An application programming interface (API) is a computing interface that defines interactions between multiple software intermediaries. It defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc. (Source: Wikipedia)
API’s help not only in abstracting the underlying implementation but also improves the modularity and scalability of software applications. APIs encompass the business and functional logic and are a gateway to sensitive data and expose only objects & actions that are needed.
API testing deals with testing the business logic of an application, which is typically encompassed in the business layer and is instrumental in handling all the transactions between the user interface and underlying data. It is deemed as a part of Integration testing that involves verification of functionality, performance, and robustness of APIs.
Besides checking for the functionality, API testing also tests for error condition handling, response handling in terms of time and data, performance issues, security issues, etc.
API testing also deals with contract testing, which in simpler terms, is verifying the compatibility and interactions between different services. The contract is between a client/consumer and API/service provider.
Clearly, API’s usage is not limited to just one application and in some cases, they can be used across many applications and are also used for third party integrations. Hence, developing and testing them thoroughly is extremely critical.
The following section highlights why thorough API testing entails many benefits in the long run.
Top Benefits of API testing
These benefits are discussed in detail below.
Technology independent and ease of test automationThe API’s exchange data in structured format via XML or JSON. This exchange is an independent coding language, thus giving the flexibility to choose any language for test automation.
API testing can be effectively automated because the endpoints and request parameters are less likely to change, unless there is a major change in business logic. Automation reduces manual efforts during regression testing and results in a significant amount of time-saving.
API tests require less scripting efforts as compared to GUI automated tests. As a result, the testing process is faster with better coverage. This culminates in time and resource-saving. Overall, it translates into the reduced project costs.Read for more : Api testing
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