API as known as Application Programming Interface is very important for the software and application based systems for communication, perform critical functions, and data exchange. API is a computing interface which is not only essential to understand but also complicated and considered as a “Middle Man” between different layers of an application or software. It’s a set of tools and protocols that is very crucial to communicate between components of an app and improve the connectivity and response. Let’s explore what is API testing, how to perform API testing, and what is its role in app development and improvement.
What is API testing
API testing is the process of validation of HTTPS responses respective to what request is sent by the tester. API testing is performed to determine the reliability, performance, security, and stability of an application. It is not like that to perform tests only during app development but it can be done anytime when it is not performing up to the mark. It is done by sending specific input through HTTPS and recording the response then analysis is done if there are any bugs or errors in the system.
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In simple words, API testing is used to identify bugs, security vulnerabilities, inconsistencies, or failures. Don’t be confused with GUI testing as API is mainly focused on the business logic layer of the software architecture. We hope now you understand what API and API testing is. Let’s understand how to perform API testing.
Basic Requirements before setting up API testing
Before we go deep down on how to perform API testing, we must know what the prerequisites are before conducting API testing to ensure correct results.
- Database and server must be configured respective to software requirements
- You should have clear idea what is your API target
- What are the system’s issues that need to be fixed
- How would you going to justify whether the API testing successful or failed
- Last but not least how your test going to benefit the overall software performance
How to perform API testing (The key elements)
API testing is not an one go process, following are the methods or tests need to perform to accomplish the API testing and these are the basic and integrated parts you need to comprehend:
- Discovery Testing– It must be performed manually by tester with the help of API documentation and verify the resources that are executed, verified, updated, or deleted.
- Usability Testing– This part is done to verify the usability of all components of all layers. UT also verifies whether the API is functional, efficient, and user-friendly and also has good integration with other platforms.
- Security Testing– It is a relatively vital part of the API testing because here users have to identify or decide at what level the data is encrypted over https and how the authentication will perform.
- Automated Testing- Automated testing is so simple that it is not performed manually but you must have to create a set of instructions or prepare a script at will automatically followed periodically.
- Documentation– Documentation during testing is something like a blueprint or roadmap which is exactly followed as described in documents so that the targeted result is achieved.
These are the five key strides or the part of the API testing. Now, we will see how to perform API testing by heeding the above mentioned steps and taking a sample.
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How to Perform API Testing
As we already presented, API testing is not a one way step. Tests have 4 inevitable parts: Send Request, Verification, getting response, and Validation. Remember, each step has equal importance to the other, the tester can not skip any step. Below is the sample/example API testing steps.
- For getting the response about the components performance, first the client or tester sends a request to the server. The request must have a Request Line, Header, and Request Body.
- Once the data is sent to the server by the client, the mutual verification is performed by the server and client as well.
- Now, the HTTPS response will be directed by the server to the client which contains Status line, Header, and Body of the Response.
- In the final step, the response is being validated by the client and performance, efficiency is checked. If the response is as per the request then API testing is complete otherwise the same process followed again to fix the issues.
What are the benefits of API Testing
Now, you are well aware of what is API Testing, How to perform API Testing, and what are the key elements of API testing. But do you ever think at what level API testing can benefit? Let’s see what are the primary benefits of doing this.
- This removes all possible bugs from the server which is otherwise delay the software launching
- It saves considerable amount of time of developers as they don’t need to rewrite the codes for debugging
- API testing allow developers to test the software at early stages and kill the bugs before they become a serious trouble
- The testing is away from the technological glitches and language independence. It depends only on the client request and server response
- Along with time, API testing is saves a good amount of money
Let have a look on commonly used API testing Tools.
API Testing Tools
We are listing most used and reliable API testing tools, however, these are not the only tools. A large diversity of API testing tools is available for developers, varying from paid subscription tools to open source. Some of them are:
These are the basic steps and Testing methods that are important and must be followed. We introduced you with the fundamentals of API and How to perform API testing, however, API testing is not as simple as it seems because a minor fallacy can shatter the testing route. But if API testing is performed carefully, it benefits a lot as we mentioned above. It saves time as well as money for the overall design and development of any software. The considerable limitation or challenge during API testing is parameter combination because every combination is need to assessed separately to analyze if it clenches problems related to distinctive configurations.