Abbreviated as API, Application Programming Interface enables communication and data exchange between two separate software systems. A software system implementing an API contains functions and runs routines, which can be executed by another software system. Application Programming Interface (API) mainly concentrates on the business logic layer of the software architecture and it is not focused on or is concerned about the look and feel of the application. Additionally, in computer programming, an Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software. It is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. Though APIs are integral part of our interconnected way of life, they are not always tested and executed by proficient developers and testers, and even if testing is performed on them, it is not done thoroughly. Furthermore, APIs are used in programming Graphical User Interface (GUI) components and it makes it possible to quickly create prerequisites for future test cases. In short, a good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by a programmer.
The API Testing is performed for the system, which has a collection of API that ought to be tested. API testing is a type of software testing that involves testing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) directly and as part of integration testing to determine whether they meet expectations for functionality, reliability, performance, and security. Since APIs lack a GUI, API testing is performed at the message layer. Moreover, API testing is now considered a critical part of automating testing as it now serves as the primary interface to application logic and because GUI tests are difficult to maintain with the short release cycles and frequent changes commonly used with Agile software development and DevOps. Hence, while executing the process of testing the following factors are looked at by the team of testers in API testing:
APIs or Application Programming Interfaces are responsible for connecting the world with each other. It is one of the most important quality of a software or application that should be tested thoroughly to ensure that the application is performing and functioning properly. A good API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the programmer. An API specification can take many forms, but often includes specifications for routines, data structures, object classes, variables or remote calls. There are many different types of APIs for operating systems, applications or websites, which have different testing needs and require tests of various kinds. Therefore, to resolve all these testing requirements following types of tests are performed during API testing:Interoperability Testing: This is performed on SOAP only, it checks the conformance to web service interoperability profiles.
API testing is one of the most beneficial form of testing performed on software and applications. Testers and developers several times don’t understand its importance and tend to avoid it, however, if they want their application to perform and function as well as be reliable and secure, then they should make sure that their API is test thoroughly. API makes it easier for developers to use certain technologies in building applications. Moreover, by abstracting the underlying implementations and only exposing objects or actions the developer needs, an API simplifies programming.
The API is what provides value to the application. Its main aim is to make the mobile devices smart and to streamline business processes. If any API does not work efficiently and effectively, it will never be adopted, regardless whether it is a free and open API or one that charges per call or group of calls. If an API breaks because errors were not detected, it could not only break a single application but also affect a chain of business processes hinged to it. Additionally, there are several areas of an application that can be examined with API testing, such as authentication, setting up new entities within the application, unit testing, infrastructure, security and more. Other reasons for testing API are:
From the above discussion we can easily understand that API testing is an extremely important type of testing. It significance is immense as API testing not only ensures the quality, functionality, effectiveness, and performance of the software and application, but also validates its reliability and security. With its assistance, developers can easily develop an application and can copy or paste a file from one location to another without understanding the file system operations occurring behind the scenes. Other benefits of testing APIs are mentioned below:
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Application Programming Interface (API) is the brain that connects the world. It is the set of tools, protocols, standards and code that glues the digital world together. A good API is the secret to testing earlier that is helpful in finding problems earlier in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which further prevents delays, saves time, ensures the efficiency of the conducted tests and makes the process of testing easier. It is API that provides value to the application and ensure that it performs and functions perfectly. The APIs may be for a web-based system, operating system, database system, computer hardware, or software library Moreover, software engineers conduct API testing, which further validates the quality, reliability, and security of the software. Also, thorough API tests suites are a simple and more convenient way to run through a series of checks after a build and they are generally straightforward to create, automate, and maintain. Some examples of different types of APIs are POSIX, Microsoft Windows API, the C++ Standard Template Library and Java APIs. Therefore, to ensure that a software performs effectively and is of superior quality, software engineers, developers and testers, all should perform thorough API testing, which will help them reduce the time and cost of testing as well as make the end product exceptionally great.