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I just finished watching a video conference put on by eviware (pronounced ev-ee-ware, surprisingly to me). eviware are the guys who created soapUI. soapUI is a Java-based tool for interacting with, and testing, web services.

soapUI has long had support for basic load testing of web services, but eviware went and created a brand new tool for load testing, called loadUI. Not just load testing of web services, but load testing in general. They’re planning on releasing it on June 21st as an open source beta. Like soapUI it will probably have both a free and commercial (“pro”) version.

The tool looks pretty interesting. It doesn’t look like it will be any immediate danger to established tools like LoadRunner, but the feature set is already useful.

The UI is the first thing that strikes you. They wrote it in JavaFX and made it look like a patch panel. I don’t have a screen shot yet of the application, but here’s a shot from the Yahoo Pipes application which has a similar UI paradigm.

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You drag and drop components onto the project canvas and connect them with wires. They have components to generate load, process statistics, etc. You also drag and drop testing servers. So you can drag new test generators to new servers. What’s especially cool is that it’s all live. During a load test you can add or subtract servers, components, etc. The result is the ability to fine tune your test and then save it for later, repeatable, runs.

They said in the video conference that loadUI can be extended by creating your own components.

The application will work anywhere that JavaFX does but there are issues with the Mac implementation. I have no idea if there are issues with the Linux implementation as well. It appears that Windows is the primary development platform for eviware so it should run well there.

I’ll take a look at loadUI once it’s released and see how useful it is. If nothing else, given its free version, it should be the go-to tool for lightweight load testing. It’s definitely an improvement on ab (Apache Bench).