Overcome Challenges in API Testing

Software applications must integrate in this connected age. Users expect instant access to all the information they need, regardless of whether that information is contained within another software application. Because APIs are integral to providing seamless user experiences across multiple software applications, they have been so important.

This is true if APIs return correct results. An API issue can prevent users from using your product.

When QA engineers correctly run API tests cases, this isn’t an issue. To prevent defects from reaching production environments, QA engineers should conduct thorough API testing to validate your API framework’s performance before deployment.

As API testing presents many challenges, just as QA teams face challenges with manual testing, API testing also faces challenges. Are there ways for software companies that can help them overcome these obstacles? The strategic guide has been prepared by API engineers to help you and your team overcome API testing difficulties.

What are APIs?

Application Programming Interfaces, also known as APIs, are functions that allow your software program to interact with other software systems and components. An API framework is a bridge between your software application and the chosen third-party system. This allows for cross-collaboration across platforms and data integration.

Examples of APIs include login to an app with a user’s social media profile, making payments online using PayPal, and snippets about local weather on search engines.

What is API Testing?

API testing is the process by which you verify the health of each API in your software system. This API testing method confirms that all APIs work as expected in terms of functionality, security, and reliability.

QA teams can perform API testing without interacting with your product’s user interface, unlike UI testing. This is possible with the aid of API testing tools. Instead, QA engineers test the API framework’s business logic. Your QA team can overcome many problems in manual testing by running API tests.

Read also: UI Test vs API Test

How to Overcome the Challenges of API Testing

QA teams must address API issues within the API framework as well as the business logic layer, which is quite different from manual testing challenges. This API testing approach can prevent IU problems before manual testing. However, it presents its own set challenges when executing API tests cases without interacting directly with your product dashboard.

You can make API testing easier by following these best practices.

  • Give yourself time to become familiar with APIs. Challenge: QA testers may be familiar with manual testing challenges, but they might not be as proficient in API testing. Surprise, your QA peers may not be comfortable with running API tests or aren’t familiar with API frameworks. If your team lacks the necessary skills to test APIs, a solid API testing strategy will not thrive. Solution – Provide extensive training that fully explains both your APIs and the business logic layer in your product. Your team should review regularly the guidelines and policies that govern the use of your APIs. These include copyright policies, rate limits, storage policies, and display policies. Hire QA engineers with API testing experience and extensive knowledge to help you overcome the challenges of API testing.
  • Make sure the Framework is Suited for APIs. Challenge: Any update to your product, or within your API, will affect how your framework supports APIs. Validating parameters in your API framework can be difficult, especially if your APIs have specific restrictions or validation criteria. Solution: Continuous testing APIs during the development cycle can help developers catch issues early and allow them to be fixed sooner. Your framework should be reviewed regularly to ensure it is suitable for testing APIs. This is especially true if you ask these questions during inspection.
    • Your framework allows integrations with GUI testing?
    • Is the framework able to support GUI testing?
    • Is the framework able to use API libraries and build management tools?
  • Prioritize Scenarios. Challenge – While API testing tools can help increase test coverage, it’s simply not possible for every scenario to be tested. Even the most experienced QA engineers can’t predict every interaction that users may have with APIs within your app. Your QA team will need to perform multiple software tests in addition to API testing during your development cycle. This means that there is likely not enough time for every scenario. Solution – Prioritization is the key to overcoming these difficulties in API testing. Your team should prioritize the scenarios that will affect how users use your application. This can be done by reviewing the application data and walking through how consumers use it to determine accurate scenarios.
  • Make sure you use the correct testing methods
    • Challenge: Unintentionally, your QA team might cut corners when it comes to API testing. This is especially true for QA testers who are learning how to test APIs. Even highly skilled QA engineers won’t be able to run API tests correctly if the right tools, frameworks, and libraries aren’t in place.
    • Solution – Your API testing process should include every resource possible during the QA phase to ensure maximum impact. You should ensure that you are using the most recent version of your testing tools, and that your libraries have been updated. When running acceptance and unit tests on APIs, use error guessing and equivalence class techniques.
  • Correctly design test cases
    • Challenge: API testing cases are often created by guessing what API needs to be reviewed, particularly when they are not run through the user interface. This can lead to unknown API issues in the product, as the actual scenarios are not tested.
    • Solution – Design test cases keeping end users in mind even though they are not conducted within the UI. Prioritize testing scenarios that are focused on the user’s experience using your application. Start with test cases that focus on the functionality of the API and the outcomes your users expect from it within the application.

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