The Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language (WITSML) was developed to provide a common data- exchange format, so that drilling data can be used confidently in various domain/business tasks such as drilling optimization, formation evaluation, or safety-related operations, such as real-time pore pressure analysis. WITSML consists of XML data- object definitions and a Web service specification that allow client software applications to store and retrieve information to/from WITSML servers.

A key requirement for interoperability is for WITSML servers to behave consistently in how they interpret and processes data. To help ensure interoperability, certification for WITSML servers has been available for several years. However, for various reasons, these certification processes were not widely adopted, and inconsistency in WITSML server behavior exists.

A new, behavior-based, fit-for-purpose certification process for WITSML servers (version 1.4.1 and higher) is being developed to address these issues. Key to this process is an open source testing tool that automates running a suite of tests, which use standard WITSML queries, data-object definitions, and behaviors defined in the WITSML specification. If a server passes all of the required tests, then it is WITSML certified.

A company that wants to have its WITSML server tested and certified may download the test tool, test suite, and associated data to first test its server in its own environment, before submitting to official testing (which is conducted by Energistics, the vendor-neutral organization that stewards the standards development process).

This paper describes how the testing processes and related technology were developed and are being implemented. This transparent process and behavior-based, automated, and repeatable testing are expected to deliver the ease-of-use and reliable results needed to drive certification, ultimately improving the interoperability and data reliability provided by WITSML.

The testing tool, tests, and processes were developed by the Certification Group of the WITSML Special Interest Group, which comprises representatives from service companies and operators.

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