Network Testing Automation

Network Testing Automation
Network Testing Automation

FlowCoder is a WISIWYG programming framework for prototyping, debugging, validation, fuzzing as well as functional, load, and security testing of computer networks. It allows building packets for a variety of network protocols, sending them on the wire, receiving and analyzing incoming network traffic, matching requests with replies, keeping and changing the state of a packet driven state machine and much much more.

What is FlowCoder good for?

  • Cyberspace Protection and Coding
  • Network Health Check
  • Prototyping IoT Stacks
  • IPS development
  • MITM Modeling
  • Remote Network Probing
  • Custom Packet Processing
  • Pen Testing
  • Network Stack Fuzzing
  • Regression Testing
  • DoS and DDoS Simulation
  • Stress Testing

Local Execution

Local Execution is the simplest case. All packets sent by FlowCoder originate on a local host. Packets coming back in response are processed there as well.

Cloud Execution

Only FlowCoder IDE components run locally. A Flowchart, once created, is shipped for execution to a Cloud running multiple instances of Flowchart processor engine. Packets are originated and processed in a Cloud. Local user gets back diagnostics and statistical data.

On-the-fly deep packet Mods

Playing MITM in a Cloud. Flowchart sees the packets passing between a pair of network end-points, and could modify them at any stack layer.

Key Features
WYSIWYG Flow Definition

An executable flowchart of a protocol finite-state machine built from graphical blocks interconnected with software wires. Sends, receives, analyzes packets, matches requests with replies, keeps and changes the state.

WYSIWYG Packet Builder

Build any packet from scratch. Select the layers and the stacking order. Mandatory elements are added by default. Optional elements are added with a few clicks.

Pcap is the Template

Your Pcap file is your template. Import it into FlowCoder and get an executable Flowchart boilerplate right away. You'll be up and running in a few mins.

Transparent Decoding

The incoming packets are delivered to Flowchart fully pre-parsed. The packet received or any part of it can be saved into a local or global variable for further use.

Transparent Encoding

Change a packet field on the fly by assigning a new value to a field. All layers encodings are performed automatically and transparently packets hits the wire.

MITM Proxy

FlowCoder can play a role of a MITM Proxy. The passing through packets are decoded, modified at any layer and re-encoded on the fly.

Transport Stacks

One Flowchart works with many combination of stacks/protocols. For example if protocol X runs over UDP and TCP, the test can be switched between the two with just a few clicks.

Running in a Cloud

FlowCoder Flowchart processor can run locally or in a Linux VM inside the Cloud. The latter allows for unlimited scalability.

Graphical Debugger

Execute Flowchart step-by-step. Set/Clear breakpoints. View Execution Log for detailed debug output, Data Watch Pane for real time changes in variables' values.

Auto Parallelization

FlowCoder supports automatic parallelization. Run multiple independent calls, transactions, flows simultaneously.

Helper API

One can start an RTP session, call a crypto function and much more via an API call from a Flowchart block.

Calling Python

Flowchart blocks can call external Python scripts. That way a Flowchart can use host OS services.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are simple use cases for FlowCoder?

Stateless: Suppose you have a Pcap file with a packet to be sent on a wire with tcpreplay to test the robustness of an SUT stack. Often you want to vary values of the sample packet's fields to make the test coverage more thorough. FlowCoder automates creation of pcap files with all the desired "in spec" permutations of the packet. One can create "out of spec" variations of the packet for negative testing as well.

Stateful: In this case one is building an executable mini state machine reflecting the logic of packet exchange. Suppose you have a Pcap file with a record of a stateful packet exchange between two parties. Party A sends something to party B, B analyses the received packet and replies to A, A follows-up and so on. You want to simulate party A live and see how B reacts if you vary the way party A behaves slightly or not so slightly. This includes altering logic of the state machine Party A executes, and/or altering the packets it sends to B. And you want to do it quickly and with zero coding involved.

Can I test 5G with FlowCoder?


What is the main advantage of FlowCoder?

FlowCoder visualizes and speeds up development of packet driven finite-state machines and requires no coding in many cases. One can start quickly by importing a Pcap file with the packet exchange of interest.

How FlowCoder compares to other packet generators?

Short answer: FlowCoder is not a packet generator as it supports complex logical states at any lavel of a network stack.

Packet generators are often just Pcap file replayers. The best known example is tcpreplay. The fast ones usually are Intel DPDK based (CISCO T-Rex). Products of this category are either stateless, or support very simple states only (SYN/SYN ACK). Another category of the tools is targeted for testing networking state machines at application stack layers. Those systems are usually configured via a set of static GUI tables, have no or limited programmability and support for a limited set of protocols. Then there is Scapy. It's programmable, but one has to know Python from the get-go, slow (it's Python after all), with a very limited set of L4-L7 protocols supported.

FlowCoder is fully stateful, WYSIWYG programmable at any stack layer, fast (coded in C++), scalable, with a huge and growing library of supported L4-L7 and L2-L3 protocols. It allows on the fly editing of packets at any stack layer and importing of a Pcap file as a starting point of designing a networking state machine. No other networking product has a full stack packet editor as powerful as WireEdit.

What protocols are supported by FlowCoder today?

If you can dissect the stack with the latest WireEdit, it is supported by FlowCoder today.

At what stack layer can I build the state-machine?

Any layer from IP up, including binary encoded application layers.

Do I need to know Python?

Beginners and intermediate users are not. Scripting skills are useful for advanced data processing. Python will do. Perl as well. Even Javascript.

Do I have easy read/write access to packets' fields within a Flowchart?

Yes. You have full read/write access to *all* packet fields at *all* stack layers before pushing packets out to a wire, and when packets are received from a wire.

Can I save any field of a received packet into a variable?

Yes. An individual field, a whole PDU (networking stack layer data), or a whole packet. All parsing/encoding/decoding is done transparently by FlowCoder, i. e. one don't have to write any code to do it.

Can I run multiple flows in parallel on a single host?


Can I execute a Flowchart in a Cloud?

Yes. This is how the load is scaled.

Can I compose standard or malformed packets on the fly?

Yes and yes. You can do packet fuzzing on the fly.