Testing Your API: 5 Tips for Beginners

Short of testing at the message layer, it would be impossible to know whether the selected APIs are actually integrated properly and displaying the performance and reliability expected from the integration. The following tips are meant to make sure that new developers can checklist the essentials and reduce their chances of mistakes from the testing phase.

Get Your Facts Down

In order to test an API and evaluate the results, it is first necessary to determine what exactly it is that you looking to achieve from a successful API integration.

Determine the purpose of each API and its role in the workflow of the application to have the necessary standards for evaluating the test results against.

Determine Whether You Have the Right API or Not

This might be more apparent after you have set down the standards that you are expecting, or it can even be realized after a few testing sessions, but the bottom line is that you need to make sure that the APIs in use are adequate for the application’s development.

Let’s take, for example, the JSON and XML Weather API, which is utilized by both small and big developing teams that deal in weather and geolocation app development in particular. In case you are working on a similar project, but not using the API in your integration, check it out on www.weatherapi.com and it is more than likely that you might be able to replace your current XML Weather API with it to get better test results.

Verify the Response Status Code

It is important to understand that specifying the response status code (200 is OK) is not your job as an API tester; instead, your job only involves verification of the same.

All you need to do is make sure that the response status code is following global standard classes and meets the specified requirements of the integration.

The One API Per Test Rule

It will be more time-consuming if you test only one API at a time, but if you want to avoid errors, especially as a beginner, this is the golden rule to follow. Errors can be very painful to sort though, especially when it’s a complicated multi-API integration we are talking about.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of the Simple APIs

The simple, functional application programming interfaces such as health check APIs, token APIS and login APIs should be the first to get tested, as these are the gateways through which the more complicated APIs are accessed later on. Without them being in proper order first, API servers and authentication functions won’t work like they are supposed to, making it necessary to start from the beginning again.

The variables are so many here that it is difficult to formulate a comprehensive set of tips, but these should be helpful all the same. As a final piece of advice, we would suggest making sure that you are not missing out on any automation opportunities to cut out some of the repetitive tasks from your API testing sessions.