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Dynamically Generating Conformance Tests for Messaging Systems



Robert D. Snelick, Leonard E. Gebase, Sydney Henrard


The advent of XML technologies for data exchange negotiations in B2B applications is proliferating a new class of messaging standards that are only fully designed at the implementation level. These specifications offer unmatched flexibility. However, this presents a challenge for ensuring correctness, as each implementation is potentially unique--conformance tests are needed. We propose a generalized methodology and a tool that produces self-adapting test messages. The messages are dynamically created after design-time and factor in unique characteristics of an implementation. This contrasts to traditional methodologies, where tests are developed irrespective of any specific implementation. We demonstrate the utility of our methodology by implementing a tool, called Message Maker, which dynamically produces conformance test messages. Our target test domain is the HL7 version 2 healthcare messaging standard. Message Maker is a graphical-based tool that generates test messages based on any given HL7 XML message template, referred to as a message profile. The resulting messages can be used to test HL7 applications to ensure that they adhere to the message profile specification. Employing a comprehensive testing program at the onset of an implementation leads to more reliable systems, and ultimately, reduced costs.
Conference Dates
June 26-29, 2006
Conference Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Conference Title
2006 International Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice (SERP'06)


automated methods, biosystems and health, conformance profiles, messaging systems, novel software tool, software testing


Snelick, R. , Gebase, L. and Henrard, S. (2006), Dynamically Generating Conformance Tests for Messaging Systems, 2006 International Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice (SERP'06), Las Vegas, NV, USA, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created June 25, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021