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API Testing: Top Reads of 2015

lego_api.jpgRising adoption DevOps and Continuous Delivery in 2015 led to the recognition that delivering quality at speed requires a marked shift from GUI testing to API testing. Why?  According to industry experts, including Forrester and Gartner

  • Stability: While GUI tests often fail due to inconsequential application changes, a failure at the API/message level typically signals a fundamental flaw in the application logic—something likely to impact the core user experience. If you’re configuring a test suite failure to serve as a Continuous Testing "gate" along the automated deployment pipeline, it's important to ensure that every failure indicates a truly show-stopping problem.
  • Speed: Traditional methods of testing, which rely heavily on manual testing and automated GUI tests that require frequent updating, cannot keep pace with the speed required for DevOps. Testing is delayed until the GUI is available, which is typically late in the process. Moreover, GUI tests are notoriously brittle and require significant updating with each application modification. API tests can be defined as soon as the service description (e.g., Swagger or RAML) is available, can be executed much earlier in the implementation process than GUI tests, and require minimal maintenance.
  • Accurate risk assessment: In modern applications, the functionality exposed at the GUI layer is just the tip of the iceberg. The core of the application logic is controlled by the API/message layer. Without exhaustive testing of critical user transactions at the API/message layer, it's hard to rest assured that today's highly-distributed systems truly function as expected.

As the need to shift testing strategy sunk in, API testing resources garnered a lot of attention—especially in the latter part of 2015. Out of the 109 white papers, articles, videos, and case studies on Parasoft's API Testing resource center, these 10 were the most popular in 2015:

  • Forrester Research Report on Functional Test Automation Tools: This Forrester Wave report evaluates 9 functional test automation tool vendors across 40 criteria to help organizations working on enterprise, mobile, and web applications select the right tool. Forrester gave Parasoft the highest score among all vendors in the Current Offering category, citing its strength in API testing, UI automation, and key integrations.

  • Extreme Automation Enables DirecTV to ”Shift Left” API TestingLearn how DIRECTV automated a complex manual API testing process to dramatically increase the speed and scope of their testing—enabling them to bring top-quality software innovations to market in record time.

  • API Testing How-to Videos: Want a quick look at how to automatically generate tests from service definitions (Swagger, WSDL, schemas, etc.) or application traffic? Curious how to parameterize your tests for data-driven testing? Need to rapidly create robust regression test suites with advanced validations? Watch our recently-launched how-to-videos and let Parasoft’s technical experts provide step-by-step guidance on completing common API testing tasks.

  • Automated API Testing Helps the Netherlands Secure a Nationwide ID System: Learn how automated API testing helped the Dutch government build a robust and secure personal identification system on an extremely aggressive timeline. Through a combination of regression, functional and load testing, the organization reduced testing cycles from 3 weeks to just 1 day.

  • API Testing: Top 5 Myths [Infographic]: See the top 5 API testing myths and learn what’s needed to ensure application security, reliability, functionality, and performance in the API Economy.

  • New Zealand Bank Reduces Application Risks with Automated API TestingA leading NZ bank and financial-services provider wanted to extend their existing GUI-based testing to more extensively exercise the application logic within internal systems; learn how automated API testing helped them reduce business risks and save $2.1 million NZD over 18 months.

  • How to Ease API Testing Constraints: In this interview with TechTarget, Parasoft solution architect manager Spencer Debrosse shares his experiences about the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation and a DevOps team approach can address them.

  • API Testing Webinars: End-of-Summer Recap: A recap of the most popular API Testing webinars of the summer of 2015, with an emphasis on best practices and tools for testing REST and JSON.

  • How Adopting an External API is Like Purchasing a Used Car: With SOA, the services you consume are typically developed by your organization or a close business partner, so you can assume they have standards similar to your own. But when you adopt APIs, you usually have no visibility into how solidly the services were built—or when and how they are evolving. Learn why API testing is critical for ensuring you don't end up with a lemon.

  • Top 3 Reasons to Love API TestingAPIs and the "API Economy" are currently experiencing an outpouring of love from developers and industry experts alike, but it's just not trickling down to API Testing. If the thought of reduced costs, reduced risks, and improved efficiency warms your heart, it's time to start showering API testing with a little more love and affection.


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Wayne Ariola is Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Parasoft, a leading provider of integrated software development management, quality lifecycle management, and dev/test environment management solutions. He leverages customer input and fosters partnerships with industry leaders to ensure that Parasoft solutions continuously evolve to support the ever-changing complexities of real-world business processes and systems. Ariola has more than 15 years of strategic consulting experience within the technology and software development industries. He holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MBA from Indiana University.