What are message proxies and how are they used?

When getting started with Virtualize, it is often a good idea to
get ahold of some traffic going from your client to your service
so that you have a better understanding of the transport between
the two. The best way to do this when using Virtualize is by using
a message proxy.

  • The first thing you will want to do when creating your proxy is
    look over at the Virtualize server view on the right hand side of
    your Virtualize instance. Here, if you expand the server tab, you
    should see your "local machine" server. If it is not already,
    expand this as well. At that point, the "Message Proxies" folder
    will be visible.

  • Right click this folder and select Add Message Proxy. This will
    not immediately create the proxy itself, so we need to take a
    couple extra steps to create and configure it. From here, double
    click on the Proxy that was created under the Message Proxies
    folder. From here, click on the Connections tab. On this screen,
    you can view any active proxies that were created as part of this
    proxy "container." To add a proxy, click on the Add button at the
    bottom of the table.

  • Next we will want to add our connection settings. These settings
    will be different for every service, so make sure that you are
    double-checking these settings as they are being input. The first
    connection you will make is from the incoming client. This setting
    should be something that is easily identifiable as being the proxy,
    so it is considered best practice to make this incoming path the
    same path as the connection to the service that you are trying to
    emulate, but add in "/proxy/" to the beginning of it.

Ex: /proxy/parabank/services/store-01.

  • Once that has been done, we need to enter in the connection settings
    for the service that we are trying to emulate. If you are following
    the best practice as shown above, you need only enter in the service
    host and port, then paste the rest of the path after /proxy/ as shown
    above into the service forward path section.

  • After this is done, click OK and >>REMEMBER TO SAVE YOUR PROGRESS<<.

  • Next, you need to point your client application at the proxy you just
    created. This is often done in the source code of the client application.
    If you were following the best practices as stated above, you need only
    change the host and port of the target application and then add in
    /proxy/ to the path.

  • Now that you have configured your client application, the only thing
    we have left is to enable our proxy in Virtualize by right-clicking
    it in the Virtualize server view in Virtualize and clicking enable.

  • Once it has finished deploying, you should be able to use your client
    application as normal, but instead of going directly to the live
    service, it will be getting diverted through the proxy to the live
    service. To create the traffic, all you need to do is end your
    recording by right clicking the proxy once again and selecting "Stop
    Recording." The next step when creating traffic is to right click the
    enabled proxy and select start recording. All traffic that flows
    through this proxy will then get recorded into a traffic file that
    you can locate by moving over to the navigator view in Virtualize
    and refreshing. You should see a folder called "recorded traffic"
    under the Virtualize Assets Project folder.

  • As an alternative, you can simply monitor the traffic going between
    your client and your backend by right clicking the proxy and selecting
    "Start Monitoring" instead of "Start Recording". When the proxy is in
    monitor mode, any messages that are sent back and forth through the
    proxy are added into our Event Details Perspective. To view this
    perspective, the easiest way to do this is to click on "window" at
    the top of the Virtualize screen and select Perspective > Open
    Perspective > Parasoft Event details.

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