API Testing Maturity Model: How Mature Is Your API Testing Process?
May 14, 2013
Reading Time: 3minutes
Learn Where You Stand Today and How to Reach the Optimized API Testing Level
Without an enterprise-level automated solution for ensuring the integrity of APIs and API-driven composite applications, organizations risk:
Brand erosion as faulty software drives away customers
Time-to-market delays that diminish market share
Exposure to legal liability associated with application failure
Failure to comply with applicable regulatory standards and technical contracts
API Testing solutions help organizations reduce the risks, costs, and resources associated with exposing and consuming APIs. The application of API Testing solutions can range from very simple ad-hoc or reactive efforts to highly-complex test environments driven by business risks.
Ad-Hoc API Testing
With ad-hoc API testing efforts, no formal process or tool is used to unit test or exercise the API. It is assumed that the API is exercised via manual testing of the UI. Ad-hoc API testing characteristics include:
Organization has invested little in test automation.
Manual test efforts are the primary driver for QA.
Defects are commonly found in deployed applications.
Test breadth is severely hampered by lack of automation.
Limited understanding of the dependent endpoints.
Any pockets of maturity at this point are based on the experience and initiative of individuals. There is no centralization of assets; it’s every man for himself. Along the same vein, testing assets are typically created as one-off solutions and stored on a local machine, inaccessible to anyone but the creator. There’s no test automation here; it’s all manual, ad-hoc execution. Organizations are driven to move to a mature level of API testing when:
Proliferation of APIs exposes weakness within the quality process, requiring an API-centric view for testing.
Brittle manual tests impede agility.
Composite applications with dependencies beyond the group’s direct control add complexity.
Optimized API Testing
With optimized API testing efforts, business risks drive the testing process and the optimization of associated policies. Optimized API Testing characteristics include:
Optimized environment for goal-oriented, business-driven scenarios significantly reduces application risk.
Test scenarios are reused as components of complex end-to-end transactions.
Consistent, continuous environment access enables more extensive and accurate testing to occur with or without access to a staged test environment.
A Center of Excellence is established to optimize and manage policies, procedures, and standards.
At this point, there’s seamless integration and orchestration of Service Virtualization with virtual test lab management systems. Automated regression suites are called and executed against complex environments and environment-based views deliver perspective on coverage and business risk.
API Testing Maturity Model
This is just a brief introduction to the two extremes of API testing maturity. Most organizations today fall somewhere in between these two polar extremes.
Parasoft has developed an API Testing maturity model that provides a detailed look at the 5 different levels of API testing: Ad-hoc, Reactive, Proactive, Managed, and Optimized.
If you’re exploring API Testing, Parasoft has prepared a list of key API Testing resources that our customers have found helpful at the early stages of the API testing solutuion research/evaluation process:
Extreme Automation Enables Satellite TV Provider to ”Shift Left” API Testing [CASE STUDY]: Learn how one of the world’s top satellite TV providers automated a complex manual API testing process to dramatically increase the speed and scope of their testing— enabling them to bring top-quality software innovations to market in record time.
NZ Bank Reduces Application Risks with Automated API Testing [CASE STUDY]: A leading NZ bank and financial-services provider wanted to extend their existing GUI-based testing to more extensively exercise the application logic within internal systems; learn how automated API testing helped them reduce business risks and save $2.1 million NZD over 18 months.
API Testing – Gartner Research: Read new Gartner research: why success in the “API economy” requires a new approach to quality processes, the business impacts of API failures, and recommendations for service/API testing.
Testing in the API Economy: Top 5 Myths: This paper exposes the top 5 API testing myths and explains what’s needed to ensure application security, reliability, functionality, and performance in the API Economy.
How a Leading Bank Automated Extensive ESB and API Testing: Learn how a leading financial-services provider established a service testing methodology supported by automated, reusable tests that perform a broad scope of testing directly from the service/API layer.
Parasoft API Testing: Learn how Parasoft’s API Testing solution simplifies the complex testing that’s vital for secure, reliable, and compliant composite applications.
Parasoft’s industry-leading automated software testing tools support the entire software development process, from when the developer writes the first line of code all the way through unit and functional testing, to performance and security testing, leveraging simulated test environments along the way.