Government Agency Leveraging SmartBear API Testing Tools
As a director at a European government agency was assigned to manage a new project—involving 40 applications deployed on-premises for clients that facilitate importing and exporting activities across the continent—he came to a quick realization. The team would need a new set of tools for testing API functions and the load that each API could stand up to when accessed by end users.
“Through the first year of the project, our mission was to maintain existing applications, which already came with a set of IBM tools—Rational Functional Tester and Rational Performance,” the Project Director explains. “We also relied on a custom-built testing framework implemented on top of those tools. But we ran into many access issues, and as we looked forward to the second year of the project—when we would need to build new applications—we knew we needed to turn to different solutions.”
The main challenges that the agency encountered with the IBM solutions included the usability of the tools and the licensing scheme attached to those tools. Remote users—of which there are many on the team working from offices in many countries—had to log into a licensed server. Thus, it was not easy for the testers to create test scripts on their laptops.
“We also realized there was not a strong user community behind the toolset from which to obtain tech support and documentation,” adds the Project Manager. “That made it difficult to hire resources who know the tools well. We needed solutions that would allow API testers to hit the ground running with little training.”
The agency first considered the latest versions of the existing IBM testing tools as well as IBM Rational Integration Tester. But the Project Director found the solutions lacked extensibility and were poorly documented. Initial set-up and installation were also difficult, especially when deployed on several workstations.
Based on these results, the agency ultimately turned to the two SmartBear testing solutions:
- SoapUI Pro provides comprehensive and easy-to-learn functional testing capabilities for REST, SOAP and other popular API and IoT protocols. The solution helps developers and testers ensure APIs perform as intended while also meeting business requirements and software development timeframes.
- LoadUI Pro allows software development and test teams to reuse the functional API tests built on SoapUI Pro. This makes it possible to quickly create API load tests and reduce the time it takes to deploy high-performance web services.
The easy-set up offered by SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro along with clear documentation made the installations go smoothly for the entire agency development team, including the remote users. Both solutions also integrate seamlessly with other tools used by the agency across the software development lifecycle.
“Some of the members on our team had previous experience with SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro on other projects, so we knew they would work well for this project as well,” the Project Director says. “The value of our investment increased even more so when considering that we saved significantly on the cost in comparison to the IBM tools.”
“We can build and run tests much faster,” the Project Manager points out. “We also do not have to go through a lot of training, nor do we need to review much of the documentation to pick the tools up. SoapUI and LoadUI are both very user-friendly, well-known by the testing community, and easy to understand for new users. This saves us lot of training time.”
— Project Manager,
Benefits and Results
The Project Director’s team, consisting of approximately 40 software developers and testers, creates and runs the API functional tests in SoapUI Pro and then uses LoadUI Pro to test the load performance that each API can handle. With thousands of end-user customers accessing the applications 24x7 from across Europe, the team needs to create and run thousands of test cases. Keeping the APIs running is critical for commerce across the continent.
In addition to helping the agency ensure APIs deliver optimal performance, another key benefit of the SoapUI/LoadUI combination that the Project Manager points to is the adoption of the tools by his developers and testers. Both tools are easy to work with, so the team uses them more often, and this increases the efficiency of the API testing processes.
“We can build and run tests much faster,” the Project Manager points out. “We also do not have to go through a lot of training, nor do we need to review much of the documentation to pick the tools up. SoapUI and LoadUI are both very user-friendly, well-know by the testing community, and easy to understand for new users. This saves us lot of training time.”
The Project Manager also adds that SoapUI and LoadUI save a lot of time by automating the creation of the service tests. His team can script the creation of the first version of service tests and then adapt them manually afterwards, if needed. This is key because the larger applications managed by the team require thousands of API tests.
“We don’t want our developers wasting time by clicking on the same button one-thousand times to create manual tests,” the Project Director points out. “The ability to script and automate test cases is a big advantage.”
Thanks to SmartBear SoapUI and LoadUI, the agency now has an efficient, automated service and performance testing process for its application APIs. “This helps us make sure our applications perform as they should for end users,” the Project Manager concludes. “And that in turn helps our customers transact more business as they import and export goods all across Europe.”
- Identify new tools for testing API functions and the load that APIs can handle.
- Provide easy access to the tools for remote developers and testers.
- Enable testers to create test scripts quickly.
- Deploy testing solutions that require little training.
SmartBear SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro
- Offers functional and load testing capabilities for REST, SOAP and other API protocols.
- Features extensibility to integrate with other software development tools.
- Provides clear documentation and easy installation to accelerate set-up.
- Reduces time to deploy high-performance web services.
- Creates automated API service and performance testing process.
- Streamlines creation of thousands of test cases to keep APIs running smoothly.
- Helps ensure APIs deliver optimal performance.
- Facilitates end-user adoption to increase usage and accelerate API testing.
- Enables developers to script the creation of service tests and adapt manually, if needed.