Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™)
GL's Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™) is a protocol simulation and conformance test tool that supports a variety of protocols such as SIP, MEGACO, MGCP, SS7, ISDN, GSM, MAP, CAS, LTE, UMTS, SS7 SIGTRAN, ISDN SIGTRAN, SIP I, GSM AoIP, Diameter and others. This message automation tool covers solutions for both protocol simulation and protocol analysis. The application includes various test plans and test cases to support the testing of real-time entities. Along with automation capability, the application gives users the unlimited ability to edit messages and control scenarios (message sequences). "Message sequences" are generated through scripts.
MAPS™ supports transmission and detection of various traffic types over IP (RTP, GTP), ATM, GSM (TRAU), & TDM - such as, digits, voice file, single tone, dual tones, fax, sms, email, http, ftp, and video. MAPS™ also includes support for wide range of codec rates – visit www.gl.com/traffic-simulation.html and www.gl.com/voice-codecs.html webpage for more details. Verify your latest mobile features over the network with various types of traffic generators and receivers. In GPRS, packet data traffic can be generated and validated with GTP traffic modules. Circuit switched traffic can be generated and recorded using RTP core module.
GL's MAPS™ is designed to work on TDM interfaces as well as on the IP/Ethernet interfaces. TDM signaling protocols such as SS7, ISDN, MLPPP, CAS, MAP, CAP, GSM, INAP, and BICC operate over TDM networks, where as VoIP protocols SIP, SIP-I, MEGACO, MGCP, SIGTRAN, Diameter, INAP, MAP, CAP, and BICC operate over IP transport layer.
MAPS™ also supports 3G & 4G mobile protocol standards for testing the rapidly evolving mobile technologies. MAPS™ can simulate radio signaling protocols such as LTE (S1, eGTP, X2) interfaces and UMTS (IuCS, IuPS, IuH), GPRG Gb, and GSM A over IP transport layer.
MAPS™ HD is an advanced bulk call generator used to simulate high volume calls with traffic. It is available as special purpose 1U network appliance that is capable of high call intensity (hundreds of calls/sec) and high volume of sustained calls (tens of thousands of simultaneous calls/1U platform).
MAPS™ for Wireless Network
General MAPS™ Features
- Call Simulation & Control
- Multi-protocol, Multi-interface Simulation
- Script based and protocol independent software architecture
- Auto generate and respond to signaling messages
- Traffic Handling Capabilities (requires additional license)
- Pre-processing tools
- Easy script builder for quick testing to advance testing
- Customization of test configuration profiles
- Unlimited ability to customize the protocol fields and call control scenarios
- Centralized Control and Remote Access
- Command Line Interface (requires additional license)
- Option to send reports to database accessible via web interface
- Centralized control of multiple MAPS™ applications remotely from single client application
- Reports and Statistics
- Call Status, Link Status, and Message Statistics
- Capture Events, and Error Events
Call Simulation and Control
The signaling and traffic simulation in a call is completely implemented using scripts. Commands in the scripts are executed in controlled way to simulate protocol and traffic behavior. Most of the commands used in the scripts are generic and independent of specific protocol.
MAPS™ application acts as either the Caller or resides at the network terminal acting as Callee. The Call Generation feature simulates an outgoing call by sending call control messages to the DUT using scripts and profiles. The profiles allow necessary parameters of call control messages to be changed during runtime. Call generated from other entity can be automatically detected in call reception window by pre-setting the required answer scripts in the Incoming Call Handler.
The call control scripts can also automatically handle the traffic over the established call. MAPS™ supports transmission and detection of various traffic types over IP (RTP, GTP), ATM, & TDM - such as, digits, voice file, single tone, dual tones, fax, sms, email, http, ftp, and video. MAPS™ also includes support for wide range of codec rates – visit www.gl.com/traffic-simulation.html and www.gl.com/voice-codecs.html webpage for more details.
Message Sequence - Each call scenario provides the trace with full decoding of the messages exchanged between the MAPS™ and the DUT, and graphical ladder diagrams of the call flow with time stamp. Impairments can be applied to messages to simulate error conditions that occur in real-time networks.
Event-Driven Control - Scripts execution, being event-based, allows redirection of script execution on-the-go with user-defined events. The custom parameters in the events can also be changed during script execution using event profiles.
Script Contents & Script Flow - The script flow and the contents window displays the Script Name, Sub-script Name, Script line number, and script statements to be successfully executed, which help the users in troubleshooting a particular call scenario.
Bulk Call Simulation and Load Testing
MAPS™ supports automated stress/load testing capabilities through Load Generation and Bulk Call Simulation features. Bulk Call Simulation allows quick configurations to easily create multiple test entries with different scripts and profiles. Multiple tests can be run simultaneously or sequentially (queue up tasks in succession). Load generation feature further allows specifying the patterns with which the bulk calls can be generated. Load generation can be customized with different statistical distribution patterns such as Uniform, Ramp, Sawtooth, Fixed, Normal, Step, and Step-Sawtooth distribution. Call duration also can be randomized using similar statistical distribution. This feature also helps users configure Stress/Load Testing parameters such as Call per second (CPS), Max Active Call, Minimum and Maximum Call Rates, Start Call Rates, and other parameters.
Scheduler can be used to schedule the simulation of bulk calls or manual calls at a specific start time. The pre-saved master configuration files for test setup and call simulation are automatically loaded to automate the test procedure.
Customization of Test Setup Parameters
The test setup profiles (.xml files) allow users to configure the necessary parameters in order to establish communication between MAPS™ and the DUT. It includes configuring parameters of the network nodes, the network properties, and transport related configurations such as T1/E1 timeslots, IP Address and port numbers for both MAPS™ and the DUT.
Once the transport layer is configured properly, protocol specific signaling messages and traffic can be transmitted and received successfully. All parameters setup in test setup are global and are accessible to all scripts. These parameters initialize protocol engines and the transport modules specific to the protocol.
Customization of Test Parameters, Call Flow, and Protocol Messages Using Pre-Processing Tools
- Message Editor - The Message Templates (GL’s proprietary *.HDL files) comprises of protocol encoding parameters with preset values. It is required to create a message template for every message in a protocol. The message templates are called within the scripts to perform scenario based testing.
- Profile Editor – Profiles (*.xml files) are used to change the values of the fields in the messages (i.e. Message Template in MAPS™) during the course of a call. The multiple profiles with varying parameter values that allow users to configure call instances in call generation and to receive calls.
- Script Editor - The script editor allows the user to create / edit scripts and to define variables for the fields in the messages. The script uses pre-defined message templates to build call flow and perform send and receive actions. Script editor provides options to run the test for multiple iterations in sequential or random flow. Commands allow retransmission of messages with specific interval.
Command Line Interface
Supports scripting through a Command Line Interface (CLI) such as the Python, and TCL, using MAPS™ client-server functionality (requires additional license)
MAPS™ can be configured as server-side application, to enable remote controlling of the application through multiple command-line based clients. Supported clients include C++, TCL, Python and others. TCL provides a simple scripting language, with programming facilities such as looping, procedures, and variables. The TCL Client application includes a MapsTclIfc.dll file, a packaged library that enables communication with the Server from a TCL environment.
User can remotely perform all functions such as start test bed setup, load scripts and profiles, apply user events such as send digits/file/tones, detect digits/file/tones, dial, originate call, terminate call, start and stop traffic and so on. User can also generate and receive calls through commands. This client application is distributed along with MAPS™ Server application. Multiple MAPS™ CLI servers can be controlled remotely from single client application (such as TCL, Python, etc).
Call Statistics, Events, Link Status
Call Status & Message Statistics - By default, all call handling scripts (irrespective of the type of the functions) are assessed by MAPS™ to provide statistical information about Total Calls, Active Calls, Completed Calls, Passed Calls, Failed Calls, and Calls/Sec. It is also possible to categorize the statistical information as per the call handling scripts. In addition, Call Generation and Call Reception windows provide useful call status & script execution results.
In addition, Message Stats option for any specific protocol, logs number of times the messages are being transmitted (Tx Count) and received (Rx Count), thus allowing user to monitor the occurring events.
Events Reporting – MAPS™ provides Event Log, Error Events, and Captured Errors windows that log the captured events and errors encountered during the progress of the call.
Link Status - Link Status window indicates transport related information of the protocol, for example, if SCTP is used as transport, it indicates if the association is Up or Down in the Link Status window. MAPS™ IuCS ATM uses SSCOP transport and the associated link status is indicated as Up or Down in the Link Status window.
MAPS™ Working Principle
Working Principle of MAPS™ Application
Call Control (Call Generation and Reception)
- Protocol Engine
Forms the backbone of MAPS™ application that contains Message Templates, and Call Handlers to help MAPS™ encode and decode protocol messages, exchange user-defined protocol field values at run time, and generate call flows.
- Transport Handlers
Support send & receive protocol messages over various transport layers - UDP, TCP, SCTP, LAPD, MTP2, and ATM.
- Global Configurations
Handles parameter configurations that are common across different test scenarios, such as protocol timers, inter-call duration, and so on.
- Impairment and Retransmission Modules
These modules support unexpected call behaviors to test system performance under realistic network conditions. These include – tests to introducing impairments at the traffic level or at the communication protocol level, retransmission of messages at defined interval of time, and so on .
- Traffic Handlers
These modules support generating and received traffic from the other network entities using different traffic type – Traffic over TDM / Analog, over IP, and encapsulation of IP traffic over GTP (Mobile Gateway / Packet Traffic)
- Allows users to build valid and invalid test cases
- Includes ready-to-run scripts for simulating important call scenarios / procedures.
- Offers ‘syntax-ready commands’ to easily build scripts
- Reusability, easy maintainability and reduced ‘time-to-market’.
- Allows users to modify any signaling message, message parameters, and/or information elements.
- Add, modify or remove any optional parameters depending on specific feature of interest.
- Perform packet level fault insertion by impairing any bit / byte of a message.
- Allows users to create multiple user-configuration profiles to suit different testing needs
- Values from the profiles replaces the original values in the messages during run-time
Please Note: The XX in the Item No. refers to the hardware platform, listed at the bottom of the Buyer's Guide, which the software will be running on. Therefore, XX can either be ETA or EEA (Octal/Quad Boards), PTA or PEA (tProbe Units), UTA or UEA (USB Units), HUT or HUE (Universal Cards), and HDT or HDE (HD cards) depending upon the hardware.