When working with Rational Performance Tester (RPT) it's often necessary to understand specific POST content and response content in order to understand the test or to do manual data correlation.
Many times the data that is sent or received appears undecipherable and impossible to understand. Here's an example:
At first glance this looks meaningless, but by using a few simple online tools we can transform that data into a meaningful format.
URL decoding example
Notice that the above text contains a lot of 3 letter combinations starting with '%': %3E, %0D, %2F, etc. This means the data is URL encoded. So the first step is to URL decode this text
From RPT copy the text from the Protocol data view and paste into Notepad
I then delete the headers and then will remove the "MyFakeCoent=" since these are readable and don't need to be converted to a readable format
To actually URL decode I use the online tool at http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/
Simply paste in the encoded text and press Decode
With one click I made the original undecipherable POST content text readable. I usually replace the contents from the tool back into notepad and work with it then.
JSON formatter example
Here's some arbitrary json returned from recording a Google Maps session in Firefox:
Again it's unreadable. The tool I use is JSON formatter from Web Toolkit Online at http://www.webtoolkitonline.com/xml-formatter.html
Just like the the URL decoding example above, simply copy the text and paste it into the online tool and press Format
If doing data correlation I would typically copy the output of the tool into Notepad and work with the text there
This online tool also formats CSS, SQL, and XML. It also does URL decoding and encoding.
Splitting Strings example
Sometimes I'll get a glob of text with fields separated by a comma or semi-colon and and to split the text into individual lines
For these instances I found the String Functions form Online Toolz http://online-toolz.com/tools/string-functions.php
useful particularly it's split string function. It's easy to use, just paste the text to be split, the character to split on, and press the Split button
The above tools are the ones I just happened to find a while back and used them. They work so I continue to use them. For each of these tools you can find other sites that do the same functions.
By using these online tools almost any POST content or response data can be decoded and formatted to make it easy to read which means easy to work with when doing data correlation in RPT.
Sometimes a combination of these tools needed to be used in order to format the text, example it has to be URL decoded first then formatted. With the three basic tools above I found that almost any text I come across when working the RPT can be formatted into a human readable format.
I find them valuable and a great time saver when doing manual data correlation.