Whitepaper: Revolutionize Your API Testing Practice by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence

Building a manageable, maintainable, scalable API testing strategy is made possible with artificial intelligence.

Learn how to take the complexity out of API testing with artificial intelligence and test automation.

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Download the whitepaper for details on how to effectively conduct testing at the API layer using Parasoft SOAtest’s Smart API Test Generator.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why you should perform API testing
  • How to approach API testing
  • Different types of API tests
  • Potential barriers to API testing
  • The role of AI in test automation
  • Overview of Parasoft SOAtest’s Smart API Test Generator

Users interact with applications at the UI level while developers and testers are responsible for ensuring the reliability of underlying APIs. Without testing APIs, testers would be limited to testing at the UI level, which requires waiting until the complete application stack is built before beginning.

Performing API testing at the API level allows testers and developers to design test cases that interact directly with underlying APIs. This makes it possible to test business logic in a stable manner at an easy-to-automate layer. UI testing limits testers to validating a specific user experience. API testing allows testers to protect applications against the unknown.

The most effective approach to API testing is building a solid testing methodology from the bottom up following Martin Fowler’s testing pyramid, which recommends building a wide array of API tests on a solid foundation of unit tests with UI tests. API tests make it possible to test application logic at a level unit tests don’t reach.

Testing earlier at the lower levels of the application allows you to fail fast and early, identifying defects at the source rather than later in the SDLC.

There are several API test types you can implement for different use cases, outlined in detail in this white paper. Parasoft SOAtest is an easy-to-use, functional test automation tool that helps you create and scale automated API tests.

  • Contract tests

The most basic type of API tests are contract tests, which test the service contract itself (Swagger, PACT, WSDL, or RAML). This type of test validates that the contract is written correctly and can be consumed by a client.

  • Component tests

Component tests are like unit tests for the API, taking the individual methods available in the API and testing each one of them in isolation. Tests are created by making a test step for each method or resource available in the service contract.

  • Scenario tests

In this testing technique, the individual component tests are assembled into a sequence. Scenario tests determine if defects might be introduced by combining different data points together.

  • Performance tests

Performance testing usually takes place at the end of the testing process in a performance-specific test environment.

  • Security tests

If a security vulnerability is exposed and exploited, it can lead to significant reputation damage and financial penalties. To safeguard against security vulnerabilities, it’s important to build test cases that attempt to perform malicious attacks.

  • Omni-channel tests

Omni-channel tests comprehensively cover the application’s many interfaces to ensure complete coverage by interweaving API and database tests into the validation of mobile and web UI interactions.

  • Though there are many benefits that come from API testing, the industry is still largely focused on UI testing. This is most likely because testers believe they don’t know how to test APIs and/or don’t know how their application is using the APIs.
  • Since organizations usually rely on a centralized testing practice, testers need intimate knowledge of all application interfaces and know how to stitch them together properly.
  • There’s a clear disconnect about who is responsible for API testing, which results in low API test coverage and automated API testing adoption.

According to Parasoft research:

70% of testers said that development is responsible for API testing, since developers are also responsible for creating the APIs.

80% of developers said that test is responsible for API testing, because they specifically created the APIs to be externally facing and documented them with a service contract.

  • Patterns observed in API dataflow form the basis of decision making and pattern matching algorithms used to group associated API calls together.
  • The decision making “brain” is based on years of experience that’s been translated into heuristics to detect API patterns as scenarios.
  • Over time, heuristics are trained to improve pattern matching capabilities.
  • Using sophisticated heuristics to automatically detect API test scenarios greatly simplifies API test creation.

Parasoft SOAtest’s Smart API Test Generator makes it easier to adopt API testing. The Smart API Test Generator captures traffic during UI tests and feeds it to the artificial intelligence engine to translate manual testing activities into meaningful, automated API testing scenarios.

Deployed by a simple plug-in for Chrome, the Smart API Test Generator reduces the technical skills required to adopt API testing and helps organizations build a comprehensive API testing strategy that scales.

About Parasoft

Parasoft helps organizations continuously deliver quality software with its market-proven, integrated suite of automated software testing tools. Supporting the embedded, enterprise, and IoT markets, Parasoft’s technologies reduce the time, effort, and cost of delivering secure, reliable, and compliant software by integrating everything from deep code analysis and unit testing to web UI and API testing, plus service virtualization and complete code coverage, into the delivery pipeline. Bringing all this together, Parasoft’s award winning reporting and analytics dashboard delivers a centralized view of quality enabling organizations to deliver with confidence and succeed in today’s most strategic ecosystems and development initiatives — security, safety-critical, Agile, DevOps, and continuous testing.