The rise of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) has revolutionized the way modern software is devised and deployed. API testing is a vital part of software testing, especially automation testing that guarantees the performance, steadfastness, and functionality of the applications. APIs act as the gateway through which organizations deliver applications and services, both internally and externally, to customers and associates.
APIs authorize seamless integration of different systems, making it leisurely for developers to create intricate applications and for organizations to share data and services. With the increasing reliance on APIs, organizations must prioritize API testing in their development method. Nonetheless, API testing can be laborious, challenging, and intricate. This is especially true when the developers have to deal with numerous endpoints, scenarios, and dependencies.
This blog will provide the best way to prioritize API testing in your strategy, considering the unique needs and constraints of your organization. But before that, let us have a brief understanding of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and its benefits.
What is API Testing?
API testing is a crucial approach that facilitates evaluating and validating the reliability, performance, security, and functionality of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs serve as the vital links that facilitate diverse software systems to interact and share information seamlessly. Consider it as guaranteeing that the gears of a well-oiled machine turn smoothly. In software application development, API acts as the middle layer between the user interface (presentation) and the database layer. APIs facilitate data exchange and communication from one software system to another.
API testing is a part of integration testing, which efficiently validates the reasoning of the build architecture in a short span of time. In API testing, the software is used to send calls to the API, retrieve output, and document the system’s response instead of relying on conventional user inputs via the keyboard. API tests are significantly different from GUI (Graphical User Interface) tests. The GUI tests do not focus on the countenance and feel of the application. It primarily concentrates on the enterprise logic layer of the software application architecture.
As a point of reference, API is a computing interface that facilitates communication and data exchange between two independent software systems. A software application system that executes an API possesses various subroutines/functions that another software application system can accomplish. API specifies requests that can be created, data formats that can be utilized, how to make requests, etc., between two software systems.
Benefits of API Testing
API testing is a vital process that verifies the proper functioning of applications, both for end users and partner interconnected applications. It is essential to guarantee that APIs meet established standards and specifications to maintain the quality and reliability of the software.
Here are a few benefits of API testing:
- API testing guarantees that APIs work accurately, give accurate responses, and follow the rules. This helps in building trust in the API’s behavior.
- API testing improves security by checking the API’s authorization, authentication, and data protection.
- It helps detect and fix bugs before they cause issues in the final product.
- It verifies key performance indicators such as response times to ensure optimal system performance and scalability under high user loads.
- By performing comprehensive API testing, organizations can furnish high-quality products, diminish the risk of failures, and make customers satisfied.
- API testing plays a critical role in enabling seamless communication among diverse software systems, thereby enhancing development speed and fostering collaboration.
What is the best way to Prioritize API Testing in your strategy?
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, APIs play a paramount role in connecting myriad systems and stimulating the exchange of data. As a result, the significance of thorough API testing cannot be magnified. Nonetheless, with the growing intricacy of technology and the abundance of APIs available, organizations often struggle to effectively prioritize and incorporate API testing into their overall testing strategy.
Here are a few of the ways to prioritize API testing in your strategy:
Define your Testing Scope
Before kickstarting the journey of testing the APIs, it is essential to define the testing scope and objectives. The developers need to ask the below-given questions themselves:
- What are the prominent features and functionalities of the APIs?
- What are the performance and security requirements?
- What are the feasible errors and exceptions?
- What are the anticipated inputs and outputs?
By responding to these questions, the developers can narrow down the testing scope and concentrate on the most essential and relevant aspects of the APIs.
Determine Test Coverage Requirements
An essential aspect of incorporating API testing into your strategy is to assess the necessary test coverage requirements professionally. This entangles carefully examining the scope of your project, pinpointing the critical functionalities of your API, and understanding the conceivable risks and impacts of any failures in these functionalities.
By having a comprehensive understanding of your test coverage prerequisites, you can concentrate your testing endeavors on the most crucial facets and guarantee that your API is meticulously and proficiently tested. This also helps in allocating resources and prioritizing tests based on the level of importance and influence on the overall functionality of the API. Consequently, it is vital to carefully consider and determine your test coverage requirements to create an efficient and effective API testing strategy.
Create a Test Case Matrix
Another adequate method for prioritizing API testing is to create a test case matrix. This entangles mapping out all the possible test scenarios and organizing them into a matrix based on their importance and potential impact on the system. Utilizing this method makes it possible to effectively determine which test cases hold the utmost importance and must be prioritized in your testing strategy.
Furthermore, a test case matrix can assist you in tracking and monitoring your testing progress, assuring that all critical areas of the API are comprehensively tested. It also permits better communication and collaboration among team members, as everyone can refer to the same matrix to understand the testing priorities. Overall, incorporating a test case matrix into your API testing strategy can enormously improve efficiency and effectiveness in identifying and addressing potential issues.
Use a Risk-Based Approach
Utilizing a risk-based approach is a crucial way to prioritize API testing. This means pinpointing and classifying the potential risks and consequences of the APIs on your business, users, and system. For instance, you can consider aspects such as the frequency of use, the dependency on other components, the complexity of logic, the severity of defects, and the sensitivity of data. By implicating a risk-based approach, developers can allocate the testing resources and endeavors accordingly and prioritize the high-risk areas of the APIs.
Below are a few steps to prioritize API testing utilizing a risk-based approach:
- Determinate risks
- Classify risks
- Evaluate impact
- Estimate possibility
- Calculate risk priority
- Determine testing focus
- Pinpoint test scenarios
- Specify test data
- Strategy for mitigation
- Include security testing
- Regression testing
- Performance and load testing
- Compliance and regulatory risks
- Continuous review
Follow the Testing Pyramid
In the present digital landscape, the testing pyramid provides a strategic framework. The testing approach suggests methods to distribute the testing endeavors effectively across various levels of granularity and feedback.
The testing pyramid has three layers;
- unit tests,
- integration tests, and
- end-to-end tests.
This pyramid method provides a balanced approach to API testing. The objective is to prioritize an increased number of unit tests towards the lower levels, reduce the number of integration tests in the middle levels, and further limit the number of end-to-end tests at the top level. By adhering to the principles of the testing pyramid, one can effectively prioritize API testing at the foundational levels. This entails conducting testing on the individual components and interactions of the APIs in isolation, yielding prompt and dependable feedback.
Automate the Tests
API testing can be tiresome and redundant. This is especially true when you have to test myriad parameters and scenarios. To improve efficiency and save time, you can automate the test cases utilizing frameworks and tools that support API testing. Tools like Postman, Rest-Assured, JMeter, or SoapUI can be utilized to create, conduct, and validate the API tests. Furthermore, automation can help to execute the tests quicker, more frequently, and consistently. This will enhance the test coverage and quality.
In the context of managing test coverage, where ensuring comprehensive testing is critical, cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest offer a powerful solution to help testing teams effectively monitor and enhance their test coverage.
LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform to run manual and automated tests on various automation testing tool Selenium, Appium, Playwright and many more. The platform allows you to perform both real-time and automation testing across 3000+ environments and real mobile devices.
Review and Update the Tests
API testing is a continuous and dynamic process that necessitates regular assessment and maintenance. As the APIs undergo updates and modifications over time, it is essential to ensure the continued validity, relevance, and accuracy of the testing procedures. It is also imperative to conduct an assessment and ensure thorough testing of any new additions, enhancements, or stipulations regarding features or functionalities. By regularly reviewing and updating the tests, developers can keep them aligned with the API specifications and avoid overlooking any critical issues or bugs.
Top API Testing Tools
API testing has evolved as an integral step in the SDLC (software development life cycle). Because of this, the global markets have vouched for a surge in API tools. While numerous API tools possess the capability to adequately assess APIs, only a select few can proficiently evaluate all API layers.
Here are a few suitable API testing tools:
SoapUI is designed specifically for testing REST, GraphQL, and SOAP APIs. It presents a thorough API testing solution with a strong focus on convenience for testers and developers through its user-friendly GI. SoapUI facilitates the execution of automated regression, functional, and load tests, making it convenient for various testing scenarios.
Postman is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems. It delivers a wide range of features, authorizing users to create functional, regression, and integration tests efficiently. Developers and testers can choose between utilizing the CLI (Command Line Interface) or a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that is easy to navigate.
Test Studio furnishes an easy-to-maintain and user-friendly testing solution for users. The software integrates RESTful APIs into diverse environments, facilitating efficient API testing. Test Studio furnishes users to automate API testing with a code-free approach, guaranteeing comprehensive validation of the model’s reliability and integrity.
Cloud API Testing
By the principles of Service-Oriented Architecture, Cloud services are made accessible through Web APIs (Application Program Interfaces). These APIs act as the agreements or contracts between the service providers and consumers. With the growing prevalence and extensive use of cloud-based development, there has been a significant rise in the number of diverse APIs available in the market. Because of their wide effect, any fault in the cloud APIs may lead to severe consequences. Therefore, API testing is essential to guarantee the stability, reliability, and availability of cloud services.
The API testing strategy is required when you integrate applications that rely on APIs for data. It is not enough to guarantee that you have functional endpoints. A well-planned API testing strategy ensures the seamless operation and optimal performance of your application and its various integrations, thereby ensuring customer satisfaction and fostering successful partnerships with business counterparts.