What Tests to Perform on Your API?
API tests are broad and varying. They include validation testing, functional testing, error detection testing, and many others. To validate your API’s performance and security, you must spend time conducting these various tests. Here are the key ones you need to perform.
When creating an API, you need to include all manner of elements.
For instance, you need to determine which one of the various API languages to use, such as PHP, NodeJS, or Python. And you may need APIs to perform specific tasks.
For example, some APIs provide data and insights into the status of COVID-19.
Whatever type of API you use, you need to ensure it functions as it is programmed. Testing your API is critical to perform actions like validating a solution, maintaining a solution, and eradicating errors. One of the most important tests to run is a validation test.
The test should be performed during the last phase of the development process.
Validation testing consists of answering questions related to the product, behavior, and efficiency of the entire API. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is the API the correct product to solve the issue provided?
- Is the API accessing the correct data in the instructed manner?
- Is the API the most optimized and efficient method for what we require?
Functional testing tests specific functions within the codebase. In turn, those functions reflect certain scenarios to ensure the API works within the expected parameters, and that it handles any errors well when the results are outside of those parameters.
For example, if your API processes music to be obtained via an online portal, the first function to be tested would be the proper inputs. For instance, if a user searches for Twist and Shout by The Beatles, the API validates the request and serves the expected results. The test will either show an error response or a corrected response.
UI testing is more specific than the above API tests. It tests the user interface of your API and its parts. The test is primarily concerned with the UI’s function. For instance, is the interface graphical, or does it depend on command-line endpoint calls? Although UI testing does not actually test the API, in terms of the codebase, it does enable you to gain a general view of the usability, health, and efficiency of the front-end and back-end.
Rather than knowing loading components theoretically-work, you can be sure they practically function by performing a load test. It is best to do a load test after the completion of a specific unit, or the entire codebase. By testing whether the theoretical solution works in a practical manner, you will know for sure whether the code can work with, say, 1k requests or 100k requests.
Runtime and Error Detection Testing
The above tests are chiefly concerned with implementing the API in a scenario or environment to discover the results of utilizing the API codebase. But runtime and error detection testing are concerned with the API’s actual running. These types of tests typically focus on monitoring, execution errors, resource leaks, and error detections.
Interoperability and WS Compliance Testing
This type of testing only applies to SOAP APIs. Primarily, the tests check for two general fields of function. Firstly, interoperability between SOAP APIs is checked by making sure there is conformance to the Web Services Interoperability profiles. Secondly, WS compliance tests ensure standards like WS-Addressing and WS-Policy are correctly utilized.
Knowing your API is secure is critical. Security testing encompasses penetration and fuzz testing, as well as additional steps like validating encryption methodologies and the access control’s design. That includes user rights management and the validation of authorized checks for resource access.