Avoiding Mistakes when Testing APIs
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APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) are the building blocks that enable communication and sharing of information between applications. They are computing interfaces that define the calls made, how they are made and the data formats and conventions used when making the calls.
They are used in the daily operations of businesses. This means that when an API fails, it not only affects the functionality of a single application but also the entire operations of a business. If this happens, then chances are that the business will end up losing revenue, customers, or even ruining its reputation.
What can businesses and developers do to avoid such issues? The solution is API testing. It is a software testing technique that tests APIs directly to check if they meet their requirements when it comes to reliability, functionality, security, and performance. This RapidAPI’s tutorial offers a deep insight into what API testing entails and how to test APIs.
Some testers find themselves committing some mistakes when testing APIs, a situation that could mean that the APIs do not meet their expectations when implemented. In this article, we are going to talk about some common mistakes to avoid when testing APIs.
Ignoring Response Assertions
API tests are designed to check for different variables such as responses and status codes. These are pieces that are important when one needs to check the correctness of their methods.
However, a request might take a considerably long time to give a response. Testers often let this pass and overlook the time taken before getting a response. This time is very important when determining the correctness of your API to make sure that it does not fail when deployed.
To avoid this mistake, testers are supposed to come up with reasonable time assertions that show the time an API should take before giving a response.
Building Tests Without Considering the Actual Use of an API
Most of the time, developers who are not very keen on testing their APIs check independent endpoints and services and assume that they are done with testing the APIs. They forget that the end-users of the APIs do not independently consume the API methods, but use them together with other methods.
Since it is easy and quick to test APIs without considering the actual use of an API, developers and testers often fall for this trap. This means that they do not entirely test their APIs and cannot expose potential API issues for debugging.
To avoid this mistake, developers are supposed to build integration tests that address multiple functions and units of an API. With this, they will be able to test every aspect of their APIs and foresee any problems that might arise when the API is deployed.
Leaving Out their API Dependencies
API testing means that different units of code are tested together to make sure they work well and meet their expectations when working together. However, due to the use of APIs, it is now common to employ other APIs and web services when developing your APIs.
When it comes to testing, developers often assume that they only need to test their APIs and that any other services they have implemented will automatically work well. This is a mistake. If a service that your API depends on fails, this would mean that your API will fail as well.
To avoid this mistake, testers and API developers are supposed to make sure that they test their API as well as anything else that the API depends on.
There are multiple tools that can be used for testing APIs and testing courses available online that can guide testers on how to conduct their tests. A developer who avoids common mistakes committed when testing APIs can be assured that their APIs will meet their expectations.
You do not want to build applications that fail due to poorly tested APIs. Businesses understand that well developed and tested applications thrive and continue to attract new customers, and therefore will not implement poorly tested APIs.