Category Archives: XML

Jakarta Latka

I have a peculiar interest in testing tools… I’ve mentioned JMeter (which is more of a stress testing tool) a couple times before, I just found a new one on the Jakarta site call Latka, which “… is a functional (end-to-end) testing tool. It is implemented in Java, and uses an XML syntax to define a series of HTTP (or HTTPS) requests and a set of validations used to verify that the request was processed correctly.

The cool thing about Latka is the non Java part… anyone that understands a little XML can create and/or edit an xml document that defines an ‘test’ and then run it using the Latka engine. So for instance, here at Mindseye our QA team is composed of invididuals with a small amount of programming experience. They could easily create a Lakta test using the xml syntax and then automate the testing of various applications using Latka. Still not convinced, here’s a sample test:

<?xml version=”1.0″ standalone=”no”?>
<!DOCTYPE suite PUBLIC “-//Apache Software Foundation/DTD Latka Test Suite 1.0/EN”
<suite defaultHost=”” label=”mindseye”>
   <request path=”/whymindseye/default.cfm” label=”why you should choose mindseye” method=”get” secure=”false” followRedirects=”true”>
      <statusCode code=”200″ />
      <regexp pattern=”What drives landmark companies” />

Save this to a file and then type:

latka file:PATH_TO_FILE

from the command line. It should check that the page returns an HTTP status code 200 and that it contains the phrase “What drives landmark companies”.

Unfortunately, Latka doesn’t appear that anyone is working on it (at least since last July).

On a related note, I also found this Slashdot discussion on “Testing Products for Web Applications?“.

C# and SOAP examples

Spent time w/ C# and SOAP today. I rewrote this ASP/VB/SOAP example using C#. Wow is .NET way easier than manually writing out an XML packet, making a request, parsing said XML packet using VBScript… plus you get all the obvious .NET implied features like automatic creation of WSDL descriptors and generated SOAP request and response sample packets. I’ll post my refactoring of the above example in C# soon.


I installed Jabber on my Linux server @ work yesterday. Took about 15 minutes to setup the server side, ‘nuther 15 to get a Linux client up and running and 15 to get a Windows client running and connected. Amazingly easy to do and I think Jabber could be very useful in a small office/department environment, if not an entire enterprise. Interally we use IM and email almost exclusively to communicate, even though we don’t have any cubes and sometimes you’re sitting right next to the person you’re talking w/. Anyway, here’s a fun article on using Jabber and bots.

importing large(45mb) xml files

I mentioned that I had to import a large weather file as part of the FJ project… it *works* using simple VBScript and MSXML but it turns out that it kills the server. Couple other options I found:

a) probably the best way to do it was would be to use SAX instead of DOM, unfortunately MSXML doesn’t support SAX via VBScript, only C++ and Visual Basic. Applicable article here on MSDN re: extracting data from a large document.

b) import the data directly into SQL Server using SQL Server Bulk Load functionality, which is the way I’m heading right now… How to? Here.

Great article here on using SAX 2.0 and Java to process large XML documents.