Wesley Hand
Director, Product Management, Network Testing Solutions
Blog

Simplify Test Automation with IxNetwork REST API Browser

February 13, 2018 by Wesley Hand

Automation is becoming a mainstream topic in conversations with customers. It’s clear that the industry is transforming not just the networks, but how they are orchestrated and tested.  In discussions with our NEM, service provider, and enterprise customers, Ixia’s automation strategy is resonating with every customer we have engaged. 

For example, one customer is now reassessing their automation plan and moving towards Python and REST for their script development. Another, a long-time user of Tcl scripting, is now upgrading their test environment to the latest software so they may begin using Ixia’s new automation. A final example is a major NEM customer using Perl as their language of choice, but recently made the decision to move to a ROBOT automation framework. Our ROBOT and REST APIs integrate seamlessly with their new framework and are now on the path to building next-generation automation for their Ixia test products.

We are continuously making significant advancements in the field of test automation, and our customers are fast-noticing that Ixia is their best solution. Most recently, we launched new REST API enhancements to our IxNetwork API browser. Here’s a quick overview of the new features and how they’ll help you meet your test automation goals.

View and Modify Objects in a Simple Table Format

Have you ever tried to navigate an object-oriented data model via an API?  It can be a challenge. Now, in addition to being able to view each object in IxNetwork in its native JSON, users can also view and modify the objects in a much simpler, table format. Both views are still available, but the table view is much easier to read and use to modify the configuration, while the JSON is more useful for copying and pasting into scripts as part of the configuration of IxNetwork.

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View Statistics in a Simple, Real-Time Table

Results are what testing is all about, and when you are developing automated scripts, debugging the test relies heavily on checking results to ensure the script is designed correctly. In addition to viewing the objects in a more concise way, users can now see statistics from IxNetwork in a simple, table format…IN REAL TIME. This new feature allows users to check statistics across any view in real time using a web browser, no longer needing to revert to the windows GUI. This significantly reduces debugging time for scripters. And combined with the above table view, users can adjust the configuration interactively and watch the stats change before having to make a single modification to their scripts. 

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NGPF Graphical Viewer

The most exciting development in the API browser is the ability to see the NGPF configuration in its graphical form like you would see in the Windows GUI. This interactive view of the configuration allows you to view the various topologies and their contents, and has built-in hyperlinks on the objects to take you directly to their table definitions and make changes. The changes are instantaneously reflected into the viewer widget. 

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“Select” Query for Object Configuration

Finally, a significant time-saving enhancement called the “Select” REST API allows you to write more efficient code by querying the configuration for specific objects. This API eliminates the need to write code that traverses the configuration tree, branch by branch, until the desired object is found. Using a filtering mechanism, the program can simply select the matching object and retrieve all its attributes in a JSON format.

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These advancements play a significant role in differentiating IxNetwork as the most automatable traffic-generation solution in the market. And more is to come. Each of the enhancements to the API browser are automatically pushed to the API server using IxNetwork’s automated update feature. If the API server is connected to the Internet, it will receive these enhancements without user intervention. So, stay tuned and watch for more coming features.

If you would like to learn more about Ixia automation, contact us through your sales manager or our web site.  We are here to help accelerate your automation vision.

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