What role does SoapUI Pro play in your operations?
We leverage SoapUI Pro to develop API prototypes and demonstrate them to clients for two D&B Direct services. This includes our Sales & Marketing tool that helps clients learn more about their business partners and find new business connections. SoapUI Pro also assists with our Supply Management tool, which helps analyze supplier performance and certify suppliers. These API products support features and functionality that allow us to tailor solutions to meet specific client needs. SoapUI Pro is the conduit to these custom solutions and allows our internal team to efficiently support both pre- and post-sales activities.
What specific functions does SoapUI Pro fulfill?
SoapUI Pro helps us impress clients by allowing our API demonstrations to run more smoothly. We can also more quickly build API prototypes. The software is particularly helpful for research and development in support of inte-grated solutions that use our API products.
SoapUI Pro plays a crucial role for us because our website is actually a workbench environment for our clients to facili-tate access to the APIs underlying the Sales & Marketing and Supply Management products. Although some of our APIs offer standard functionality, we can make them more robust with the capabilities that SoapUI Pro enables.
Does SoapUI Pro also help from a programming perspective?
Yes—our internal team develops prototype applications (stub code) used as starting points for clients that then tailor the applications to the way they need the APIs to function in their environment. There are also situations where clients tell us an API is acting differently from what they expected, or they need the API to do something new. We then customize SoapUI to replicate the environment and build a prototype with the necessary adjustments.
How often does your development team use SoapUI Pro?
We use SoapUI Pro on a daily basis to define design-level specs for each client and help them with the implementation. Much of this work involves demonstrating the specific functionality offered through the APIs. SoapUI Pro makes it possible to deliver demonstrations that are easy for clients to follow.
How do you measure the ROI D&B has received from SoapUI Pro?
Our success with D&B Direct is ultimately measured by the sales and implementation of our API products, so the justification for SoapUI Pro has been proven by our revenue numbers. We used SoapUI Pro for all of 2012 and generated approximately $10 million in revenue, which for a new product launched in late 2011 is a solid number. At lot of that has to do with the technologies our protocols make available and demonstrating the new integration goes a long way towards bringing in new business. With our new tools, there are so many new features associated with the APIs that to solely rely on the workbench would not make sense. We thus need to demo the features, and we need to rapidly develop prototypes following the demos. SoapUI plays a key role in helping us achieve both objectives.