Working with Model Archives (MARs)

The main deployment artifact is a type of file named a Model Archive (MAR).
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The main deployment artifact is a type of file named a 
Model Archive (MAR).
 
MAR files enable the bundling of the artifacts that are needed to run a test case, suite, virtual service, or CVS monitor. MAR files also make it easier to move artifacts from one project to another.
You can configure MARs from 
DevTest Workstation
 or by using the Make Mar command-line utility.
The file extension is 
.mar
.
The MAR files contain the following items:
  • A primary asset
  • All secondary files that are necessary to run the primary asset
  • An info file
  • An audit file
Diagram of MAR File Structure
The MAR files are created from files in a project. After a MAR file is created, it is independent of the project.
Contents of a MAR
MAR files contain one of the following primary assets:
  • Test case
  • Suite
  • Virtual service
  • Test case monitor
  • Suite monitor
MAR files also contain any secondary files that the primary asset requires.
For example, if the primary asset is a virtual service model, the MAR file also contains a service image.
A MAR file can include the data set for a data-driven virtual service.
In addition, MAR files contain the following files:
You can specify that a MAR file be optimized. When the MAR file is built, only those project files that are required will be added. However, you can also configure an optimized MAR file to include one or more non-required project files.
If a MAR file is not optimized, all the project files will be added.
 An archive is typically held in memory. Therefore, the use of optimized archives is highly encouraged.
MAR Info File
MAR info files contain information that is necessary to create a MAR. The file extension is 
.mari
.
The information that is specified in a MAR info file depends on the type of primary asset.
 
Primary Asset
 
 
Information Specified
 
Test case
Test case, configuration file, and staging document
Suite
Suite and configuration file
Virtual service
Virtual service model, configuration file, concurrent capacity, think time scale, and auto restart flag
Test case monitor
All the information specified for a test case, plus the service name, notification email, priority, and run schedule
Suite monitor
All the information specified for a suite, plus the service name, notification email, priority, and run schedule
When you use the stage/deploy related options, a MAR info file is created but not saved.
MAR Audit File
MAR audit files contain metadata about the creation of a MAR. The file extension is 
.maraudit
.
The following metadata is included in a MAR audit file:
  • The date and time when the MAR was created.
  • The name of the computer on which the MAR was created.
  • The root directory of the project the MAR was created from.
  • The name of the user that created the MAR.