API Testing – Keeping a Check on Agile Software Development

As predicted by Gartner, the demands for API testing and virtualization services are expected to rise exponentially because of the increasing intricacies in business logics and quickly changing IT environments. Independent software testing companies take a clue and explore this avenue.

With DevOps becoming the done thing, Quality Assurance too fuses into the merger of Development & Operations. Methodologies like API focusing on computer-to-computer interactions work in the direction of automating the testing processes of systems developed with a continuous integration approach like Agile Testing and Extreme Programming

API testing, a niche category in software testing, examines the application programming interfaces to check fulfilments of requirements related to core functions of the software. APIs are the interface to the core application logic and become very important aspect for testing. Since there is no graphical user interface, API testing needs to be conducted at the message layer.

API Testing

API testing complements the quick release cycles and continual changes which are very typical of Agile Software Development and DevOps and target various test types.

Types of API Testing

Types of API Testing

The API Tester Guidelines

An API tester is recommended to follow certain rules of thumb to get the best possible outcomes.

  • Analyze successful outcomes and failed ones
  • Automate grouping of test categories & API testing priorities
  • Automate API documentation with standard options like Swagger, but make sure that the documentation is easy to follow
  • Prioritize API function calls
  • Add stress to the testing environment through load tests
  • Expose the test to unusual situations to check the robustness in handling tricky issues & loads.

Challenges of API Testing

  • API communication is normally in form of pre-decided format text messages, which requires in-detail knowledge of the interpretations, making it a huge learning curve for the API tester
  • The white-box approach taken by the API testing methodology pushes the tester to be conversant with core logic and on-goings of the software including data exchanges happening.
  • The API tester besides being aware of business requirements needs to know the individual application functions within the business process in detail to ensure comprehensiveness in testing.

Suggested Approaches to Make API Testing Effective

Independent software testing companies make sure that the API testing serves its purpose by maintaining effectiveness.

Strategize for the Tests

Create tests directly from Swagger or other API description formats and analyze the functional test coverage to conclude what is missing. Executing ad-hoc tests is a very good idea to maintain API client code temporarily for testing. A unified framework can be put to use for testing various protocols and a command line can be used to connect to the build system.

Keep the Data Dynamic

Use external data sources to keep tests and data more maintainable and avoid repeating tests for different scenarios by using multiple data sets. Validating results using data from a database, file, or previous responses is also a good idea. Quick reactions when new cases arise could be done smartly by creating new data sets and not reworking on tests as proven by Independent software testing companies working in this area.

Make the API Tests Intuitive

API calls are recommended to be based on real scenarios based on both web applications and mobile apps. API descriptions like Swagger should be imported to build API tests quickly. Avoid complex scripting by building XPath and/or JSON-Path statements graphically.

Automate testing

API descriptions like Swagger ascertain a comprehensive test coverage. Capturing API traffic from a website or switching to proxy modes for mobile devices drives towards automation. Adept refactoring approaches should be designed to update tests when API definitions change.

Adopt a Continuous Approach with Ease

To integrate appropriately into continuous and Agile software development and testing practices certain effective measures can be adopted.

Help for Continuous Testing

Continuous Testing

Strengthening the API strategy

The API strategy is empowered and value-added to synergize various tools and approaches.

      • API management platforms
      • API description formats
      • API Performance Monitoring
      • Front-end functional testing
      • Prompt Issue tracking
      • SDK generation
      • IoT and other protocols adherence

In a Nutshell

Business rules become more dynamic than ever to cater to the ever-changing needs of the customers as well as their expectations. Appropriate API tests ensure that business rules are integrated and enforced, making other checks like User experience tests more reliable. Data security & privacy is better ensured with API testing leading to trustworthy compliance.

An appropriate and prudent test strategy is the call of the day today for Agile software development. Keeping in mind the various trends for testing in 2016, SPEC QA an acclaimed Software Testing Company in India ensures the right mix of traditional and modern Testing approaches and provides support through the BI Testing Life Cycles. The unbiased test reports help smoother implementations with near-zero post-delivery defects and higher customer satisfaction.

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Author: SPEC QA