.

<verify handler="SchematronValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="schematron">$schematronFile</input>
    <!-- Following inputs are optional. -->
    <input name="showSchematron">false()</input>
    <input name="sortBySeverity">true()</input>
    <input name="showTests">true()</input>
</verify>

StringValidator

Used to verify that a provided string matches an expected value.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

actualstring

Yes

string

The value to check.

expectedstring

Yes

string

The expected value.

<verify handler="StringValidator" desc="Check string">
    <input name="actualstring">$aString</input>
    <input name="expectedstring">'expected_string'</input>
</verify>

XmlMatchValidator

Used to validate an XML document by matching it against a provided template.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

xml

Yes

object

The XML file to validate.

template

Yes

object

The XML file to consider as the validation’s template.

ignoredPaths

No

list[string]

An optional list of paths provided as XPath expressions identifying sections of the XML to ignore.

The matching process takes place by normalising whitespace, ignoring comments and tolerating naming differences in namespace prefixes. In addition, texts of elements or attributes in the provided template can be specified with the special value ?. This means that any value will be allowed for this element or attribute and will be ignored as part of the matching (e.g. to ignore random tokens, timestamps, or texts with no expected value).

In case you want to ignore complete XML sections you may use the ignoredPaths attribute. This allows you to define one or more paths that identify elements that will, themselves and for all children, be ignored. For each provided path the following constraints apply:

  • It must be formed as a namespace-aware XPath expression considering the namespace prefixes of the provided template.

  • It must identify a specific element, rather than a set of elements, a text node or an attribute.

  • It must be a simple element-based path with no functions, selectors or wildcards.

The following example illustrates how this validator can be used:

<!--
    Validate an XML file based on a provided template.
-->
<verify handler="XmlMatchValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xml">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="template">$templateFile</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Another validation that also defines a set of paths to ignore.
    Variable "pathsToSkip" is of type list[string].
-->
<assign to="$pathsToSkip" append="true">"/x:Invoice/x:BillingInformation/y:Comments"</assign>
<verify handler="XmlMatchValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xml">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="template">$templateFile</input>
    <input name="ignoredPaths">$pathsToSkip</input>
</verify>

XmlValidator

Used to validate an XML document against an XML Schema (XSD) and/or zero or more Schematron files.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

xml

Yes

object

The XML document to validate.

xsd

No

schema

The XSD to validate the document’s structure against.

schematron

No

list[schema]

The list of Schematron files to validate the document’s content against.

schematronType

No

string

The type of Schematron file to consider (xslt or sch) in case this cannot be determined from the files’ suffix. The overall default considered is sch.

stopOnXsdErrors

No

boolean

Whether or not XSD errors should prevent validation from proceeding with Schematron validations (default is true).

sortBySeverity

No

boolean

Whether findings should be sorted by severity (true) or by location in the XML content (false - the default).

showValidationArtefacts

No

boolean

Whether or not the XSDs and/or Schematrons used for the validation should be included in the step’s report (default is true).

showSchematronTests

No

boolean

Whether or not the Schematron assertions applied should be displayed for each reported finding (default is false).

Regarding inputs, if you need to supply a single Schematron file you don’t need to create a list and pass it as such. You can simply pass the Schematron file as-is and the test engine will automatically convert it to a single-element list. Note that considering that both the xsd and schematron inputs are optional, if you provide neither, the validation will simply succeed with an empty report.

The following examples illustrate how the XmlValidator can be used in various scenarios:

<!--
    Validate against an XSD.
-->
<verify handler="XmlValidator" desc="XML validation">
    <input name="xml">$content</input>
    <input name="xsd">$schema</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Validate against a single Schematron file.
-->
<verify handler="XmlValidator" desc="XML validation">
    <input name="xml">$content</input>
    <input name="schematron">$schematron</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Validate against two Schematron files.
-->
<assign to="schematrons" append="true">$schematron1</assign>
<assign to="schematrons" append="true">$schematron2</assign>
<verify handler="XmlValidator" desc="XML validation">
    <input name="xml">$content</input>
    <input name="schematron">$schematrons</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Validate against an XSD and two Schematron files:
    - Without stopping for XSD errors.
    - Sorting findings by severity.
    - Hiding the XSD and Schematrons used.
-->
<assign to="schematrons" append="true">$schematron1</assign>
<assign to="schematrons" append="true">$schematron2</assign>
<verify handler="XmlValidator" desc="XML validation">
    <input name="xml">$content</input>
    <input name="schematron">$schematrons</input>
    <input name="stopOnXsdErrors">false()</input>
    <input name="sortBySeverity">true()</input>
    <input name="showValidationArtefacts">false()</input>
</verify>

When comparing with the similar XSDValidator and SchematronValidator, the XmlValidator is more flexible and simple to use. In addition, it allows a better fine-tuning of how validation steps are presented. If for example validating XML content requires validation against an XSD and two Schematron files, using the XSDValidator and SchematronValidator will present three distinct validation steps in the session execution diagram. Using the XmlValidator you may still display each such validation separately but you also have the option of making a single validation for all artefacts. Doing so is typically preferred because:

  • It presents a single logical step, rather than expose the different resources involved.

  • It aggregates all findings in a single report.

For the sake of comparison, the following examples illustrate how two distinct validations carried out with the XSDValidator and SchematronValidator can be replicated via a single use of the XmlValidator:

<!--
    Using the XSDValidator and SchematronValidator.
-->
<verify handler="XSDValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="xsddocument">$schemaFile</input>
</verify>
<verify handler="SchematronValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="schematron">$schematronFile</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Equivalent validation using the XmlValidator.
-->
<verify handler="XmlValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xml">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="xsd">$schemaFile</input>
    <input name="schematron">$schematronFile</input>
    <input name="stopOnXsdErrors">false()</input>
</verify>

XPathValidator

Used to evaluate an XPath 3.0 expression against a provided XML document. The result of the expression needs to evaluate to a boolean (i.e. true for success or false for failure).

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

xmldocument

Yes

object

The XML document upon which the XPath expression will be evaluated.

xpathexpression

Yes

string

The XPath 3.0 expression passed as a string.

An important note here is that the XPath expression passed in xpathexpression is meant to be a string. This means that to run an expression as-is you need to wrap it in quotes. This is because the content of the input element can also be an expression that you want to evaluate to give you the final expression to use. The following example illustrates both cases:

<!--
    Pass a string as the expression to use.
-->
<verify handler="XPathValidator" desc="Check document">
    <input name="xmldocument">$myDocument</input>
    <input name="xpathexpression">"contains(/toc/text(), 'string to look for')"</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Evaluate an expression that will give you the final expression to use.
-->
<verify handler="XPathValidator" desc="Check document">
    <input name="xmldocument">$myDocument</input>
    <input name="xpathexpression">concat("contains(/toc/text()", ", 'string to look for')")</input>
</verify>

In the expressions you use for the validations (attribute xpathexpression) you may also make use of XML namespaces. Doing so is actually a best practice to ensure that you don’t have ambiguous results due to elements with the same local names. To use namespaces in expressions you first need to define their prefixes in the test case’s namespaces section. Moreover, keep in mind that the provided input (attribute xmldocument) also supports expressions with namespaces when determining the XML content to apply the XPath expression to (if e.g. you want to validate only a part of an XML document).

The following example illustrates how you can use namespace prefixes with your XPath expressions:

<testcase>
    <!--
        Declare the namespaces to be used.
    -->
    <namespaces>
       <ns prefix="ns1">urn:specification:foo</ns>
       <ns prefix="ns2">urn:specification:bar</ns>
    </namespaces>
    <steps>
        <!--
            Use the defined namespaces.
        -->
        <verify handler="XPathValidator" desc="Check document">
            <input name="xmldocument">$myDocument</input>
            <input name="xpathexpression">"/ns1:Foo/ns2:Bar/text() = 'EXPECTED'"</input>
        </verify>
    </steps>
</testcase>

XSDValidator

Used to validate an XML document against an XML Schema (XSD) instance.

Input name

Required?

Type

Description

xsddocument

Yes

schema

The XSD to validate the document against.

xmldocument

Yes

object

The XML document to validate.

showSchema

No

boolean

Whether to include in the step’s report the XSD used for the validation (default is true).

sortBySeverity

No

boolean

Whether to sort findings by severity (true) or location in the input (false - the default).

<verify handler="XSDValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <input name="xsddocument">$schemaFile</input>
    <!-- Following inputs are optional. -->
    <input name="showSchema">false()</input>
    <input name="sortBySeverity">true()</input>
</verify>

Authentication for external handlers

Handlers defined as external service implementations may need to be protected with access control. To support such protected services, the GITB software foresees the possibility to authenticate as part of each service call. Authentication information needs to be configured before any exchanges take place with the service and as such, cannot use the config and input elements otherwise used to pass information. Authentication configuration is handled with property elements that are used as part of the handler setup in:

  • The btxn step for transactional messaging services.

  • The send, receive and listen step for non-transactional messaging services.

  • The bptxn step for transactional processing services.

  • The process step for non-transactional processing services.

  • The verify step for validation services.

The authentication possibilities currently supported are:

  • Basic HTTP authentication for all calls to the service’s HTTP/HTTPS endpoint. This is authentication at the transport layer.

  • Authentication using the WS-Security UsernameToken profile (see here), supporting text and digest password transmission with timestamps and nonces. This is authentication at the SOAP application layer.

The properties that are supported in the property elements are listed in the following table:

Property name

Value

Description

auth.basic.username

Any string

The username to provide when prompted for basic HTTP authentication.

auth.basic.password

Any string

The password to provide when prompted for basic HTTP authentication.

auth.token.username

Any string

The username to include in the SOAP header as the UsernameToken’s username.

auth.token.password

Any string

The password to include in the SOAP header as the UsernameToken’s password.

auth.token.password.type

‘DIGEST’ (the default) or ‘TEXT’

The way the password is to be serialised in the header. ‘DIGEST’ includes it as a DIGEST whereas ‘TEXT’ adds it in plaintext.

Note that use of HTTP basic authentication and the UsernameToken are not necessarily exclusive. A case where both are provided would be where a service protects access to its WSDL using HTTP basic authentication and adds additional protection for SOAP service calls by means of a UsernameToken. Combining both approaches is rare but possible. The following example illustrates use of these authentication properties calling various test services:

<!--
    Transactional messaging service authentication with UsernameToken (DIGEST).
-->
<btxn from="Sender" to="Receiver1" txnId="t1" handler="$messagingServiceURL">
    <property name="auth.token.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername1}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword1}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password.type">DIGEST</property>
</btxn>
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send message" from="Sender" to="Receiver1" txnId="t1"/>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>
<!--
    Validation service authentication with UsernameToken (DIGEST - the default) and HTTP basic authentication.
-->
<verify handler="$validationService1" desc="Validate content">
    <property name="auth.basic.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername2}</property>
    <property name="auth.basic.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword2}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername3}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword3}</property>
    <input name="content">$contentToValidate</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Transactional processing service authentication with HTTP basic authentication.
-->
<bptxn txnId="t1" handler="$processingServiceURL">
    <property name="auth.basic.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername4}</property>
    <property name="auth.basic.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword4}</property>
</bptxn>
<process id="result" txnId="t1">
    <operation>action</operation>
    <input name="anInput">$aValue</input>
</process>
<eptxn txnId="t1"/>
<!--
    Non-transactional processing service authentication with HTTP basic authentication.
-->
<process id="result" handler="$otherProcessingServiceURL">
    <property name="auth.basic.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername5}</property>
    <property name="auth.basic.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword5}</property>
    <operation>action</operation>
    <input name="anInput">$aValue</input>
</process>
<!--
    Validation service authentication with UsernameToken (TEXT) authentication.
-->
<verify handler="$validationService2" desc="Validate content">
    <property name="auth.token.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername6}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword6}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password.type">TEXT</property>
    <input name="content">$contentToValidate</input>
</verify>
<!--
    Non-transactional messaging service with UsernameToken (TEXT) authentication.
-->
<send id="dataSend" desc="Send message" from="Sender" to="Receiver" handler="$messagingServiceURL">
    <property name="auth.token.username">$DOMAIN{serviceUsername7}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password">$DOMAIN{servicePassword7}</property>
    <property name="auth.token.password.type">TEXT</property>
    <input name="message">$messageToSend</input>
</send>
<etxn txnId="t1"/>

Handler inputs and outputs

The input and output elements used with handlers are what GITB refers to as “Binding elements”. They share the following structure:

Name

Required?

Description

@name

no

The name of the input or output element.

@lang

no

The expression language that should be considered when evaluating its contained expression (see Expressions).

@source

no

A pure variable reference identifying a source variable. Used as the target upon which to evaluate the contained expression.

@asTemplate

no

Whether or not the result will be considered as a template for placeholder replacement (see Expressions and templates). By default this is “false”.

The text content of the element is considered to be an expression (see Expressions). In the case a source attribute is provided the contained expression is evaluated on the variable identified by source to produce the value. If no source attribute is present the value is the result of the expression itself. For inputs of type object or schema (i.e. XML documents) the source attribute can also be used to pass the complete document as the value. In this case use of the source attribute to reference the relevant variable is equivalent to specifying its reference as the expression:

<verify handler="SchematronValidator" desc="Validate content">
    <!--
        Pass document through the expression.
    -->
    <input name="xmldocument">$docToValidate</input>
    <!--
        Pass document through the source attribute.
    -->
    <input name="schematron" source="$schematronFile"/>
</verify>

Note

Specifying a fixed value: Considering that the default expression language is XPath, a fixed text value is provided by enclosing it in quotes. See Expressions for further details.

The input and output options for service handlers are documented as part of their module definition. For handlers accessible via remote web service calls this information is returned when calling the handler’s getModuleDefinition operation. This is also used internally by the test bed before calling a service handler to ensure that required parameters are provided by the test case.