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Welcome

The flow of information between IT systems lies at the core of the digital services used today by citizens, businesses and public administrations. Such exchanges are made possible by ensuring IT systems are interoperable, meaning that they communicate in a common way and share an understanding over exchanged messages and the processing they entail. Interoperability in turn is built on the specifications that formally capture the requirements IT systems must implement. An IT system correctly implementing a specification is said to conform to it, whereas the process to verify this is called conformance testing.

Conformance testing

What is the Interoperability Test Bed?

The Interoperability Test Bed is a service offered by the European Commission’s DIGIT to facilitate the conformance testing of IT systems. The Test Bed is itself a software system that can be both downloaded and installed locally, but also reused through a shared online installation operated by DIGIT. It offers an intuitive web user interface that allows administrators to define their project’s overall testing setup as well as users to connect and run tests.

ITB screenshot - conformance statements
ITB screenshot - test execution

In terms of the testing approach it follows, the Test Bed is typically used to exchange messages with the software systems being tested, supporting both the sending and receiving of messages, validating all steps against the target specification and according to the specific scenario’s expectations. Such scenarios can focus on technical details but can also be defined at business-level, exposing details only when needed to troubleshoot failures. Furthermore, tests can be designed to cover both normal flows but also edge cases and error scenarios that would be otherwise difficult to replicate.

Implementing each test's steps, developers can rely on several built-in test capabilities or refer to external custom services that are integrated via standardised APIs. This allows project teams to cover any testing needs, introducing support for new technologies and domain-specific extensions. Throughout the development process, project teams can count on support from the Test Bed team in all aspects of their conformance testing design and the launch of their testing service.

Conformance testing exchanges

Testimonials

See what some of our users have to say about the Test Bed. For more detailed accounts you can also check our published case studies.

“Reuse of the Test Bed allowed us to avoid significant effort and focus on core concerns while offering a user-centric and rich conformance testing experience to project staff and the Member States.”

Krzysztof Iwanski, DIGIT, Project Manager for the Business Registers Interconnection System (BRIS)

“The use of the Test Bed has allowed the CEF eInvoicing Building Block to realise a customised conformance testing service with minimal cost. (...) Savings are roughly estimated to be at least €50,000 and/or 300 person-days.”

Caroline Corneau, DIGIT, Project Manager for the eInvoicing Building Block

"The richness of features, user documentation and onboarding support that the eDelivery team received for free from ITB was excellent to begin with. The ensuing collaboration, the willingness to add additional features and the speed with which they were implemented were impressive (...) we are finally able to focus all our energy on what matters: designing and writing tests. ITB takes care of the rest."

Bogdan Dumitriu, DIGIT, Project Manager for the eDelivery Building Block

Find out more

The best starting point when considering to reuse the Test Bed is its value proposition. This provides a good summary of its value for project administrators and users, before continuing to list in detail its use cases and the services offered to you by the Test Bed team.

An overview of how the Test Bed works and the current list of its technical capabilities are provided in the Detailed information page. The full set of documentation for the Test Bed, including tutorials and developer resources, is online and accessible through the Documentation and resources page.

Finally, a good introduction and demo of the Test Bed is provided through the webinar recording shared here. The webinar was held on June 9th, 2021 (see here for details) and covers both validation and conformance testing, complemented by use cases from National Public Administrations.

Stay updated

Follow the Test Bed's latest news using the approach that suits you best:

  • Via email: Subscribe to the Test Bed solution in Joinup and edit your account's subscription settings to receive notifications.
  • Via social media: Follow the Interoperable Europe initiative on X and LinkedIn for news on the Test Bed and other interoperability solutions.
  • Via GitHub: To be informed of new releases you can also subscribe to release notifications on the Test Bed's GitHub repository.

Get in touch

If you have questions, feedback or are considering reusing the Test Bed, you are invited to send an email to the Test Bed team at DIGIT-ITB@ec.europa.eu.

We are continuously looking for feedback to improve the Test Bed and the services we offer to the community. If you have a few minutes to spare we would highly appreciate it if you took the time to complete our feedback survey. Your opinion matters!

Latest releases

The list of Test Bed releases can be found in Joinup's release history page. Alternatively, the full release history is also included in the Test Bed's user guide.

Latest news

Last update: 22/04/2021

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