The astounding market growth in API testing resonates with the boom in cloud applications and interconnected platforms that call for application programming interfaces (APIs). APIs work more like a contract where two parties agree about sending, receiving and responding to communication according to a set of predefined protocols.
The surge in APIs means a respective demand for efficient testing to ensure that they meet the required standards for functionality, reliability, performance, and security. Without effective testing, the APIs could collapse or fail to perform impacting applications, services and business processes.
Before we get into the nuances of API testing, let’s get a deeper understanding of what an API is, how it works and the context for API testing.
What is (API) Application Programming Interface?
API is a set of routine protocols and tools for creating software applications that are effectively synced together. It acts as a powerful intermediary between the application and the web server, seamlessly coordinating the ways the two systems interact by paying heed to the set of instructions.
In other words, APIs are a simplified way to link your own infrastructure through cloud-centric app development, simultaneously permitting you to share your data with external users or clients.
Public APIs are fundamental to businesses as they can simplify and build your connections and interactions with your partners.
APIs give you flexibility while designing new products or tools. They open the door for innovation and simplify design. This makes administration and use easy, helping businesses and IT teams to collaborate efficiently.
What causes API failures?
At times, APIs do not work the way as expected due to technical or operational glitches like slow servers or connectivity, curbs by the API service vendor on subscriptions, area etc, security issues or DDoS attacks.
API failures refer to the gaps that thus arise in the communication between two servers or teams. They can fail for multiple reasons.
Some of the most common reasons for API failures are:
➢ Unexpected or unrecorded software changes,
➢ Communication hiccups between teams,
➢ Bad data that is incompatible with an API
As software updates may not immediately register in the documentation, it can cause API glitches. An API call that worked in one version of the other program may not be compatible with the new version.
An API call can be a link in a series, navigating data from upstream to downstream, and then passing the response on, either as a reply to the upstream data or sending it in a new direction. Since the origin of data is not always traceable, APIs could fail if the received data is not in the required format or in the format that the third party expects - for instance, in unacceptable characters.
Also, backward compatibility may be accessible only for a limited grace period and after that non-updated API calls will not work. And if the API calls have been integrated in your code for a while, the sudden change in status may not be recorded. You will come to know only when they suddenly fail.
API testing for enhanced business processes
Effective API testing helps in:
Checking the functioning of the software
An API Testing sees that the software systems work uniformly during the unit testing phase of the development cycle. It is done to check the reliability, performance and functioning of the software.
Resolving the errors
In addition to this, the API testing organises the API endpoints. It helps the software programmer choose between the automation tool and the verification methods. The procedure detects the bugs at an early stage.
API tests involve the entire software system and verify that all the components function as expected while other categories of testing, like unit tests verify the functionality of individual components within a single application. The broader test span of API makes it easier to identify any bugs in the unit, database, and server levels.
API tests are also faster to run and more isolated than UI tests. According to data from Andersen Lab, a UI test runs for approximately seven minutes while an API test runs for 12 seconds.
API Testing is important to assess that the API functions properly and can process the requests that are made. It should analyze the responses that include data quality, confirmation of authorization and reply time.
API Testing is done consistently at appropriate times to make the systems run meticulously.
● Is highly effective
It requires the use of fewer codes and can provide a better test coverage. Most systems have APIs and services with some specifications with the help of which one can create automated tests easily.
● Has a remarkable performance
A common UI regression test suite can take 8-10 hours to operate. But an API testing system takes 1-2 hours. It is more reliable than the ordinary testing procedures and does not take hours to work.
● Does not have any language issues
Any language can be used to develop the application. As the data is exchanged using XML and JSON, the language does not matter.
● Integrates with the GUI testing
One can test the API without an interface. However, the GUI tests can be conducted after the API testing is done. It would allow new users to get familiarised with the programme before the test.
Essentially, the API integration testing is the evaluation of the API interfaces to see if these are functioning optimally. Some of the most-popular API integration testing tools are Postman, jmeter, assertible and rest-assured.
● Reduces the testing cost
The API testing can detect bugs, technical issues and teething problems at an early stage. This helps save time and money in the long run. As the errors are rectified during the initial stages, there is no scope of excessive spending.
Types of API Testing
API Testing must be done at the earliest stages. These ensure that the software works impeccably well and allows access to the stored data. Different tests evaluate the aspects of the API procedure and are necessary to guarantee a hassle-free digital interaction.
● Load Testing
The API load testing is done to ensure that the software applications can take on the load that the user wants them to. The API load testing tools place load on the real apps, software and websites in a controlled environment.
● Performance testing
Similarly, the API performance testing tools evaluate the ways in which API performs under a set of conditions. It is important as it identifies any issues in the API during the early stages.
For instance, the nodejs API Testing is a toolkit that acts as an intermediary between C/C++ code and Node Java Script Engine.
For example, the jmeter performance testing is used for web applications. With a user-friendly interface, it works on a multi-threaded framework.
● Security Testing
In this, the programmers see that the API is secure from all the external threats that might jeopardize its efficiency. If the data falls into wrong hands and is misused, the program might go haywire.
The security testing sees whether the basic security requirements have been fulfilled that include access to the users, authentication concerns and the encryption.
● Unit Testing
This checks the functioning of the individual operations. It includes testing the codes, checking if the units perform well individually and is sometimes referred to as the White Box Testing.
Also, it is the first step in assessing the API and helps determine the quality control process. The individual parts are tested so that these work uniformly when put together.
● Functional Testing
It includes testing different functions in the code-base. API functional testing is done with some procedures that require attention to detail.
The software developers can check the data accuracy and the response time along with the authorization issues. The error codes and the HTTP status codes must be tested accurately.
Practices/Methods of API Testing
● Segregate API Test cases into test categories.
● Prioritise API function calls to facilitate fast testing.
● Include the declarations of the APIs called at the top of each test.
● Provide accurate parameters in the test case.
● Keep the test cases self-contained and independent.
● Avoid test chaining in your development
● Send a series of API load tests to check the expected results and assess the efficiency of the system.
● Give attention while dealing with single call functions such as CloseWindow, Delete etc.
● Plan and perform call sequencing meticulously
● Ensure impeccable test coverage by creating API test cases for all possible API input combinations.
Challenges in API Testing
● The most challenging aspects of Web API testing are parameter combination, parameter selection, and call sequencing.
● There is no graphical user interface to test the application, making it impossible to provide input values.
● For testers, validating and verifying output in a different system is a little complicated.
● The testers must be familiar with parameter selection and classification.
● You must test the exception handling function. Coding knowledge is a must for testers.
Types of Bugs that API testing detects
● Functionalities that are duplicated or missing
● Unused flags.
● Security concerns.
● Issues related to multi-threading.
● False alerts errors/warnings to a caller.
● Improper dealing of valid argument values.
● Performance issues
● Dependability issues like difficulty in connection and receiving responses from the API.
HyperTest & API TESTING
HyperTest is a tool that eliminates the bugs and errors by integrating the applications and providing an exemplary software development. It ensures an outstanding quality and covers all forms of testing such as regression, API and integration. It can be set up in less than five minutes and provide results within a jiffy.
The tool is extremely reliable and does away with the traditional methods of manual testing. It does not require an external set-up and seamlessly integrates with all the applications and interfaces. It detects and resolves all the errors before release and can increase the testing coverage.
Why HyperTest Tool for API Testing?
The HyperTest is suitable for the API testing procedures as it nips all the evils in the bud and provides a worthwhile digital experience. Businesses rely on the tool to assist them in the process of developing testing scripts and codes for a seamless online transaction.
● Provides complete coverage
The HyperTest provides more than 95% of the app in less than 5 minutes. It is superior to other tools as it does away with the manual effort of writing scripts. Also, it helps the Devops pass on cleaner builds to the QA guys. This lessens the time taken to test an application.
It auto-generates the tests by providing reliable results. It does not require manual testing that makes the teams work endlessly and develop the test scripts.
Moreover, it is an API management tool that ensures security and performance. It solves the problems of API regression and makes the team focus on developing the software.
It resolves the errors at the source by checking for the API issues during the nascent stages.
● Builds dynamic assertion
The auto-generated tests run on the stable version of the application to effectively generate assertions. This does not allow the business owners to reveal sensitive information about their company or let the data fall be misused. It reports any anomalies that could occur and the breaking changes that might be resolved at a later stage.
It makes use of real-world scenarios to build tests.
● Is Unique and highly effective
Numerous companies prefer the HyperTest API testing tool because it has a unique approach. It monitors the actual traffic on the application and makes use of real-world scenarios to build the tests.
Also, the teams can get access to the complete coverage reports that highlight the flow of things in the automation process.
● Can quickly detect and resolve all the errors
The tool provides solutions for the applications. It removes all the bugs, helps the businesses develop worthwhile strategies and safeguard the sensitive information. Some of the software engineers fail to detect the source of the errors and how to mitigate them.
Traditional tools miss more errors than these detect. The HyperTest tool detected 91% more bugs and technical issues in the systems.
● Integrates with the services
The tool follows an asynchronous mirroring process with no change in the application code or configuration. It has no impact on the function and the performance.
As it is cloud-operated, all the data is present in the client’s environment and never gets leaked. It is never misused and hardly lands up in the wrong hands.
● Can efficiently manage the API testing procedures
The HyperTest monitors the API 24/7 and reports all the failures. It is one of the best API testing tools that solves the problem of API regression.
Moreover, it eliminates the redundant test cases by maximising the coverage. By creating real-time dynamic assertions, it reports the breaking changes. It saves the time of the developers and provides the Devops team ways to speed up their processes. It reports all the errors in an effective way and helps the Devops introduce some significant changes.
According to a recent survey, HyperTest saves about 40% of the man hours that developers invest in figuring out the algorithms.
● Provides useful information
The HyperTest provides all the data about the API artefacts and documents the details creating a reliable repository of information. Through the regression feature, it delivers accurate results. It brings to light all the API failures and monitors the entire application process.
By mirroring the TCP requests, it does not impact the application code or the function. The cloud-based environment does not let any data escape from within.
It examines all the minor code changes and reports the data accurately to the system. Apart from this the HYPERTest monitors the micro-services and provides sure-shot analysis.
● Manages the authentication process
The HyperTest can manage the multi-factor authentication processes really well. It can easily write the customized requests and look into the data constraints.
Summing it up, the API checks the malfunctioning or the errors that might surface during the exchange of information between the computer systems. The API testing ensures that the systems run smoothly and have no technical issues. The HyperTest tool develops efficient API testing procedures and manages the authentication process. It builds a dynamic assertion and effortlessly integrated with all the services. By providing complete test coverage and closely examining the software, it has become the most-sought after API testing tool by the businesses.
You may not be able to prevent APIs from failing, but you can contain the damage, and prevent an API failure from bringing down your application as well.
With the HyperTest tool, you needn’t vex over API failures anymore. Ensuring round-the-clock monitoring, the platform provides effective solutions to the API regression. With the use of upgraded testing procedures, your data can be secure and free of any anomalies that might jeopardise your reputation.
To browse through the features that make the testing platform stand out in functionality and reliability and acquaint yourself with the wide array of testing procedures visit our website.
What is API Software testing?
API software testing involves evaluating the functionality, reliability, and security of application programming interfaces (APIs). It verifies that APIs perform as expected, handle data correctly, and interact seamlessly with other software components, ensuring their reliability and functionality.
Why is API testing important?
API testing is vital because it ensures that software components communicate correctly. It validates functionality, data accuracy, and security, preventing errors and vulnerabilities, ultimately ensuring reliable and efficient interactions between different parts of a software system.
How to approach API testing?
Approaching API testing involves several key steps. Begin by thoroughly understanding the API documentation to grasp its endpoints, inputs, and expected outputs. Next, identify various test scenarios, considering different data inputs and edge cases. Utilize dedicated API testing tools or libraries to create and execute test cases, sending requests and analyzing responses. Verify that the API functions as intended and handles errors gracefully. For efficiency, automate repetitive tests and establish a robust monitoring and maintenance system to adapt to ongoing API changes, ensuring continuous reliability and performance.
What are the best API testing tools?
Since 80% of the communication that happens between apps is carried out with the help of APIs, it is crucial to test them thoroughly to keep the operations smooth and running. There are many good tools for API testing, some of them are HyperTest, Postman, JMeter, Katalon and Apigee. HyperTest being a no-code RTR based automated testing tool works best when integrated with your CI/CD pipelines, giving you 90% coverage, with no bugs slipping into the production.