Implementing API Testing Automation
February 16, 2022
The use of APIs is on the rise as more and more companies realize the value of revealing their data and functionality to third-party developers. This has led to a surge in the number of APIs being implemented and a corresponding increase in the need for API testing.
API security testing is essential for ensuring that APIs function as expected and meet the needs of both the developers who rely on them and the businesses that created them. Automating the API testing process is becoming increasingly popular among organizations to speed up the testing process. This article will go over API automation testing, the benefits of API automation tools, and some tips and best practices when setting up your tests.
What is API testing automation?
API testing automation is a process of automating the API testing process. Developers can do this in various ways, but the most common approach is to use an automation tool to create and run tests. API testing automation can help you speed up the testing process and ensure that all your tests are run consistently and accurately.
How does it work?
API testing automation works without manual intervention or assistance by a human being. This means they can be run 24/7, freeing up time for you and your team to work on other tasks.
Four benefits of API testing automation for developers
API testing is an important part of the development process, helping ensure that each API and rest API functions as expected and meets the needs of developers relying on them and the business creating them. Automating the testing process can significantly save you time and resources allowing you to focus on other areas of your software development efforts. Additionally, automated testing is more accurate than manual testing counterparts. They save developers time when executing tests throughout the entire development life, not just when writing new code.
- Save time and resources: Automated testing is fast. You can test your APIs and view results often in as little as a few minutes, freeing up your testers to execute more critical tasks. With less manual intervention required throughout the testing process, you can ensure that your tests are run 24/7, giving you more accurate results without requiring additional work from your team.
- More consistent results: These automated tests also help ensure that everyone executes their tests in an identical manner, making it easier to compare different testers' results side-by-side when inconsistencies arise. This helps speed up debugging and resolution efforts if any issues come up, so they don't continue to slip through the cracks.
- Improved accuracy: Since these tests can run 24/7, they don't suffer from the biases and tiredness that human testers might when executing tests. While no test will ever be 100% error-free, API testing automation can help your apps achieve a higher standard of accuracy in their results.
- Flexibility: One of the most significant benefits to API test automation is its flexibility and ease of use. With increased support for programming languages, you can ensure that everyone on your team can easily create and execute these automated tests regardless of their background or skill set. This means that even if new members are added to the team down the line, they'll have very few barriers keeping them from being able to get started right away with creating API tests.
Automation tools for API testing
API testing automation requires the use of specific tools to be successful. While there are many different options on the market, the following are some of the most popular and well-supported tools for automating API testing.
Mayhem for API
Applying fuzzing techniques to the parameters in a request allows Mayhem for API to test the quality and resiliency of the APIs. It supports all programming languages, making it easy for anyone on your team to get started in under five minutes. Additionally, Mayhem provides detailed results and reports, helping you quickly identify and fix any issues with your APIs.
Postman is another popular tool for API testing and is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful features. It also supports multiple programming languages and has built-in support for mocking servers and data, helping you test even complex APIs by setting up a series of expected responses.
SoapUI is a good tool for automating API testing. Mayhem for API supports REST APIs, not SOAP, while SoapUI supports SOAP, and not REST. Soap API has built-in support for mocking servers and data, helping you test APIs by setting up a series of expected responses.
Nine tips for implementing API testing automation
When implementing API testing automation, it's important to keep the following tips and best practices in mind:
- Set clear expectations: Make sure that everyone involved with API testing automation is on the same page about expectations and goals before you start coding anything up. This will help prevent confusion later when new members join your team and will help ensure that everything goes smoothly from day one of your implementation efforts.
- Choose the right API testing tool: As mentioned above, options are available for API testing automation. It's important to choose one that fits your team's needs and skill set. If you're not comfortable with a particular tool, you're less likely to use it regularly, leading to inconsistency in your testing process.
- Start small: When starting with API testing automation, it's best to start small. Focus on a few critical endpoints rather than trying to test the entire infrastructure at once. This will help you get comfortable with the new process and ensure that everything is running smoothly before expanding your automation efforts.
- Document your tests: As with any software development effort, it's important to document your API testing automation process properly. if your API isn't documented correctly, your testing tool won't find as many things..
- Start with integration tests: While API testing automation includes unit tests, which typically focuses on a single “unit of code” – usually a function in an object or module -- it's best to start out by adding for your APIs integration tests, where individual software modules are combined and tested as a group. These will help you get familiar with the process without requiring too much effort upfront, so you can be sure everything runs smoothly before moving on to more complex scenarios.
- Include API testing in your CI pipeliner: API automated testing works best when it's a part of your continuous integration (CI) pipeline, which is responsible for pushing updates to your team as soon as they're ready instead of waiting until the scheduled release date. This will allow your team to quickly and consistently fix issues without diverting too many resources from other tasks.
- Keep an eye on metrics: As you add more tests, it's important to keep track of your testing metrics like speed and coverage. You should always be looking for ways to improve these metrics and make sure that the overall testing process is as efficient as possible while still ensuring high accuracy in test results.
- Watch out for false positives: One of the most common issues with API testing automation is false positives or instances where a failure is reported when there are no actual errors within the system under test (SUT). These can lead to wasted time trying to fix bugs that aren't actually there, so it's important to keep an eye out for false positives and resolve them as quickly as possible.
- Don't get stuck in a test rut: Testing the same APIs over and over again will lead to stagnation, so it's important to try new things, such as testing previously untested APIs or expanding your integration tests to include more complicated scenarios. This will help you prepare for the future without slowing down your development progress in the present.
As you know, API testing is an integral part of the software development and quality assurance processes. Automated testing of your APIs will undoubtedly save you time and even costs during your software development lifecycle. Armed with this blog, you should now have enough information to formulate your API Testing automation plan.
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