Author Nilesh Ahire, Senior Consultant – Testing
Gartner and Forrester recommend that testers shift more of their testing efforts to the API level—with the ultimate goal of achieving 80% of functional test automation at the API level. And for a number reasons, API testing is recognized as a better fit for Continuous Testing, Agile, and DevOps.
We hope that this blog will help give a better understanding of how API’s work and what benefits API Testing has to offer.
What is an API?
API is an acronym for application programming interface. APIs are responsible for allowing applications to interact and communicate with other applications. API’s are a set of tools, protocols, standards and code that allow for companies to become more agile, and for everything to work together in a streamlined, integrated way.
What is API Testing?
Once an API is built, it is necessary to test the interface to provide truly secure, reliable and scalable connections between platforms. An API receives requests and sends back responses through internet protocols including HTTP and SMTP.
There are three levels of API testing:
Functional Testing: Provides input parameters in JSON or xml Payload. Functional Testing provides a response code and response body within a millisecond.
Load Testing: Checks performance under load and helps determine how much traffic the system can handle before being overloaded.
Security Testing: Shows which type of authentication is required and whether sensitive data is encrypted over HTTP and includes penetration testing for validating authentication.
Before you start API testing, you need to understand two key types of web service designs that impact it: REST and SOAP services.
RESTful Web services (REST for Representational State Transfer) provides a predefined set of stateless operations and allow requesting systems to access and manipulate textual representations of web resources.
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a messaging protocol that allows programs that run on disparate operating systems to communicate using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and its Extensible Markup Language (XML).
Both services have unique sets of benefits, and benefits of SOAP API over REST API:
Benefits of REST API over SOAP API:
And while API Testing has tremendous benefits it also has a few limitations, such as:
Despite the aforementioned limitations that API testing provides several key advantages and is the way into the future of testing.
API testing can improve the coverage of your test cycle, conserve resources, and result in faster, more efficient releases, some of which are:
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