Because of its centerpiece role in the IMS architecture for Authentication of subscribers and subscriber data storage, an HSS is required as soon as one wants to test an IMS service or an IMS component in a real IMS architecture. However, a commercial HSS is an expensive piece of software. A commercial HSS has other drawbacks when considered to be used for testing or integration tasks: it is complex to set up and operate, it is not targeted at helping to investigate problems that may occur.
MARBEN HSS Emulator is a cost effective alternative to commercial HSSs to be used in development and test environments by IMS service developers or integrators. Like COTS HSS, MARBEN HSS Emulator provides full support for subscriber Authentication and profile management. It fully conforms to the 3GPP standards specifying HSS functions and subscriber profile data model.
What makes MARBEN HSS Emulator attractive and valuable to IMS developers and integrators is a dedicated set of features which will ease their testing tasks and enable them to extend their test coverage:
MARBEN HSS Emulator installs in minutes. It does not require any special hardware or software to run. Implemented in Java MARBEN HSS Emulator can run on any platform. Once installed, you can just start using it. You don't have any programming to do. Just provision the set of subscribers you need for your tests and you are ready to go!
MARBEN HSS Emulator has been designed to ease the navigation in the complex user profile (GUP) data model. For instance, it displays the whole subscriber profile letting you access all subscriber information from a single screen. The GUI offers all the tools to quickly manage the subscriber database. It allows you to browse and search the entire user database for a particular subscriber, service or group of subscribers. You can then check or modify the contents of a subscriber or service profile. The GUI also lets you perform subscriber management operations like deregistering a subscriber.
MARBEN HSS Emulator offers monitoring features enabling you to track all accesses to HSS and subscriber database modifications. You can also easily save and restore HSS database to fully master your testing conditions and check your test results.
MARBEN HSS Emulator is aimed at performing component functional testing or simply providing the HSS functionality to an IMS workbench for testing IMS services or component in a full scale IMS environment. MARBEN HSS Emulator's target is not 3GPP Diameter interface conformance, robustness or stress testing. Other commercial tools operating at Diameter protocol level and requiring user development or scripting are available for such kind of usage. MARBEN HSS Emulator enters the development cycle as soon as the developed IMS component or application needs to authenticate subscribers or access their profile. That can happen from the early/prototyping phase until the last integration cycle before live deployment.
MARBEN HSS Emulator can be put onto a service developer's desktop to emulate an HSS and allow the developer to perform service unit testing. MARBEN HSS Emulator can also be part of an IMS workbench for performing full scale integration tests like shown in the picture above. In both cases, MARBEN HSS Emulator quick and easy configuration enables for limited specific end-user driven tests. MARBEN HSS Emulator support for large subscriber database allows for large scale fully automated testing. MARBEN HSS Emulator standard conformance makes it suitable for testing IMS component or service connected to real access networks.
Marben and HP has partnered to build the SeaGull Project. Seagull Opensource project is an important piece for testing an IMS based Diameter Solution. Marben provides expertise through consultancy and professional services.
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