Although ISO8583 is said to be a standard it is open to interpretation and there are lost of variations of the standard in message formats and field definitions. As such, testing these different systems becomes more complicated as similar but not exact messages and test data have to be constructed for testing purposes.
The Frurion™ data dictionary, which is common to all the products in the Frurion™ suite, provides a mechanism whereby different ISO8583 message formats and field definitions can be stored together for later use. This helps facilitate the testing of different ISO8583 based systems at different times by simply using the appropriate definitions in the data dictionary.
Furthermore, test data can be stored in Proteros’s proprietary XML format to ease readability and external manipulation; all data dictionary definitions can be stored in any source code control such as subversion, visual source safe etc. facilitating version control of any set of definitions. The system also comes equipped with the capability to generate expected results and to compare expected against actual results.
Other facilities include: the use of reference data to limit the values a field can take during test data creation, which in turn improves data quality. The simulators can read in data in either native ISO8583 or in XML, for conversion during test execution. An inbuilt hex dump facility assists problem solving by being able to display the data “on the wire” in both hex and character format based on the data dictionary definitions.
At the heart of the simulator is a fully functional transaction-processing engine, which handles message routing, processing and responses. This is coupled with a fully featured accounts management system, which allows any tester to prepare and prime test accounts with an easy to use call-centre interface.
The simulator addresses all the testing requirements from component testing through system, user acceptance and pre-certification testing, in one simple and easy to use Windows® environment.
Test data, too, can be created within the same environment and inbuilt message and data element validators ensure that test data is created to meet current ISO8583 message definitions, eliminating time-consuming data defect investigations, which are the result of poorly constructed data.
The Frurion™ testing simulator places the tester in complete control of the testing function and provides the ability to create and repeat tests, time after time, in minutes of using the system.