SoapUI: The Insider’s Tool for Working with APIs


It seems every time I meet with a good friend, I hear about a new tool that makes life easier. I had coffee with David Grigsby, a .NET integration monster who works for DocuSign. David and I were discussing SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) versus REST APIs (that’s how we roll). I tend to favor REST APIs because they’re easier to visualize and develop a chunk at a time with – as well as reduced issues with authentication. David, as a .NET guru, loves SOAP since it provides much more complex operations and opportunities.

David told me the insider secret to working with SOAP application programming interfaces (APIs)… SoapUI. (PS: Looks like my dream of an APUI from 2006 may some day come to realization!)


SoapUI comes in two versions, Open Source and Pro. The Pro version allows you to do everything that the Open Source does, but adds a bunch of productivity and time-saving features for $349 per licence.

  • Outline and Form Editors for visualizing data – While the Outline Editor delivers a great overview of the actual data in a XML messages, the Form Editor provides a simple interface for entering data into requests. The two editors in conjunction will make your testing faster and easier.
  • Data Sources – import a data source which you want to test. All major formats are supported, including text files, XML, Groovy, Excel, Directory, JDBC (Relational Database), and the Internal Grid data source.
  • Point and Click Testing – methods to make your test creations easier by allowing for quick-to-use drag and drop functionality.
  • XPath Match assertion – Creating assertions is done in in a few easy steps and seconds.
  • Coverage – see exactly how much of the service’s functionality you’ve tested? This allows you to get an overview and see which areas of the functionality are well tested and which areas you might want to spend some more time with. You can also drill down even further and pinpoint exactly what hasn’t been tested and what parts haven’t been asserted.
  • Security testing – there’s an array of attacks those pesky hackers will throw at you, such as: XML bombs, SQL injections, malformed XML, fuzzing, cross-site scripting etc. The Security Test Generator in Pro allows you to create a complete set of vulnerability scans.
  • Requirements – SoapUI Pro’s requirements support is a highly useful feature for mapping your tests against business or technical requirements.
  • Refactoring – solved with a simple “search-and-replace”-type function.
  • SQL builder – helps you create the SQL statements with a graphical interface, making data access easy for everyone.
  • Reporting – generate detailed reports at Project, TestSuite, TestCase, or LoadTest level. Print or export them into any standard format, including PDF, HTML, Word and Excel, and customize them.
  • Support – as part of the license you will also get one year of support with your license.


  1. 1

    Thanks for posting this, Doug. I’ve used both approaches in development for clients. SOAP seems more difficult to work with compared to REST due to its reliance on an XML structure. SoapUI could really make SOAP less painful though… and they have a Mac installer! I’ll check it out.

    Even with a great tool like this though, I think I’d still prefer modern RESTful APIs. That’s how I roll 🙂

  2. 3

    As they say there is always time for coffee with a good friend and the ability to share relevant knowledge. Thanks Doug for the shout out and the ability to share what we both love and have a great passion for. Also it does REST calls as well as you have pointed out below which is why it is my favorite debugging and prototyping tool for API’s. See you in April when I am back in town 🙂

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