Review: SOAPscope 4.0

SOAPscope 4.0
Mindreef, Inc.
Hollis, New Hampshire
(603) 465-2204

SOAPscope is a tool for testing, eavesdropping on, and otherwise playing with Web services. It installs its own server, which listens in on your network for passing SOAP messages and traps them into a database. A separate viewer application lets you prowl through the database, and investigate the messages in more depth (there are also optional integrated viewers for Visual Studio .NET and Eclipse). For example, you can add a WSDL file or URL to your database, see all of the operations that it supports, and then construct SOAP requests for any of those operations by filling in forms.

You can look at both requests and responses in a variety of formats, including raw, a treeview, XML, or color-coded pseudocode. You can diff the results of successive calls, or look at a variety of statistics. You can also look at WS-I compliance using the WS-I official testing tool, which is now installed by SOAPscope.

All of those features were in the previous version of SOAPscope, but the company hasn't been standing still. In particular, 4.0 adds a workspace feature that made me say "wow" out loud when I realized what it lets you do. You can think of a workspace as an exportable subset of your SOAPscope database. A workspace can contain WSDLs, SOAP messages, and freeform text notes. You can create and save as many workspaces as you like. This is a fantastic feature for sharing debugging duties with a partner or a team: capture the WSDL and messages of interest, add your notes, save the workspace, and forward it to someone else. They can open it in their own copy of SOAPscope and pick up where you left off, complete with the ability to analyze, modify, or resubmit any of the messages.

4.0 also adds support for WSDL closures, WS-Security support, attachments support (both WS-I Attachments Profile and SwA/MIME attachments), and improved scalability. And at $99, it's a steal if you're working with Web services at all. You can try a free evaluation by visiting the Mindreef Web site.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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