Open Dealer Exchange

Stephen Weberman, the Manager of Quality Assurance for Open Dealer Exchange, recently met with SmartBear to discuss the benefits of SmartBear SoapUI Pro. With an easy-to-use graphical interface and enterprise-class features, SoapUI Pro allows Open Dealer Exchange to rapidly create and execute tests that help determine how well the company’s Web Services middleware performs in helping customers transact business with business partners. Following are Weberman’s insights into just how much SoapUI Pro has helped his company.

About Open Dealer Exchange
Open Dealer Exchange is a joint venture between ADP Dealer Services, Inc. and The Reynolds and Reynolds Company. Open Dealer Exchange is a technology leader within the automotive financing and insurance process for connecting lenders and insurance product providers with their dealer partners throughout the United States and Canada.

By providing a direct connection into the dealership's main network—the DMS—Open Dealer Exchange virtually removes the need for dealers to leave their system-of-record during the finance and insurance processes. This innovation results in increased operational efficiencies, reduced contract errors, and a more streamlined process with a lender’s or provider's franchised dealerships.

What first prompted Open Dealer Exchange to consider SoapUI Pro?
In 2011, Open Dealer Exchange decided to build out a more robust and dedicated QA team in response to a growing customer base. Our solution is a pure business-to-business integration, and we wanted to equip the organization with the necessary tools to test our middleware in the absence of a user-facing application

Why did Open Dealer Exchange choose SoapUI Pro?
Several members of our QA team had worked with SoapUI Pro in the past. Because of their comfort level and how effective SoapUI Pro performs, we did not consider any other testing tools. We felt confident, given our first-hand experience with the solution’s proven track record and knowing how well it meets our primary needs—the ability to interrogate the XML structure of our middleware along with data validation.

How long has Open Dealer Exchange relied on SoapUI Pro and how many internal users depend on the solution?
We started utilizing SoapUI Pro as well as the free version of SoapUI approximately two-and-a-half years ago. We wanted to make sure we could efficiently test how well our middleware software functioned and performed.

Five QA testers rely on SoapUI Pro as well as five members of our application development team. On the product side of the business, we leverage the free version of SoapUI for eight business analysts and marketing personnel.

What role does SoapUI Pro play in your daily operations?
Our primary offering is a collection of Web Services allowing automotive dealerships, lending institutions and insurance companies to transact business with each other when consumers purchase, lease or sell automobiles. SoapUI Pro is the primary tool our QA and application development teams use to generate tests to see how well our numerous Web Services perform.

What have been the most useful features for your business?

  • We benefit in particular from the ability to read from external data sources, such as Microsoft Excel files, and then being able to submit multiple test cases with different parameters.
  • The JDBC database connections are also helpful. We can connect to our DB2 database and then send SQL queries to our middleware.
  • SoapUI Pro generates reports for easy results analysis of the JDBC connections used in the assertions with parameters that can be passed along to other test cases.
  • We also appreciate the SoapUI Pro Groovy support which allows us to run arbitrary Groovy code from inside SoapUI Pro. We rely on this for running XPath assertions and creating external log files with test results from the assertions. The log files show XML responses and whether or not any errors occurred.
  • The Groovy support also lets us overwrite XML responses with content from the DB2 database. Another key SoapUI Pro capability is the generation and validation of XML. We can easily modify and validate XML requests
  • For reporting, our QA team can leverage the SoapUI Pro automated reports to take the place of creating reports with Groovy scripting using CSV Excel-based reports.
  • We can also use the JDBC connections to the database to pull down records that we can then add to the reports.
  • In addition, the baked-in reporting of SoapUI Pro shows test-case status and assertion-case status, and the formatting of reports makes them easy to read.

How important is Groovy scripting to your testing process?
Very important—because our clients handle sensitive consumer data, the XML responses received from our Web Services are encrypted and do not return back to SoapUI Pro. Only successful messages are returned to SoapUI Pro. We use Groovy scripting with the same decryption our development team uses, to provide real responses that are decrypted into SoapUI Pro. We then run custom assertions.

Is it valuable for your company to deploy both SoapUI Pro and the free version of SoapUI?
Yes, since our QA and development teams need the full testing, editing and reporting capabilities that SoapUI Pro offers. Meanwhile, the free version of SoapUI proves sufficient for our non-technical users who just need to run simple tests to test our Web Service functionality.

One of the most important functions in SoapUI Pro that the free version does not offer is the data source function. This allows us to pull parameters from an external XML or Excel file then submit multiple test cases. This is something we need every day.

The end-to-end performance reports SoapUI Pro generates are also a major plus. We can easily identify how well our applications perform and pinpoint where any bottlenecks occur.

Does Open Dealer Exchange rely on any other SmartBear products?
We also leverage SmartBear LoadUI Pro to see how well our Web Services hold up under the stress of many requests all at once. There’s synergy between the two SmartBear solutions in that LoadUI Pro reads directly from SoapUI Pro. LoadUI Pro can use the SoapUI Pro runner as well as the fixed-rate and random generators to send multiple test cases at a controlled rate for performance and capacity testing. This saves a lot of time in creating the load tests.

LoadUI Pro proves particularly beneficial for performance testing when significant enhancements are made to our Web Services. We first run a static LoadUI Pro test and baseline the server performance. We then apply the change and run the same test again to compare the results.

For capacity testing, we use our historic peak volumes to sequentially run 2X, 3X and 4X tests using Load UI Pro to find our peak capacity.