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High-Stakes API Automation Testing: DOs and DON’Ts

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High-Stakes API Automation Testing: DOs and DON’Ts

API automation testing is a key to preventing potential security breaches, and this article talks about some dos and don'ts for automation testing.

· DevOps Zone ·
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Automation

See how API automation testing keeps APIs secure

API vulnerabilities are potentially devastating. The programming interfaces at the heart of our internet-connected world shuttle data blindly, dependent entirely on the coding and testing standards that went into their development. The safety and security of your users’ data — and, therefore, your own reputation and brand quality — rest solely on the resources you put into testing the application.

It is a high-stakes issue, one that has compromised and embarrassed some of the biggest companies in the world. Consider:


  • In September 2018, Twitter had to apologize to users when an API bug made their private information visible to app developers.
  • In December of the same year, Alphabet shut down Google+ after an API bug exposed the data of more than 50 million users.
  • Closing out the horror of 2018 for the tech giants, later that same month, Facebook admitted that an API bug compromised the security of more than 6 million account holders.

You may also enjoy: 3 Ways Securing Your APIs Just Got Easier

These failures erode public confidence. When you are a member of tech’s Big 5, you can afford to risk shedding a few thousand customers over such scandals. When you have more modest realities, such losses can be devastating. The lingering hit to your reputation alone is cause for major concern.

The moral is clear: API automation testing is a high-stakes proposition that must be handled by experts. Your future depends on it. 

Approach API Automation Testing the Right Way

Automation is synonymous with speed. Even when you reach the GUI stage of development, you can get through 3,000 API tests in 50 minutes or 3,000 GUI tests in 30 hours. Manual testing has an important part to play in comprehensive testing, but there is no substitute for the time savings made possible by automation.

Leveraging those time savings without compromising the quality of your API testing is the challenge. The right approach begins with integrating testing into the SDLC. API integration lets you run comprehensive tests with every input of new code and developer feedback. It makes the continual process of innovation and counterbalancing that define the prevailing Agile approach to development possible. This method produces better products quicker by partnering developers with QA testers of equal knowledge and skill. The two operate in tandem through repeated iterations to ensure the product does not break as it evolves into a more satisfying customer solution.

As each piece of the product is prepared, API automation testing puts it through thousands of virtual user network and application interactions. It produces real-world simulation without placing time- and resource-consuming expectations on your core personnel.

With API automation testing, you dramatically reduce your chances of becoming mentioned alongside Facebook, Google, and Twitter for the wrong reasons. In summary, it provides:

  1. Real-world simulation
  2. Quicker, less expensive bug fixes 
  3. Comprehensive test coverage

Achieving these outcomes is contingent on integrating API automation testing within your evolving SDLC. The alternative is a risky, disjointed approach that puts your product performance and security in the hands of garbage-in, garbage-out machinery.

The Wrong Way to Prepare for API Automation Testing

The Agile approach demands a balance between development and testing. Each has to make a valuable contribution, or the product runs the risk of ending up in the API error hall of horrors.

You cannot leave your QA to the final stretch of your release cycle. Throwing a “finished product” over the proverbial fence to a disengaged test team or a distant third-party dulls the impact of API automation testing.

Instead, incorporate QA testing into your plans from the initial scoping study. Automation speeds up testing, but time and resource costs still need to be accurately scheduled, and expert attention must be paid to the test framework and test case development. Successful automation depends on expert preparation; there is no automation silver bullet that will do the hard work for you.

Further Reading

Security Breach: How to Leverage APIs to Protect You 

Everything You Need to Know About API Testing

Topics:
testing ,automation ,api ,api automation testing ,automation testing

Published at DZone with permission of Vakul Gotra . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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