In this interconnected age, integration is crucial for software applications. Your users expect instant access to the information they need, even if that data remains within another application. That’s why APIs have become so crucial in presenting a seamless user experience across software apps.
That is if the APIs deliver results accurately. Any issue with an API can stop users from continuing to use your product.
This, of course, is not a problem when QA engineers run API test cases accurately. A thorough API testing method can verify the performance of your API framework before deployment to stop any defects from reaching the production environment.
Just as QA teams go into challenges in manual testing, so too are there are some challenges faced in API testing. Is there a method for software companies to be ready to handle those obstacles? Our expert API engineers have accumulated a strategic guide so that your team understands how to stop and overcome API testing challenges.
What are APIs?
Application Programming Interfaces – usually abbreviated as APIs – are collections of functions that allow your software application to access data and communicate with external software systems or parts. An API framework serves as a go-between so that your software application and preferred third-party system can encourage cross-collaboration and data integration across both platforms.
Common examples of APIs include logging into an application with a user’s social media profile, paying online via PayPal, and local weather pieces on search engines.
What Is API Testing?
API testing is the process of checking the health of every API within your software system. This API testing method confirms that the functionality, security, performance, and reliability of all APIs work as expected.
Unlike UI testing, QA teams can run API test cases without communicating with the user interface of your software product – with the help of API testing tools, of course. Rather, QA engineers concentrate on testing the business logic layer of the API framework. By going through the user’s experience in testing your application, your QA team can resolve many challenges in manual testing by first running API tests.
How To Overcome Challenges in API Testing
Unlike challenges in manual testing that occur within the user interface, QA teams must handle API issues within the API framework and business logic layer. While this API testing method can often prevent IU issues before manual testing, performing API test cases without communicating with your product dashboard presents its own set of obstructions.
Fortunately, you can decrease the number of challenges faced in API testing by implementing the following best practices:
Allow Time for Familiarity With APIs
Challenge: While most QA testers are accustomed to challenges in manual testing, they may not be as well-versed in an API testing method. To your surprise, many peers on your QA team may not be familiar with an API framework or comfortable working API test cases. A solid API testing plan cannot succeed when your team doesn’t consistently have the skillset for testing APIs.
Solution: Provide comprehensive training that fully describes your APIs as well as the business logic layer of your product. Constantly review with your team the rules and guidelines dictating the practice of your APIs, from copyright policies and rate limits to storage systems and display policies. When feasible, hire QA engineers to your team with comprehensive API testing knowledge and experience addressing challenges encountered in API testing.
Ensure the Framework Is Suited for APIs
Challenge: Any upgrade, be it to your product or within the API, can modify how your framework supports APIs. Furthermore, confirming the parameters within your API framework can be a daunting chore, especially when your APIs need specific restrictions and validation criteria.
Solution: Continuous testing of APIs during the development cycle can also catch defects early, enabling developers to resolve the issues sooner. Regular examination of your framework assures that your framework is suited for testing APIs, particularly when you ask yourself these questions during an inspection:
- Does your framework enable integrations with GUI tests?
- Will the framework support GUI tests?
- Can the framework use build administration tools and API libraries?
Challenge: While API testing tools can enhance your test coverage, it is simply not possible to test each scenario. Even your most experienced QA engineers cannot predict every possible communication your users have with APIs within your application. Because your QA team must include a variety of software tests besides API testing within your development cycle, there likely isn’t sufficient time to cover every scenario.
Solution: To overcome these challenges met in API testing, prioritization is key. The situations for how your users experience your application should be the situations that your team prioritizes within your testing process. To do this efficiently, walk through how your customers use your application and review application data to recognize accurate scenarios of actual product use.
Use Correct Testing Approaches
Challenge: Your QA team may accidentally cut corners on API testing, especially QA testers discovering the ropes on testing APIs. Even experienced QA engineers can’t run API test cases accurately when the proper tools, frameworks, and libraries are not in place.
Solution: Your API testing strategy should have every resource available during the QA method so that your testing cycle has the greatest impact. Ensure you have the latest version of testing tools and that your libraries are up to date. Practice techniques such as error guessing and equivalence classes when administering unit tests and acceptance tests on your APIs.
Implementing these best practices can boost your success with API testing and help prevent any obstacles that may occur.
Need help in launching a process that overcomes challenges in API testing? Prefer to partner with an experienced testing services provider like TestUnity. Our team of testing experts is experienced in API testing and specializes in automation testing all kinds of APIs. Our QA engineers can help your team select API testing best practices within your development cycle so that your software app begins to market successfully every time. Get in touch with a TestUnity expert today.