How to Choose the Best API Testing Solution
By Chris Colosimo
January 31, 2019
3 min read
With all of the API testing solutions on the market, how do you choose what’s right for your business? Read more to learn how to pick the functional test automation solution that will deliver your organization the best ROI.
There is no question that API testing is integral for identifying defects at multiple layers of your application and ensuring a seamless customer experience. But there are many different approaches and tools available on the market. How do you get the ROI you’re looking for to achieve the automation necessary to deliver high quality software at the speed of Agile and DevOps initiatives?
We get these types of questions all the time, as our clients look to address key challenges such as omni-channel testing, test maintainability, Microservices, difficulties reproducing defects, and rapidly-changing APIs. With today’s rapid development and releases becoming an increasingly important part of the business, it is more important than ever to find the right functional API testing solution that can help your business succeed.
So what does this entail? There are five key areas that you should be able to check off as you are evaluating functional test automation solutions.
Ease-Of-Use and Core Capabilities
Your API testing tool needs to be easy to use, meaning that it is easy for a novice user to pick up and start using with minimal training, with great success. To this end, the solution should be intuitive and visual but also provide significant functionality to complete complex actions without scripting.
Specific key capabilities include:
✓ Visual and script-less functionality
✓ A custom extensibility framework
✓ Automated assertions and validations
✓ Data-driven testing
✓ Test re-usability
✓ Ability to rapidly create tests before a service is available
One of the most important things your API testing tool must provide is the ability to optimize your workflows. These should include intelligent mechanisms that simplify things you do on a daily basis, such as test creation, message flow, working with data, and integrating your API testing solution into your existing requirements process.
The following are a series of optimized workflows your API testing tool should have to simplify your daily life:
✓ Test flow logic
✓ AI-powered test creation
✓ Test data management / generation
✓ Event monitoring
✓ BDD support (Cucumber)
Of course, no tool will support you without supporting all of the necessary formats and industry-specific message protocols. Add the modernization we’re seeing across all industries, and you need to make sure your tool supports technologies from the past, present, and future. These are a good start:
✓ REST API testing
✓ SOAP API testing
✓ MQ / JMS testing
✓ IoT and microservice testing
✓ Database testing
✓ Web-based testing
✓ Performance testing
✓ Support for mainframe, fixed-length, EDI, FIX, other non-standard message formats
It’s important for your API testing solution to provide a mechanism to run your tests in automation. Running tests in automation enables you to execute your library of test cases as a part of the nightly process or to execute them on-demand as required. Your API testing solution should have a combination of command line interface as well as available APIs so you can programmatically execute your test cases as a part of your continuous integration / continuous delivery process.
The most important integrations and capabilities are as follows:
✓ CI integration
✓ Build system plugins
✓ Command line execution
✓ Open APIs for DevOps integration
Management and Maintenance
Once you have built a large library of test cases, a challenge can arise from the ongoing management and maintenance of those test cases. Your API testing solution should provide you with mechanisms to understand what API tests are available to you, as well as understanding the requirements that those API tests are associated with.
You should be able to orchestrate your library of test cases into a meaningful configuration to support new application validation in multiple environments, as well as access detailed reports of test results that can be shared between multiple stakeholders. Finally, your API testing solution should have a built-in change management capability to allow you to version different API test projects as well as understand the impact of application change on these API testing projects.
By having long-term management and maintenance capabilities such as those listed below, your API testing solution will have a lower total cost of ownership:
✓ Integration with requirements management systems
✓ Basic and advanced reporting
✓ Test orchestration
✓ A process for managing change
✓ On-premise and browser-based access
Choosing the right API testing solution for your organization can be a daunting challenge when you take into account all of the features and capabilities to consider. For more guidance and details, download our guide to the key features that must be included in your API testing solution to ensure a successful rollout across your organization.
If you are looking for a solution that has all of these capabilities and more, check out Parasoft SOAtest. A free trial is available for you to check out and try in your organization.