by Ovidiu Predescu, Jeff Turner


Anteater is configured through a set of properties. Properties belong to groups, and are named as such. Thus, default.debug is the debug property in the default group. If you have yet to read the Grouping section, now would be a good time to do so. The main thing to remember is that all tasks and groups belong to the default group, unless explicitly overridden, and thus properties in the default group will be inherited in subsequent groups unless overridden.

Currently defined default properties are:

Property nameTypeDefault valueDescription

Set the default host for httpRequest or soapRequest requests.


Set the default port to use. The preceding BUILTIN means use the servletcontainer default, and if not available, fall back to the indicated port.


Default debug level. 0 is lowest, 10 highest. The higher the debug level, the greater the number of information being logged.


Whether the default group defines a session element.


How long the client-side action tasks should wait before assuming a server is dead. If the request times out it is consider to have failed.


HTTP protocol to connect as. If virtual hosts are used, must be HTTP/1.1.


Whether a failed action task halts the Anteater test script.


Whether to apply JTidy on the result obtained by action tasks (like httpRequest or soapRequest) to clean up mark-up text and transform it in valid XML.

To be able to apply matchers such as xpath in your tests, the content to be matched must be valid XML. If you know the response is an HTML document which is not valid XML, you should set this flag to true to be able to use xpath on it.

One caveat with transforming HTML into XML is that the structure of your document might change. In order to correctly apply XPath on the resulting document, you need to inspect the result manually. Anteater tries to anticipate JTidy's changes by automatically setting the 'ignoreSpaces' and 'singleLine' attributes of xpath and regexp to true.


Whether to apply JTidy on the content body received in a request by the listener task. This is very similar with the effect of default.useTidy, except that its action happens on the incoming requests, rather than on the result obtained by action tasks.

default.filename-formatString(see description)

Flag specifying the default filename format for log files. Default value is TEST-${groupid}_${taskname}_${url}_line-${lineno}_test-${vm-count}${_run-:run}.xml

Pretty much any property can be used, both Anteater-specific properties (e.g. the task's description), Group properties, and Ant <property> properties.

There is one quirk in the format: variables of the form ${prefix:variable}. These are interpreted as follows: if ${variable} is defined, and has value value, then ${prefix:variable} is replaced with 'prefixvalue'. For example, ${run_:run} becomes 'run_1', or ${run at :date} becomes 'run at 10/3/03'. If variable is undefined, the variable is replaced with ''. This hackery is primarily for the 'run' variable, which won't exist if overwrite is true (see below).


Flag indicating whether, by default, we should overwrite log files from previous Anteater runs.

If false, log files are made unique with a runX filename suffix, where X is incremented to ensure a unique filename.


This flag indicates whether member tasks will be run or not.

For example, one might classify action tasks into 'normal' and 'strict' groups, and then at runtime, choose to disable one or the other group, eg -Dstrict.enable=false to turn off the 'strict' group's tasks.