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3 Things That May Ruin Your API Testing

An application consists of several layers, where a service layer (API) contains the business logic. It is the core of application software development that connects multiple apps and enables data transfer.

29.5% of their time developers spend on creating an application programming interface (API), according to Statista. Almost the same amount of time, 27.8 %, is required for manual and automated testing. But some business owners may wrongly prioritize development efforts over QA work, jeopardizing the quality of software solutions.
By Katrine Spirina, Content Manager
July 19, 2021
By allocating enough time and resources for testing API endpoints, you can drastically improve the quality of solutions and enable faster delivery.

That seems easy enough until you take a closer look. Read on to learn about API testing pitfalls and the best possible solutions.
What is API Testing?
All testing activities generally fall into mobile, web, and API testing. The first two aspects relate to the proper functioning of the user interface (UI) elements, including buttons, pages, and images. API verification means dealing with just code.

Performing API testing manually or opting for test automation, QA engineers work directly with code and have little to no visualized entities that usually facilitate testing. They send lots of requests to the server and check if it responds with the correct status and data.

To test requests is swift, but responses received contain tons of information, which is not the only challenge in testing API. If you think testing code strings is simple, think twice and follow the article.
Why You May Think Testing API Is a Piece of Cake
Simply put, API requires straightforward testing. If you are lucky enough, you will have comprehensive documentation and a well-defined API. So, your tasks will boil down to sending calls and verifying responses.

If you have an API suite that involves thousands of tests, it would probably take you several minutes at most to run all those tests. Meanwhile, you may spend hours testing the UI of mobile applications, given the great variety of devices and platforms.

Unlike UI testing, running tests for APIs is faster and easier. You don't even need drivers to connect with other devices; debug processes are a lot easier than on web or mobile testing projects, and infrastructure issues are unlikely.
...And Why You Are Wrong
You would probably change your mind when you learn about API complex infrastructure, a massive number of testing entities that contain hundreds of fields, or the lack of visualized information.

For instance, when QA experts test the UI of an e-commerce website, all information they need usually comes explicitly. If they lack some explanation of what is going on in tests, they may browse a webpage or item description and verify the logic of intuitive attributes like price, size, color, and others.

API testing is quite the other story. It may be hard and puzzling to test fintech APIs, for example, considering the non-transparent nature of financial solutions, security requirements, and strict regulations specific to the banking and finance industry.

QA engineers may have to deal with a wall of text describing specific financial terms, features, or working principles that they need to clarify for themselves before running tests. API testing for fintech may become a nightmare even for a highly qualified QA and testing team.
Stop Making These 3 Mistakes Testing API
If you are outsourcing API testing and web services testing, remember you can make an immense contribution to support a QA team.

Do your best not to skimp on adequate team management, make the use of legacy tools and infrastructure, and shift focus from mundane tasks to high-flown issues.

For some projects, failing in those aspects won't be critical. But if it comes to testing fintech applications, the cost of a mistake might be high.
1. Tolerate Poor Management
When you opt for fintech API testing, prepare to respond to multiple queries by the testing team about the working principles of a solution under testing. A fintech application, by nature, isn't intuitive. It is not something QA and testing engineers would deal with daily, unlike e-stores or service websites.

Your managers should be in touch whenever team members need them to explain specific entities, fields, or features. If a QA team is scattered across different time zones, that might be challenging. Check tips on managing remote teams and learn to troubleshoot critical management issues.

At Solvd, we have all the capacity to offer you QA specialists as per your location and consult on establishing and maintaining communication with your team.
2. Use Legacy Infrastructure and Outdated Tech Stack
You need to work with up-to-date and customizable platforms that allow more flexibility and let you use the latest technology features. However, it is all right if some projects require support for legacy solutions and approaches. It might be tough or insecure to migrate fintech solutions in the short run when you need to comply with strict industry regulations and high security standards.

If your testing team has to use legacy tools and architecture, be ready that testing processes may take much more time. QA specialists might have to compromise on quality. They would first test critical aspects to make sure the basic functionality is in working condition, and only then could they make some improvements if tight deadlines permit.

You may facilitate working with legacy technology and tools by providing a QA team with up-to-date and detailed fintech API testing documentation. Guides, manuals, or API testing requirements should be as clear and comprehensive as possible. That would allow QA engineers to get down to core tasks, skipping redundant explanations.
3. Focus on High-Flown Issue and Neglect Simpler Tasks
Believe it or not, the cornerstone issues like incomplete documentation, poor communication, or the wrong choice of testing methodology and API testing tools online affect your project more than using a not-so-popular API testing strategy.

Focus on where you are in your testing journey at the moment. Perhaps your acute goal is to update tools and API testing approaches or streamline QA management activities. If you have already passed earlier stages, think about ways to increase your team's efficiency or to make the best use of customer feedback.

Wherever you are, focus first on routine issues that slow down a whole testing process unless you wait to get QA processes shattered. Move step by step, resolving current concerns to set up robust cooperation within a team and comply with API testing best practices.
To Close Up
API testing can be done by different vendors and with the use of various automation tools and manual testing approaches. It may seem easy at first glance, but this task requires a complex testing approach. Depending on your industry, project scope, and the input you can provide, QA engineers would test API with greater or lower efficiency.

Invest resources and time in scaling up a QA team, maintaining project documentation, and updating the tech stack you use. Besides, note that all testing should be performed with the needs and specifics of real service consumers in mind. Make your processes and business goals as transparent as possible for a QA team, and you will attain excellent results.