Free HTTP debugger utility with built in AMF support.

When debugging BlazeDS/LCDS customer issues it’s often helpful to have a capture log of the traffic sent between the client and the server. Because the traffic is usually binary AMF and not plain text a tool that can decode AMF messages must be used.

I usually recommend a popular commercial HTTP debugger that has AMF support for this, but sometimes customers are reluctant to buy it especially if they are not used to doing this type of testing and may not need such a tool again.

For these customers and anyone else who would like a free alternative, I recently discovered the HTTP/HTTPS debugging utility WebScarab which is a project maintained by OWASP.

It looks like only the current snapshots of WebScarab have built in AMF support.

I was able to get WebScarab up and running pretty quickly. While the commercial tool I typically use automatically configures the proxy settings for the browser to route traffic through the tool, I had to set this up myself for WebScarab. After I did this though, I was able to easily view and modify AMF messages sent between the client and the server.

Saving snapshots and opening them up again for viewing was pretty easy as well. Each snapshot doesn’t get saved as a single file but rather as a bunch of files in a directory, so you will likely need to zip this up if you want to send it to someone to look at.

All in all, WebScarab seems to be an impressive little utility. I think I’ll definitely be using it more in the future. . . especially as people start sending me capture logs in the WebScarab format. . .

About aglosband

I am a Quality Engineer at Adobe Systems working on the BlazeDS and LiveCycle Data Services products. I know a little bit about some things and more than a little about other things having to do with Adobe technologies and products such as BlazeDS, LCDS, Flex, and the Flash player. I have also spent a lot of time maintaining build and test automation systems, developing test frameworks and performing load and scalability testing. I'm hoping to share some of my knowledges and experiences in these areas with anyone who might also be interested in such *boring* stuff.
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