Published by Rob Lambert,
If your application uses web services then it might be using the SOAP protocol.
“SOAP, originally defined as Simple Object Access Protocol, is a protocol specification for exchanging structured information in the implementation of Web Services in computer networks" - Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOAP
There is a wealth of information online about SOAP envelopes, rules and conventions but the basics are that it’s a mechanism that sends information.
You could test at the UI level and ignore the SOAP transactions underneath, but there is much more to explore and investigate beneath the UI. It could be that you don’t even have a UI at the point of testing, so you might want to test the web services directly.
You can interact with these web services and test for all sorts of things. Pass them bad data, corrupt data, invalid data, too much data or too little. You could write automated tests that could then be bundled overnight adding to your comfort levels and giving you a warm feeling inside.
How to test SOAP
The easiest way to test SOAP services is to use a tool like SOAP UI (other tools are available). It has a neat UI, lots of online support and help and is very intuitive.
SOAP UI Screen Shot from their website
There are detailed instructions on the website about how to use SOAP UI, but it’s basically a case of connecting to the service, looking at what elements you can test and then thinking up some tests (and data). There is a sample web service available for you to test against also.
SOAP UI does RESTful and HTTP services also.
SOAP UI - http://www.soapui.org
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