Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable communication and integration between different systems, and to ensure their quality and reliability, automating API testing is an indispensable practice for development teams.
In this article, we'll explore the different approaches and best practices related to API test automation, so that you can carry out your API tests more efficiently and with greater confidence.
What is API test automation?
API test automation is the process of using an API test tool to automatically execute API tests at certain times or frequencies, or in CI/CD pipelines.
Automation is particularly important for Agile development teams, enabling them to maintain rapid development cycles while constantly and systematically checking that their API is working as intended.
Automated API testing prevents radical changes from reaching production, and is intended to augment, rather than replace, the manual approach.
Teams that automate their API testing are able to :
- Deliver new features faster
- Enable developers to devote their time to higher value-added tasks
- Reduce bug-related costs
- Ensuring overall product quality
Automated API testing - the good news
The automation of API tests, while complex, is less complicated and error-prone than the automation of UX-based functional tests, for example.
Automated API test suites focus on API functionality and require less test maintenance overall.
With the right API testing tool and the right approach, any QA team can create automated API test suites with ease.
API test automation - Approaches
Use of API-specific test libraries
There are several test libraries specially designed for automating API tests.
These libraries offer powerful features for efficiently creating, executing and analyzing API test cases.
Writing automated tests in a programming language
This approach allows greater flexibility and customization of tests to meet specific project needs. It also integrates easily with existing test frameworks.
All-in-one test platforms
Some platforms offer an all-in-one approach to test automation, combining both UX and API testing.
These tools provide an intuitive interface for creating, managing and executing all types of tests from a single platform, simplifying the overall testing process.
Best practices for API test automation
Define clear test objectives
Before you start automating API tests, it's essential to define clear, precise objectives for each test case.
This will help determine which test scenarios should be automated first, and ensure that the expected results are well defined.
Perform validation tests
Before embarking on full automation, it is important to manually validate test cases to ensure that they are correct and produce the expected results.
Once this validation has been carried out, the tests can be automated with complete confidence.
Don't automate tests with complex logic
Teams should therefore only automate simple, straightforward tests, and implement "Retry" logic to confirm failures.
Tests that include complex logic can produce false positives, which can lead to teams wasting time solving non-existent problems.
False positives can also lead to test fatigue, in which legitimate failures are ignored.
Run tests in parallel rather than in sequence
Automated API testing needs to be fast and efficient, especially when it occurs in CI/CD pipelines.
One way of ensuring that test suites run as quickly as possible is to run them in parallel.
This approach enables teams to run tests on different browsers, devices and operating systems without introducing bottlenecks.
Use an API test tool compatible with your workflow
To take full advantage of API test automation, teams need to choose a test tool that is compatible with their existing workflows.
For example, it must integrate with the chosen CI/CD pipeline and offer failure notifications via e-mail or Slack.
Separate test data from scripts
By storing test data in separate files or databases, test cases can be easily reused, and data updates are made without modifying automation scripts.
Mr Suricate - API test tool for the Agile era
By using API test automation best practices, companies can improve their testing process and deliver high-quality products, reduce bug-related costs and protect their brand image.
The SaaS no-code Mr Suricate solution covers a wide range of automated tests, so you can control your acceptance testing and offer your users the best possible experience.
Take control of your applications and detect bugs in real time on your websites, applications and APIs by reproducing your user journeys at regular intervals.