XML-RPC for a distributed test automation framework

In today's world, software has evolved into highly distributed and complex architectures to optimise its usage. This poses a big challenge to testers who need to ensure that a solid regression test automation framework is developed and deployed to take care of this. No matter how complex the implementation of the software product, it needs to be thorougly tested and quality maintained during the entire cycle of the product.

As a case of discussion, in my organization currently, we have a web application for which we already have selenium based test automation suites that run off a windows XP box at a scheduled interval. There is now a need to extend the test scope to invoke some backend engines that run on a linux box.

After some research it looks like XML-RPC is best suited for this purpose.

This will involve writing 2 modules (a 'client' test script that sends a request to start the engine on the remote server and resides on the windows test automation box and a 'server' that resides on the linux server from where the engines run and produce some result that needs to be sent back to the calling test automation script from the windows box).

The server will run on a pre-determined non-standard port. Methods will be defined in here which makes calls to run the backend engines and return the result set.

The client will send the request to the server by establishing communication to the host on the port via HTTP protocol. If the server needs authentication, you may even pass username and password in the request.

Since we are using python with Selenium, we are developing our XML-RPC client server in python. Here's the link for documentation and some examples that help to quickly setup a client server communcation.

http://docs.python.org/library/xmlrpclib.html

Please note it can be done not only using python but also using any language like Java, php, etc.


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