An API is a type of communication used in software applications to communicate between different components. As the number of APIs grows, organizations must have an effective testing strategy focusing on the business layer.
This ensures that the applications are running smoothly and that the quality of their code is maintained. According to Contentful, “Just as any tool, it makes sense to make it great so that users would love it and enjoy the experience of working with it.” Ideally, an API reference should be based on a good specification. This ensures that the team has the necessary skills to develop and maintain a robust API.
Benefits of API Testing for Business Applications
Automated testing is more cost-effective and faster than traditional methods like manual testing. It can also help organizations achieve higher quality and faster releases.
- Better Test Coverage
Unlike unit tests, which are usually focused on a single component, automated API tests typically focus on the entire application. This ensures that the quality of the code is maintained. They can also uncover potential issues in the system’s interfaces, databases, and servers.
- Time Efficient
Automated API tests can significantly speed up the development process by removing the need for manual testing. They can also be performed early in the development cycle, which helps catch issues faster.
Unlike UI tests, which are usually focused on a single component, automated API tests can be performed in a fraction of the time. For instance, an experiment revealed that it took around 12 seconds for an API test to be executed compared to 7 minutes for a UI test.
- Cost Reduction
The efficiency of automated API tests is closely linked to their faster execution speed. This eliminates the need for additional resources and lowers overall testing costs. In addition, the early detection of potential issues can help prevent costly fixes down the road.
- Programming Language Independence
One of the essential advantages of automated API tests is their ability to be language-independent. Since the data collected by them is stored in XML and JSON formats, it can be easily transferred over the internet.
- Greater Test Stability
Unlike the graphical user interface, which can change in response to changes made by users or changes in the system’s requirements, the API interfaces are more stable. This ensures that the tests run smoothly and efficiently.
Humans Vs. Machines
There is a funny trade-off in the design of APIs. While it’s generally believed that optimizing for performance is the right thing to do, it’s also essential to maintain the usability of the API. Since humans are also users of these interfaces, making them easy to use is essential.
One of the most critical factors that businesses consider when ensuring the quality of their software is having a well-designed and comprehensive testing strategy. An effective API testing strategy can help them achieve and maintain this goal.