What makes a Good API Testing Tool

Good API Testing Tools

Last week, we looked at API testing and its importance in ensuring a web application’s business rules and other functional areas are properly vetted before release. A QA process that only tests the presentation layer is insufficient for applications using a service-oriented architecture. In short, full API testing leads to a more robust and stable product.

This time out, we train our eyes at what functionality is necessary in any top notch API testing tool. In this collaborative era of DevOps and the Agile Manifesto, QA teams are tasked with accomplishing more in less time with fewer resources. Any good testing tool needs to function in a transparent manner, supporting the QA professional as they validate the application in question.

Here are some features any worthy API testing application needs to provide.

Easy Generation of Test Scripts

The modern QA process works at the speed of business — fast! Your QA software needs to support the quick generation of test skeletons and other relevant scripts. Even large APIs with complex testing scenarios shouldn’t require an inordinate amount of time to build test cases.

The Ability to quickly target Multiple Environments

One of the advantages of SOA development is the ability to swap out different tiers as development and testing needs change. Testers are faced with having to target multiple QA environments, sometimes using different data sources depending on the scenario. Any testing tool worth its salt must allow them to easily switch targets as the need arises.

Automation!

The modern QA professional works in a collaborative manner — this is the era of DevOps after all. The capability to automate the running of test scripts gives them time to attend meetings, helping ensure the QA voice is properly heard during all parts of the software development lifecycle — the earlier the better! Providing command-line support also allows tests to be included as part of the overall build process.

Platform and Framework Agnostic

No matter if a web application is written in Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, or for the .NET framework, your testing tool needs to function in an agnostic fashion. A QA engineer can’t worry themselves with the language used for an application. They need to focus on testing each business rule and the other functionality contained within the API.

This same rule also applies to web service messaging formats — REST, SOAP, etc. Any API testing tool needs to support all major web development frameworks in a seamless manner.

Robust Test History and Reporting

When something goes wrong, the tester or developer needs to see at a glance what happened. Any API testing tool needs to offer a detailed test history, easily allowing the comparison of different test results. Meaningful metrics and other reporting features also help the QA team quickly discern the overall quality of any application.

If you or your QA staff are in the market for API testing software, hopefully this article offered a measure of insight before a purchase is made. Stay tuned for additional posts on Betica blog covering all aspects of the QA process.