Project: A scalable protocol test development and execution framework for network communication systems

The boom in the telecommunications sector the past two decades has allowed the development of communication systems and networking applications over fixed, wireless, mobile and satellite networks. During the last years, the network convergence has also provided emerging requirements for the development of new communication systems and protocols, which would allow the provision of innovative video, voice and data services._x000D__x000D_The evolution in the telecoms sector has allowed the technology transfer in other industrial sectors as well including aeronautics, space, industrial control etc. This technological expansion has allowed many companies to make business and revenues by developing applications, which communicate among each other or with 3rd parties, thus significantly enriching their functionality. Wireless application systems (sensors, devices, etc.), command & control systems (avionics, space, automotive etc.), home network systems (infotainment, home appliances control, etc.) are typical examples of such applications._x000D__x000D_Apart from the big players, which are already established and well positioned in the communications systems markets, there are many SMEs developing applications, which shall ‘communicate’, for different market sectors including telecoms, aerospace, home and web applications etc. These SMEs constitute the backbone of the communications market, since they develop their own products or provide development services to bigger players._x000D__x000D_On the other hand, during the development lifecycle of a ‘networking application’ an apparent need arises, i.e. the capability to test and verify that the application is sending and receiving the correct data. For this reason SMEs developing such applications require network validation and monitoring tools for testing and troubleshooting purposes, particularly for the adaptation, integration and testing phases in the product development lifecycle. _x000D__x000D_Naturally, in the market, there are such tools available including LTE EPC for mobile core networks by Tektronix, the Agilent Network Tester for Triple Play services, PBA.pro for avionics databus test and analysis by AIM etc. Nevertheless, these tools do not fulfill the SMEs’ needs for the following reasons:_x000D_- They constitute expensive solutions, since the target market is COly big manufacturers and not SMEs_x000D_- They are dedicated in specific networking interfaces, thus if an SME wants to perform validation activities in another network, the SME should purchase a different tool_x000D_- They usually support specific validation functions, for instance conformance testing or stress testing, thus the SMEs cannot do both with one tool_x000D_- They are proprietary, i.e. they do not support easy integration of new protocols, applications and physical interfaces that could be developed or manufactured by 3rd parties and not necessarily by the tool vendor_x000D_- They hardly support validation tests for interworking cases between different communication networks, since they do not simultaneously support different network interface cards_x000D_- They provide tests with limited adaptation capabilities, for instance the supported tests are not expandable with fault injection functionality, which can be used during the conformance testing procedure_x000D_- The SMEs are heavily dependent from the tool vendors for supporting new functionality, which in most of the cases it is not possible within reasonable costs_x000D_- Further to the high cost of the tools, training and specialization costs of the SME personnel should be added._x000D__x000D_Such problems used to exist in the past in the network monitoring area, where the SMEs could not afford the high cost of the protocol analysers available in the market. For this reason, open source network protocol analysers such as Wireshark (www.wireshark.org) are now available. Wireshark is the de facto standard across many industries and educational institutions and is widely used by many companies (COly SMEs) worldwide. While Wireshark constitutes a success story in the network monitoring area, there is no similar tool in the network validation area. _x000D__x000D_PRODEX aims to fullfil this gap by designing, developing and qualifying an open, scalable, adaptable and future-proof protocol test development and execution framework supporting the validation of communication systems and networked applications across different industrial sectors._x000D__x000D_PRODEX's areas of use will be rapid prototyping, functional testing as well as interworking and interoperability testing. Based on its open architecture and modular design, PRODEX will be a future-safe and cost-effective solution for SMEs with demanding validation requirements. The CO PRODEX foreseen strengths are: _x000D_- All in one validation environment_x000D_- Suitable for many different areas/users_x000D_- Easy integration of new interfaces, protocols, applications_x000D_- Built on open and standard technologies_x000D_- Support of multiple networks simultaneously_x000D__x000D_The PRODEX high-level architecture is depicted in Figure 1._x000D_

Acronym PRODEX (Reference Number: 5970)
Duration 01/02/2011 - 31/01/2013
Project Topic PRODEX aims to design, develop and qualify an open, scalable, adaptable and future-proof protocol test development and execution framework supporting the validation of communication systems and networked applications across different industrial sectors.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 5

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 Naturen Industrial, Informatics and Trading Ltd. Partner Hungary
3 MILTECH HELLAS S.A Coordinator Greece
3 Seprotronic GmbH Partner Germany