QA Focus

Sep 29 2008   11:58PM GMT

Functional Testing of Web Services: Part V

Sentinel627 Greg Annen Profile: Sentinel627

In my never-ending (or so it seems) quest for a cool set of tools for testing web services, I have come across another free(ware)bie, TCPMonitor. You can download a version from here.

First, define a Port to be used for intercepting requests/responses on your local test PC. Choose any port number that is not currently in use, like 8888:

TCPMonitor SetUp

Target Hostname is the name of the server hosting the web service to be tested.

Target Port # is the port where the web service is found.

This info can be easily found in the original web service URL. For example:


When you use a tool (like VuGen) to import a WSDL or submit a SOAP request and you want to capture all the data that is exchanged between the client and the web service, you simply modify the URL to point instead to the TCPMonitor “interceptor” on your local PC. For example, modifying the URL above, we would get:


The web service doesn’t care where the request comes from, and it sends its response right back to the local port. You then get a monitor console readout of your request (in the top pane, where it says “POST / “) and its response (in the bottom pane). For example:

TCPMonitor Request and Response View

For ease of viewing, make sure the ‘XML Format’ box is checked.

After you capture the information, click the ‘Save’ button to store the request and response in a text file. This file contains information about the port and server settings, the body of the request, and the body of the response. Here’s our example above, which you might use to trace the error:

Saved Request and Response

Not too shabby for freeware!

Since TCPMonitor is a Java applet, you can even run it on your PC directly from the download website.

You might ask, “Soooo, if I don’t have VuGen, and I need a tool for actually submitting a SOAP request so I can use TCPMon to monitor the transaction, where might I find one that’s simple and free?” I’m glad you asked.

But that’s a subject for another blog!

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