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An approach to replay, alter and simulate network communication

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235865D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-28
Document File: 6 page(s) / 96K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An approach to replay, alter and simulate network communication

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 34% of the total text.

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An approach to replay, alter and simulate network communication

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1. Introduction

Network communication is a crucial part of most software products and services. All manner of distributed computing utilizes network communication between parties that may be designated clients, servers or peers. Software products that rely heavily on network communications usually follow standard protocols for all communication.

A general problem in the development of such software products is the need for:

1. ensuring communication protocol is followed correctly in all scenarios including those that maybe rare and corner cases

2. newer features that are developed as protocols change or evolve need to be tested for protocol changes

3. once the product(s) are released for public use there may occur a need to recreate a field situation in house for troubleshooting or analysis. It would be desirable that this be achieved without the need for replicating every infrastructure element that is present in the field environment.

4. there would be a need to exercise the products(s) and the communication protocol in an experimental or hypothetical scenario. Something that may only be achieved through some means of simulation

For a piece of software under development, it is expensive with respect to time and money to have to setup up surrounding infrastructure of software and services to be able to meet the needs mentioned above. In a connected environment a large no of states/configurations of the software product would be a result of the information it exchanges with other systems via network communication. The problem of recreating any desired state/configuration for the software product therefore reduces to the problem of having the ability to fabricate and simulate any kind of network data - and this is the problem to which a solution is offered herein. The solution is not invasive with regard to the products where it may be used and is general enough to be applicable to a broad category of products.

An implementation of this solution exists and has been used for the development of a database driver that communicates with database servers using an open standards protocol. The implementation is used as a reference in the explanations that follow.

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2. Solution Approach

Figure 1 - How the solution works

Figure 1 shows how the solution works. The Object labeled (2) in Figure 1 is an embodiment of this solution. Objects (1) and (3) are any software, software components or systems that communicate with each other over a network, exchanging information and delivering messages between themselves. Either one or both of Objects (1) or (3) could be the "party of interest" for us. The "party of interest" is the software product / component that we intend to develop, troubleshoot or test. For the sake of the explanation here, we've assumed that we have one party of interest and that is Object
(3).

Object (2) acts like an intelligent proxy bet...