What Is Automated Testing For APIs?
API test automation includes the use of testing tools to execute APIs after a code change or can be run at determined times or frequencies or in CI/CD pipelines. Automated API testing empowers developers and quality assurance professionals within agile teams to sustain rapid development, ensuring ongoing and methodical validation of the API's adherence to expectations. Automating API testing will help developers and QA professionals release broken applications to reach end users. Automating API tests facilitates the expeditious and assured delivery of new features while optimizing developer resources.
Why Is Automated Testing Important?
API test automation provides testers and developers with a streamlined approach to enhance testing outcomes, improving efficiency and effectiveness in the testing process. This is how:
Saves Resources for Innovation:
Efficient utilization of time in innovative development is facilitated through the implementation of automation, allowing a reduction in the allocation of valuable resources to repetitive testing tasks. Automation streamlines the testing process, enabling developers to focus on addressing bugs and creating novel products or features. Consequently, the optimized use of time enhances innovation and quality and meets customer demands through the expedited delivery of bug fixes, features, and products.
Reduces Human Error:
APIs act as a gateway between two systems and do a number of tasks involving flexibility and scalability. This might cause multiple problems regarding security. We must create strong test cases to test all the errors and vulnerabilities.
Development teams might be unbeatable in terms of skills and efficiency, but they’re still human, and we make mistakes.
Let's take an example of the security testing of a digital payment wallet. If it is missed due to a small human error, the application will break and cause messing of multiple transactions, including money. Automated API testing tries to remove human error and enables us to test how our APIs respond to API calls and conditions.
Testing Takes Seconds:
Manual API testing, while robust and indispensable, is time-intensive. Without a user interface, discerning expected outcomes and crafting code at a fundamental level becomes imperative, resulting in lengthy processes that consume valuable developer hours and financial resources.
Conversely, automated tests offer expeditious execution, completing an entire testing program within minutes as opposed to the manual counterpart. This not only significantly reduces the time and monetary investment in API testing planning, writing, and execution but also ensures the meticulous consideration of test plans, scenarios, and diverse conditions, whether positive or negative. Automated testing tools adeptly execute the tests generated manually, underscoring the importance of aligning with comprehensive testing parameters.
Detects Issues Faster:
Automated tests take very little time to run compared to manual testing; however, setting them might take time. This results in running the scripts fast, and issues are detected faster. If we test the system automatically after each pull request, we will provide immediate reports/ feedback while the code is still in progress. If there are issues, developers will fix them in the next pull request before going live.
Saves Time and Resources:
We have a pattern of testing at the end of the development cycle, and it puts a lot of stress on the QA team. This process is disadvantageous because the QA team will not work efficiently under pressure, and the development team is on rest at that time. Work doesn't go parallel, and pressure is undistributed.
Automated API testing strategically allocates the testing workload throughout the entire software development lifecycle, thereby mitigating prolonged iterative cycles, enhancing operational efficiency, and empowering teams to expedite the introduction of new features to the market.
How To Automate API Testing?
We discussed why automation is important. We will now discuss how we automate test cases and what types of tests we need to automate in the best possible ways. Our test automation strategy will be effective, reliable, and meet users' unique needs.
Avoiding false positives:
As previously outlined, API test automation offers a fundamental advantage in terms of time efficiency, contributing to heightened productivity within the testing process. We should be mindful of the types of tests we select for automation. The tests with complex logic in the near future can give false positives. Both the development and QA team will waste their time on the issues that are not even there in the system or define the functionality. False positives can also lead to ignorance of important failures. So, we should focus on automating simple, straightforward and repetitive tests.
Running tests in parallel:
The developer can ignore testing and continue working or pause the work for an hour. Obviously, developers are going to choose to continue working. Continuous development is necessary. The only way to solve this is for our automated test suites to execute as quickly as possible to run tests in parallel rather than sequential. This strategy allows teams to conduct tests across various browsers, devices, and operating systems seamlessly, mitigating the risk of introducing bottlenecks.
Tool compatible with workflow:
To leverage the complete capabilities of API test automation, the team must select a testing tool that seamlessly aligns with their established workflows. If the company you're working with uses Teams, Slack or Discord, depending on the applications, we should integrate our CI/CD pipelines into the application for failure or success notifications. Certain teams may also seek a testing solution that facilitates forwarding test data to monitoring or incident response tools, such as New Relic.
Load and Performance Testing:
Automating APIs is essential for simulating concurrent user loads and assessing performance metrics. This helps identify bottlenecks, weaknesses, and potential scalability issues.
Automating APIs will make the life of a tester, developer, technical leader, project manager and team member in many ways. The process of generating scripts might take a little time and skilled resources, but it pays off at the end of the day. As a team, we should know when to start automating the tests.
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