If you understand the logic of test screening a new movie, taste-testing a new dish before it debuts on a restaurant menu, or preparing to fly a plane with a flight simulator, then it may be easy to understand the logic behind API testing. In the parlance of API design and development, the testing phase is where the team evaluates the API’s usage of its resources, how it handles data, and if all parts in the API’s build structure are in order. The goals of API testing are threefold: (1) to validate the solutions that the design team has chosen for the API; (2) to maintain the solutions that work; and (3) to eradicate errors that would otherwise bog the API down.
Doing API testing validates the API’s implementation, so that the painstaking efforts to design it aren’t in vain. But sadly enough, some decision makers don’t pay enough attention to API testing, and instead choose to conduct graphical user interface (GUI) testing that merely scratches at the surface levels.
To give your API a fighting chance among would-be adopters, it’s recommended that you take API testing seriously. This ensures that the product not only looks good during its demos, but works in exactly the way a third-party developer would need it to.
- It’s the best way to check the functionality of an API at the coding level. It’s during the API testing phase that you can truly check the mettle of an API’s build strength, plus its effectiveness in dealing with anticipated errors. If you’re using a comprehensive API testing tool for developers, such as the platform developed by API veterans Stoplight, then it won’t be hard for anyone involved in the API’s design to survey and tweak the code as needed.
- With the many different types of API testing you can do, you’ll have a lot of ground covered. In fact, there are as many as nine types of test that can be done on your API. They are: (1) validation testing, (2) functional testing, (3) user interface (UI) testing, (4) load testing, (5) runtime testing and error detection, (6) security testing, (7) penetration testing, (8) fuzz testing, and (9) inoperability and WS compliance testing.You’ll be able to see how your API is doing on any of those fronts, something that wouldn’t be possible with GUI testing alone.
- It goes hand-in-hand with other API development processes. API testing shouldn’t be taken in isolation, either; it should be thought of as closely intertwined with other API development processes, such as writing code for exploratory features. This is the stage of API design in which everyone involved can pause, survey the project, and coordinate action across teams.
- Thanks to methods like automated checks, it will save the API team a lot of time. The best methods for API testing combine both manual and automated checks. It’s the latter, in particular, that can significantly speed up the API design team’s operations. Automated checks can generate code in a manner that’s streamlined, easy to pore over, and easy to act on—and this will free up valuable time for API designers to work on other aspects of the API.
- It’s the development phase that truly prepares the API for integration and adoption. Lastly, API testing is the ideal period for designers to fine-tune their product before its launch. This is where you’d be able to get a full picture of what the API is capable of, and where you can concentrate on sharpening it for its commercial release. API testing will bring you that much closer to the ultimate goal: getting third-party developers on board to integrate with and adopt your API.
In summary, API testing isn’t something you should skip or pay minimal attention to; it’s a phase that will determine the fate of your API. Follow the advice of API specialists and make the best out of your testing stage!