How SoapUI Was Created: An Interview with Ole Lensmar

Ole Lensmar, our own CTO at SmartBear, talks about the creation of SoapUI. SoapUI has risen to become the most widely used API testing tool in a market that is expanding quickly. With the accelerated adoption of RESTful APIs, combining with the existing usage of the SOAP protocol, the API market has never been larger.

SoapUI NG Pro is the next generation of the now famous Open Source tool, and has dozens of additional features to help solve all the problems of the API market. See the full transcription of the video below.

Video Transcription

SPEAKER 1: OK, why don’t we start off a little bit with a question you’ve probably heard a million times.


SPEAKER 1: Which is, why did you create SoapUI?

OLE LENSMAR: Why? Oh, well, the story is I was an architect in a big integration project. We were heavily using Soap and building SOA. And we needed a tool for testing our web services, basically. And I was up many nights at that time because we’d just had our second son. And I just went looking for a hobby project. It seemed like there wasn’t any good open source offering at the time.

There weren’t any good tools, or at least any tools that I felt comfortable with. So that’s basically how it started. I solve my problem, and then about a year later or 10 months later we put it on SourceForge and we just noticed that there was a huge traction behind that tool. And that’s how it started.

SPEAKER 1: And that’s an understatement.

OLE LENSMAR: Yeah, well, yeah, but it’s taken a long time, so that was like 10 years ago.

SPEAKER 1: And what year was that?

OLE LENSMAR: 2004 was when it was created, but it was launched in 2005. So it’s actually the 10- year anniversary this year.

SPEAKER 1: And, wow, I didn’t know that. And then SmartBear fired Eviware in–

OLE LENSMAR: 2011, yeah, so three and a half years ago.

SPEAKER 1: Yeah, three and a half years ago, and since, you know, flash forward a few years even more, Soap has been this huge success. You guys launched [Ready! API]

OLE LENSMAR: Yeah, I mean, I guess we were lucky in the sense that SOA and SoapUI, kind of, it’s a legacy kind of technology now. It’s still growing and very popular, but it’s definitely not the cool thing to do. But REST and REST APIs have had enormous traction in the whole API economy and all that stuff. And SoapUI is extremely well positioned to target that audience as well.

Although it had an unfortunate name, and the open source tool still does. But it was easy to see that. This is perfect for the whole API economy, and that’s I think the second wave we’re riding on now, which has been just very fortunate.

Learn More

For more information on SoapUI, visit

For more information about SoapUI NG Pro, the next generation of SoapUI, visit

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