Case Study: William Hill PLC

SmartBear SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro Enable William Hill to Automate API and Middleware Testing and Help Develop Applications in Parallel

About William Hill PLC

Founded in 1934 and today employing approximately 16,000 people, William Hill PLC is one of the world's leading betting companies. Betting opportunities include a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines, and numbers-based products such as lotteries. Providing gaming services to customers through licensed betting offices in the UK and with a global reach via its websites, the company is one of the UK’s largest bookmakers—with close to 2,370 licensed betting offices in the UK. William Hill is listed on the London Stock Exchange and generates revenues of approximately £1.6 billion per year.

Business Need

The William Hill software team develops software internally and integrates applications with third-party software developers. To enhance collaboration among internal and external teams, William Hill utilizes a local sandbox testing environment that can also be accessed via the cloud.

“The time to deliver software is always our highest priority and our biggest testing challenge,” says Stephen Aldridge, a Senior Development Engineer at William Hill who works in the company’s Gibraltar office. “We’re always looking for ways to accelerate testing in order to speed up the overall software development lifecycle.”

One of the specific testing challenges Aldridge and his team faced was the creation of test script suites for APIs and middleware components. The previous manual process often forced the team to spend extra time clarifying initial requirements and to start test creation from scratch—over-and-over again across the software development lifecycle. “We needed a solution that would simplify test-case creation and allow us to produce test projects that were reusable across the entire QA and product-delivery process,” Aldridge says.

In looking for a solution to this challenge, Aldridge hoped to automate the API and middleware testing processes. He also realized his team would need to present a solid business case for investing in automated testing tools.

“We needed to demonstrate the business justification of the cost of new testing tools vs. the extended product delivery timelines we were running into due to manual testing,” says Aldridge. “The first step was to secure the necessary budget to implement a proof-of-concept trial.”

"By playing a key role in our Continuous Integration process, SoapUI NG Pro and LoadUI NG Pro allow our integration and development teams to fix issues on-the-fly. That’s because the test scenarios are already in place prior to the completion of the code."
Stephen Aldridge, Senior Development Engineer

Targeted Solution

Before determining the solution for which to conduct a proof-of-concept, Aldridge and his team considered several products and narrowed the choice down to three: eggPlant from TestPlant, IBM Rational and a pair of integrated testing tools from SmartBear—SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro.

“We chose to invest our budget and resource time into testing SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro,” Aldridge says. “From our initial assessments of all three solution sets, we could see that the two SmartBear tools would allow our software team to build and run tests more efficiently. Both SmartBear tools are more versatile, and they make it easy to reuse test code and scripts, which saves us a lot of time.”

SoapUI Pro provides comprehensive and easy-to-learn functional testing capabilities for popular API protocols. This allows the William Hill software team to ensure APIs perform as intended while also meeting business requirements and timeframes. With LoadUI Pro, the software team can reuse the functional API tests built on SoapUI NG Pro to speed testing and reduce the time it takes to deploy applications.

“The support we received from SmartBear played a key role in ensuring the proof-of-concept went well—and in our decision to ultimately invest in SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro,” Aldridge reveals. “SmartBear even extended our trials to enable us to more fully test the products.”

Benefits and Results

The William Hill QA team as well as the developers and system integrators (a total of 20 end users) now rely on SmartBear SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro to provide full scope, test, development and integration coverage all the way to software delivery. The software tools also make it easy for the team based in the UK team to collaborate with the team based in Gibraltar.  

“The SmartBear tools are now an integral part of our Continuous Integration testing strategy,” Aldridge adds. “This gives us real-time feedback during all implementations—from the code to the infrastructure.”

Aldridge says that thanks to the SmartBear solutions, his team has reduced the time-to-market for software product by weeks. The team can also now deliver multiple applications in parallel.

“By playing a key role in our Continuous Integration process, SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro allow our integration and development teams to fix issues on-the-fly,” Aldridge explains. “That’s because the test scenarios are already in place prior to the completion of the code.”

“The whole process—in terms of the proof-of-concept to the purchase and to the deployments—has been professional and painless,” Aldridge adds. “And tech support is exceptional; all of our questions are always answered promptly so that we can quickly get back to testing code and accelerating the time-to-market of our applications.”

Business Challenges

  • Create software test environment to enable developer collaboration across multiple offices.
  • Automate API and middleware testing processes.
  • Create test script suites for APIs and middleware components more easily.
  • Produce test projects that are reusable across the entire product-delivery process.

SmartBear SoapUI Pro and LoadUI Pro

  • Allows software team to build and run tests more efficiently than alternative solutions.
  • Makes it easy to reuse test code and scripts.
  • Provides easy-to-learn functional testing capabilities for popular API protocols.
  • Enables reuse of functional API tests during API load tests.
  • Provides scope, test, development and integration coverage through software delivery.

Measurable Results

  • Reduces time-to-market for software products by weeks.
  • Streamlines collaboration among testing teams in different offices. 
  • Facilitates Continuous Integration by providing real-time testing feedback.
  • Helps software team to deliver multiple applications in parallel.
  • Allows integration and development teams to fix issues on-the-fly.

All company names and/or products referenced herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective trademark holders.