Since we seek software for almost everything, software development has become crucial. Development teams are looking for more efficient tools to speed up the development process and meet high demand. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are the best solution to improve the developer’s efficiency and increase the supply of software products according to the increasing demand in the market. At the same time, test automation strategies are gaining importance in software success. In recent years, the test automation strategy has proven to speed up software development. Simply put, some successful test automation strategies set the foundation for software success. In this competitive setup, it’s vital for any development team or individual developers to have a thorough knowledge of the APIs, test automation strategies, and how to integrate them for a better outcome. It will help the developers to produce high-quality products successfully with less effort and outsmart the competitors.
But what are APIs, test management and automation, which tool is best for API testing, and how can we integrate these tools to improve the efficiency and productivity of the developers? And what are the phases and key elements of a test automation strategy, and what is the involvement of these elements in API implementation? This is what we will explain in this article. We must know that only developing software for users is not the solution. A user keeps his expectation high from a particular software or application.
Creating software and then releasing it is not as easy as it seems. What if it fails and comes out with multiple bugs? To ensure flawless application or software, a test automation strategy is adopted. Let’s dig into this concept.
Table of Contents
What is an API?
Application programming interface, or API for short, is a collection of definitions and protocols used to create and integrate application software.
Developers can use APIs to enable their products or services to talk with other products and services. We don’t have to be aware of their internal implementation. APIs save you time and money by simplifying the application development process. APIs provide flexibility, simplify design, and create opportunities for innovation when designing new products or maintaining existing ones.
What is Test Management and Automation?
Test management refers to the process of managing a testing process. Or we can also say that test management manages manual or automated tests. There is a set of tasks in test management that is instrumental, detail-oriented, and critical. This is how we ensure a successful testing effort. But what is test automation? Let’s learn it.
First of all, we must know that testing is of two types; manual testing and automation testing. Here we are talking about the latter. In test automation, we run tests automatically. We manage the test data and use the results to improve software or application quality.
Test automation is a quality assurance process, but it needs the commitment of the whole production environment or team.
What are the Different Phases in Test Automation Process?
Test automation has to follow an automation testing lifecycle. The ATLC helps us to decide the most important factors that prevent any mistakes in the early stages of automation. The phases of the automation testing lifecycle are:
- Deciding the Test Automation Scope
- Selection of the Right Automation Tool Plan,
- Design and Strategy
- Set-up Test Environment
- Test Script & Execution
- Examine and Maintenance Approach
Note that these phases are crucial to building an effective test automation strategy.
What is the Importance of Test Management & Automation for API Products?
The API layer of any software product is one of the most critical components. Best APIs make a perfect bridge between the client and the server. They drive the business processes and provide many value-added services to the users. A customer-facing public API available to end users is transformed into a standalone product. A whole network of corporate operations built around it is also at risk if it malfunctions, not just one particular application.
So test management and automation are essential for the quality assurance of API products. API tests are performed to ensure APIs’ reliability, scalability, and security. Test management and automation for API products give us the following benefits:
Reduced risks for the entire chain of operations integrated with APIs
Reduced development costs
There are some problems that developers or API product users face. To eliminate these problems, test automation and management are essential. Some pain points of API users or developers are:
Limited Time and Pressing Deadlines to Finish the Projects
Hard to Find Reliable/ Up-To-Date Data Sources
What is API Test Strategy?
The test strategy is a summary of the test requirements that may later be used to create a complete test plan that includes specifics about each test scenario and test case. Functional testing, which verifies that the API operates as intended, is our top priority.
The following are the primary goals of the API’s functional testing:
To verify that the implementation is flawless and performing as intended.
Confirm that the implementation complies with the requirements and specifications and is functioning properly (which later becomes our API documentation).
In an effort to avoid regressions between code merges and releases.
What Aspects of the API Ought to be Tested?
The main goals of API testing are to examine the application and data responses’ security as well as their business logic. A typical API test involves sending calls to one or more API endpoints and comparing the results to what is anticipated.
Which Tool is Best for Test Management & Automation of API Products?
As mentioned earlier, choosing the right tool is necessary for automated tests. Therefore, we have mentioned one of the most reliable tools for test automation. Let’s explore it.
TestRail is considered a standard in the test management process. It is a web-based test management tool that helps us organize, track, and manage software testing. Moreover, we get insights into testing activities in real time with end-to-end test management. There are interactive dashboards and activity reports. Also, TestRail can be integrated with various tools, frameworks, and third-party applications using TestRail API. You can have a free trail and experience these fabulous features.
Here are some features, benefits, and challenges:
- Comprehensive test management tool for the team.
- Efficient interface
- Perfect for agile and traditional testing approaches
- Functional testing
- Exploratory testing
- Highly customizable
- Automated testing, and much more.
- Boosts testing productivity
- It gives us real-time insights.
- Manages test runs, test suits, and cases.
- Suitable for any workflow, team size, or method.
Test Automation Strategies: Challenges Using TestRail for API Products
- TestRail doesn’t have its own defect management tool. Rather, we integrate with JIRA.
- Slow customer support
- Prices vary significantly
- It can be hard to recover the deleted test cases
Even with these challenges, TestRail has proved to be the best testing solution for API products.
Test Automation Strategies: How to Use TestRail for API Products?
First, we must be very clear that we can access TestRail from different browsers. Some examples are Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. After logging in to TestRail, we see a dashboard that gives us an overview of our projects. We can also add multiple tests there.
The best part is that all the guidance to use TestRail for our products is given on their website. They also give us a free 14-day trial to test our API products. There is also a downloadable TestRail Server.
Here is an example. After filling out the trial form, we get the result as under:
It also gives us the option to choose our tool:
Then, we get the dashboard screen where we can add our projects and proceed further.
Test management and automation are important for APIs quality assurance. We must look for the best tools and best strategies before automating tests for our products. TestRail is one of the best test management tools. With amazing features and benefits, we find this tool reliable for testing API products.
Test Automation Strategies: FAQs
What is a Test Automation Strategy?
A test automation strategy is a way to organize test automation for our API products. It lives inside our larger strategy.
What are the Two Important Phases of Test Management?
Planning and execution are the two main phases of test management.
What are the Different Approaches to Automation Tests?
There are multiple approaches, but three of them are:
What are the Six 6 Steps in the Automated Test Lifecycle?
Determination of test automation scope.
Right tool selection.
Plan, Design, and Strategy.
Setting Test environment
Test scripts development
Generation of reports.