Substituting request content with file contents

You can substitute the content portion of a protocol request with the contents of a file. This feature is only supported in certain sections of a test, depending on the protocol. For example, HTTP tests support file content substitution only in the POST data section of a request. SOA tests support file content substitution for MIME and DIME attachments, XML node values and fragments, and text content. File content substitution works in the same manner as other substitutions. All standard test data sources such as test variables, datapools, and references can be used. The data from the source is treated as a full path to a file. The file is opened, its contents are read, and then those contents are used in the substitution.

Before you begin

You must copy the files that contain the substitution content to the agent computers. You must record a test with locations for substitution from a file. For example, record an HTTP test that contains multipart MIME data in a POST request.


  1. Create a data source that contains the full path to the file from which you want to substitute content. Specify an absolute path to the file. Use path separator characters appropriate to the operating system of the agent computer running the test. Optionally, specify a character set to use in reading the file. The existence of the file is not validated. If the file cannot be opened when the test runs, a message is written to the test log. If you use path separator characters that are not appropriate for the operating system of the agent computer, the substitution cannot be completed. For example, if you use a path of D:\DataFiles\file1 on an agent computer running Linux, the substitution cannot be completed, because Linux uses forward slashes as path separator characters.
  2. In the test editor, navigate to the request where you want to substitute content, and then select the request data that you want to substitute.
  3. Right-click, and then select Substitute > Select Data Source.
  4. Select the data source that contains the path to the file from which you want to substitute.
  5. Right-click the substitution site, and then select File Contents Substituter.


When the test runs, the content in the protocol request is substituted with the specified file contents.

HTTP POST data is displayed in the test editor in chunks. You can create a file contents substitution in the POST data of an HTTP POST request by selecting the data chunk that you want to correlate, and then clicking Substitute. The test data source that you select is automatically treated as a file contents substituter. The entire data chunk is replaced with the contents of the file when the test runs, even if only a portion of the text in a text data chunk is selected by the substituter.