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The Fundamentals of API Testing for Business Success

From payroll systems to asset management software, your business probably depends on multiple software programs to be successful.

Ensuring a smooth interaction between software programs and applications is crucial for the success of your business operations, and that is where the API testing process can be helpful.

There are a variety of API tests out there, and you need to employ the right API testing tools if you want to put your business in a position to be successful. Learn more about how API works below, and invest in the right API load tests for your business needs.

What is API testing?

So, what is API testing?

API stands for application programming interface, and API testing is a specific type of software testing that looks at an API and ensures it can fulfill its role.

API testing can be used to test for basic functionality, account security, and responsiveness. Generally, this type of test is performed by making requests to various API endpoints. Then, the results of these requests are compared to the specific response.

Even if you have limited API knowledge, it is critical to understand the basics of how API works. There are API test automation options out there that can make the process easier, but you need to understand how API performs to ensure your software programs and applications run as expected.

Why is API testing important?

Even though user interface testing can be beneficial, it typically cannot be performed until the end of the design process. API testing is important because it can be performed earlier in the application or software design process.

Then, if the API breaks the program, you can fix any potential bugs or issues before they are carried through the rest of the program design.

API testing can prevent delays from happening down the road. If bugs are created early in the design process and are carried through the rest of the program, it could result in a delay in the product release, costing a significant amount of time and money. Furthermore, large amounts of code might have to be rewritten.

Therefore, API testing is critical because it can help you identify errors early on, allowing you to address them before you move forward with the rest of the design process.

Benefits of API testing: Comprehensive test coverage, faster release, reduced testing costs, quicker bug fixes

Benefits of API testing

With the right API specification testing, there are several benefits you can enjoy. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Comprehensive test coverage: When compared to user interface testing, you can test many more aspects of the program with API testing. You can cover a variety of important functions and ensure nothing is overlooked.
  • Faster release: If you want to release your software or application as soon as possible, you need to use API testing. API testing can prevent delays down the road, making it easier for you to hit your targeted release date.
  • Quicker bug fixes: No matter how thorough you are during the design process, there is a chance that bugs will enter the picture. With API testing, you can identify those bugs earlier, meaning you can fix them faster.
  • Reduced testing costs: With automated testing, you can save a significant amount of money on testing expenses. You might still have to do user interface testing, but you might not have to do as much testing at the end of the process.

These are just a few of the biggest benefits of using API testing to examine account security and program functionality. Make sure you use API testing to ensure the program works exactly as expected.

Types of API testing: Validation testing, fuzz testing, UI testing, penetration testing, performance testing, security testing, load testing, functional testing

Types of API testing

If you are looking for API keys and testing options, there are several different types of tests you should know. Some of the most common types of API testing include:

Validation testing

One of the first types of API testing that you might complete is called validation testing. There are three separate criteria that will be tested using this method. They include:

  • Is the product relatively easy to use?
  • Does the program respond correctly?
  • How efficiently does the program run?

During this test, you should look for security or compliance issues that need to be corrected. You should also look at the coding to see if anything can be improved.

Functional testing

During functional testing, you'll make sure that the API performs as it should. You will enter specific commands to identify certain functions and make sure they react as you expect.

The program should respond within the expected parameters, and it should be able to rectify errors if the results are outside of those specific parameters. During this testing step, you can identify certain issues that need to be corrected.

Performance testing

Performance testing examines how the program will respond under a certain set of conditions. For example, if you give the program a negative command, how does it handle it? You want to run the program through multiple sets of hypothetical conditions to ensure it responds as it should and will not crash.

UI testing

This stands for user interface testing. During this type of testing, you will have a hypothetical user interact with the program to make sure the program responds as it should.

This also gives you a chance to talk to a hypothetical user and see if they have any suggestions for ways you can improve the program. That way, you can make sure that your users are happy down the road.

Security testing

The API should have certain encryption methods as a security measure, and you need to make sure that those encryption methods are strong.

During this step, you will also test the access control design to ensure it's solid. You will also need to validate the authorization checks for certain user rights and access.

Load testing

During load testing, you will test the program to see how many calls it can handle at once. You need to make sure the program can handle an adequate number of commands and still function properly.

There is a chance that the program deals with a large number of commands and calls at once, so it's important to ensure it will not break down.

Penetration testing

Penetration testing is another type of security testing. For example, during website development, you might run some tests to make sure a hacker can't break into the website and steal confidential information.

During this test, you will ask someone with limited knowledge of the API to try to attack the program from the outside. The goal of this type of test is to identify gaps or holes in the security layer and fill them before the program is released.

Fuzz testing

Fuzz testing refers to inputting large amounts of random data, also known as noise. The goal of this process is to try to confuse the program, creating a bunch of static in the background.

You want to see if you can force the program to crash or otherwise elicit some sort of negative behavior. Then, if you identify any issues, you can fix them before the program is released.

90% of developers use APIs in some capacity

Best practices for API testing

Regardless of whether you want to test your email campaign, test website accessibility, or test some other program or application you are developing, you need to make sure you get the most out of your testing methods.

That is why you need to follow several best practices. A few examples include:

  • Keep the data realistic: First, you need to make sure the data you use is realistic. While you might be eager to test the program under a variety of conditions, you need to make sure those conditions will actually happen in the real world. If you do not use realistic data, you might not necessarily get the testing results you need. Think about how a user might interact with the program.
  • Test positive and negative outcomes: Remember that you need to test both positive and negative outcomes. There are plenty of situations where the program will work as expected, but what happens if there is a negative input? You need to make sure the program is capable of handling these commands as well.
  • Take notes and track API responses: As soon as something breaks, you will want to jump in and fix it, but you need to understand why it happened in the first. So, you need to take notes and track API responses. That way, you can not only fix that mistake but also prevent other issues from happening down the road. Make sure you track what is working and what is not. Then, keep track of what you change.

As long as you keep these best practices in mind, you should put your API testing in a position to be successful.

Ensure reliable and successful business operations with API testing

If you want to ensure both reliable and successful business operations, you need to take advantage of all types of testing, including A/B testing and testing of API functions. The goal of these tests is to identify potential issues before they can be carried through and lead to ripple effects down the road.

Keep in mind that API testing requirements are not something that you need to handle by yourself, and there are numerous tools and services available from Mailchimp that can make the process easier. You can use Mailchimp for help with testing your email campaigns, website accessibility, and more, so you can set your business up for success.

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