Testing web programming goes beyond what a user sees in their browser or desktop application. Back end functionality residing within web services or APIs also depends on the QA role to ensure error-free operation. Software development shops increasingly leverage open source tools like SoapUI and JMeter to help test their web services.
What follows is a quick overview of both applications to give you a better feel of their features as well as their differences. Maybe one or both need to be part of your team’s QA arsenal?
A Closer Look at SoapUI
SoapUI was first released in 2005. Its basic version remains a freely available open source application, but a commercial edition, called SoapUI NG Pro, is offered by SmartBear Software, primary developers of both versions. Experienced enterprise users looking for automated testing and other productivity improvements are the main audience for the commercial application.
Web service and API QA is the main focus of SoapUI, making it a valuable tool for applications designed using a service-oriented architecture (SOA). A whole host of useful features include functional API testing, web service simulation, security QA, and load testing. It easily handles most messaging formats: SOAP, REST, WSDL, and more.
Some basic automation functionality comes with the free version of SoapUI; mostly command line interactivity with other open source build and scheduling tools. Pay for SoapUI NG Pro for advanced automation capabilities. An analytics/reporting suite in addition to test recording and generation round out the feature set.
Both versions of SoapUI run on all the major operating systems while integrating with many popular IDEs.
Apache JMeter focuses on Load Testing
The first version of JMeter became available way back in the 20th Century (1998). It remains one of the most popular applications developed by the open source Apache Software Foundation. Many developers continue to leverage JMeter’s plug-in architecture to customize its features.
While offering a measure of API testing functionality, JMeter focuses on web application performance analysis, including APIs, web services, and database connectivity, in addition to load testing. It seamlessly handles most popular web protocols, including HTTP/HTTPS, SOAP, REST, FTP, LDAP, and more. An easy-to-use interface facilitates the creation of test plans.
In addition to testing web services, JMeter also analyzes the performance of web applications written in a variety of languages — PHP, ASP.NET (C#, VB.NET), and Java. A basic reporting engine is provided, with additional functionality available through the use of plug-ins developed by the application’s robust user community.
Choosing between SoapUI and JMeter
One of the benefits of open source software is the ability to try out an application with your own team before investing any resources on a commercial option. This same rule applies when deciding to use SoapUI, JMeter, or potentially both. There is some crossover between the two applications, but SoapUI offers more features aimed at functional testing, while performance analysis and load testing remain JMeter’s specialties.
The smart plan is to get hands-on with both applications to get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses. For bigger shops with large budgets, SoapUI NG Pro might be the closest thing to a true turnkey solution for web service and load testing. Ultimately, having both applications in your team’s toolbox is a wise choice.
Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional insights into the world of software development and testing.