Monday, 15 February 2010

HTTP Sniffers

If you're in search for a HTTP sniffer that could show/dump the HTTP/SOAP conversation (headers and body) between your application and a server here are the free/trial choices I found usable:

- HTTP Debugger Pro ( - sniffer for all traffic on any interface. However it is not showing the body of HTTP/SOAP requests/responses, only headers. This happened at least in my config were I had the client and server on the same machine ( a VM one; maybe they have problems with virtual interfaces?)

- Effe Tech HTTP Sniffer ( - it worked pretty well until the point it should catch a SOAP with DIME attachment HTTP conversation. There it failed to get the body of the request.

- SoapUI ( - Their SOAP Monitor feature (described here ) is Santa's choice because it did the trick indeed, capturing all what I needed.
It should be used as a http tunnel but even so it works with both client and server on the same localhost. You should do 2 things to configure:
-- you need to create a new project
-- you need to add a wdsl file to the project in order to have an interface to listen to(?). I just added one WSDL file ( found on the internet and it started working without complaining that the file had nothing to do with my application.

Actually I tested even more applications but have found that:
- they need you to specify proxy in your app (they're built probably for browser sessions testing)
- they are completely buggy (too many to mention)
- they don't do what you expect (notably SOAP Sonar that looks impressive but doesn't do sniffing)

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