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Posted Dec 23, 2008

Testing your Web services using the Data Web Services Test Client

By Paul Zikopoulos

In the first twelve parts of this series, I’ve introduced you to some of the many features available within the IBM Data Studio integrated development environment (IDE) that’s available for use with the IBM data servers. Specifically, I’ve shown you how to set up and use database connection objects, how to generate an overview diagram of your database architecture, how to build OLE DB functions that can be used to easily integrate data from external data sources that have an OLE DB provider, how to create an SQL statement using either the SQL Builder or the SQL Editor in IBM Data Studio, and how to take an SQL statement and quickly turn it into a stored procedure. I’ve also shown you how to wrap both an SQL statement and a stored procedure as a Web service, and how to test your Web service using the Web Services Explorer.

In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the Data Web Services Test Client that’s available in IBM Data Studio Version 1.2 or later.

Getting ready for this article

I assume in this article that you performed the steps in “Part 12: Testing your Web Service using the Web Services Explorer”. From there, all you need to do in order to follow the steps in this article is ensure that the application server you defined and deployed your Web services to in Part 11 is started and running such that the Servers tab looks like this:

I assume that your Data Project Explorer view looks similar to the following view:

Data Project Explorer

Why the need for the Data Web Services Test Client?

The Data Web Services Test Client provides a number of advantages over the Web Services Explorer for testing your Web services. For example, the Data Web Services Test Client includes options for testing additional message protocols and binding types such as JSON and HTTP POST, which just aren’t available with the Web Services Explorer. In addition, the Data Web Services Test Client provides a richer interface and visualizations of the request and response headers and documents. With the Web Services Explorer, you had to navigate through different views to see the request and response envelopes, and didn’t have easy access to other key artifacts such as the WSDL file and more.

Perhaps the best part is that the Data Web Services Test Client is deployed with your Web services. In other words, you can open it on your Web server using a Web browser; there is no need to install IBM Data Studio. (If you recall, in the last part of this series I noted what I like most about the Data Web Services Test Client: you can test services such as a REST-based Web service using a browser without all of the manual steps required by the Web Services Explorer.) Of course, you can use the Data Web Services Test Client within IBM Data Studio too, if you have this software installed. Depending on your role in your organization, this may be a benefit. I’ll show you how to test the Web service we built in the last part of this series using the Data Web Services Test Client launched both ways--from within IBM Data Studio, and separately from a Web browser.

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