Did you know that approximately 90% of developers use application programming interfaces in some way? In fact, now more than ever, developers are adopting an API-first approach to software development. No wonder testing has become increasingly popular in recent years, as programmers look for ways to make their apps secure and efficient.
In this article, we will explore some Rest API testing tips including how a rest API testing tool can help optimize your process.
Definition of Rest API
The REST API (RESTful) is a set of conventions for building web services (also known as applications) that uses HTTP requests to access and use data.
REST is a popular application programming interface because it enables flexible, quick, and easy communication between web applications. In fact, it is by far the most used format, accounting for more than 80% of public web APIs.
If you are thinking of adopting REST, you should understand that 88.72% of the online attacks in 2021 took advantage of common application programming interface vulnerabilities, therefore, security is essential. This is where the Rest API test comes in.
The following best practices will help you implement an effective strategy
- Use realistic data
One good piece of advice for when you are planning your strategy is to use realistic data for your assessments. Your procedure will be more thorough and accurate the more closely your data mimic the situations that the application programming interface would experience in actual use.
- Track API responses
The biggest mistake when it comes to Rest API for testing is that they don’t keep track of their responses. It is important that you keep track of all the results and store them in a safe place at the end of your process.
An archive of responses will make it easy for developers and assessors to compare changes in the program to earlier iterations. This makes it easier to pinpoint the precise origin of any issue that will arise in the future.
- Verify positive and negative outcomes
Verifying positive and negative outcomes is an important step when dealing with application programming interfaces because while positive is the standard practice, negative outcomes allow you to determine how effectively the program handles invalid data — whether it will do the proper thing and send an error message or simply crash.
- Don’t overlook security checks
Security checks are the most important part of any Rest endpoint testing, and it’s easy to overlook them. You don’t want to accidentally expose your endpoints to public access or allow attackers to perform malicious actions on your system. Therefore, checking for security vulnerabilities on a regular basis should be an essential component of your strategy.
- Automate REST API tests
When discussing API testing best practices, automation cannot be overemphasized.
Automating your evaluation process can ensure that you don’t miss any potential issues while maintaining a consistent workflow. It also allows you to scale up your efforts and run your applications against different environments.
Rest API test types
Testing is performed for a variety of purposes and the technique you will use depends a lot on what you want to achieve. The usual approaches are:
- Unit testing: This is used to check the code of individual units of a software application. This method helps in verifying that each feature or function works as expected.
- Functional testing: This is used to check whether the application functions properly under different scenarios.
- Load testing: This allows you to check your web application under extreme conditions to see how many calls the application programming interface can handle.
- Reliability: This is used to ensure that the desired functionality, performance, and reliability are met.
- Integration testing: The main objective of integration test Rest API is to ensure that the different software modules work in harmony with each other.
- Security testing: Validates REST API access controls and encryption techniques.
The challenges of Rest API testing
When developing your approach, you should be mindful of problems that face API evaluations. Some of the challenges you may encounter include:
- Setting up the process: Even though testing cycles can be automated, the process of setting them up can take time. This is further complicated by the lack of a wide selection of tools for generating unit tests for RESTful APIs.
- API versioning impact: Versioning can also be a challenge when evaluating a REST API. If an application programming interface changes between versions, it can break tests that were written for the older version.
- Keeping the API testing schema updated: It can be a bit tricky to keep your schema updated – this consists of data formatting, storage, requests, and responses. As your system evolves, which can result in new parameters for API calls, you’ll need to make sure your schema evolves with it.
- Managing call sequence: You need to be careful about the sequence of API calls you make. In some cases, the order in which you make calls can affect the outcome, or result in an error. This is something you’ll need to keep in mind.
- Validating parameters: Parameters sent via application programming interface calls must be validated as part of the process. This means checking that each parameter meets the required parameters. Unfortunately, this too can be difficult and time-consuming for some products.
As the reliance on application programming interfaces grows, so do the security issues that come with it. Furthermore, with 41% of organizations experiencing API security incidents in 2021, testing remains an essential component of ensuring that your program is safe and performs properly.
If you need help in organizing your REST API testing process, aqua test management tool is here to help. AI features, Kanban board and flexible workflows will save your time and significantly improve communication in your team.
Get in touch to request more information.