An Introduction To API Testing

Posted By : Asmita Samanta | 18-Mar-2024



APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, provide a way for different applications to communicate with each other. These methods, often referred to as HTTP methods or verbs, dictate the type of action being performed on a specific API resource. Here's a breakdown of some common API methods:

GET: This method retrieves data from a specified resource. It's akin to requesting information from a web server. Imagine using GET to retrieve a list of products from an e-commerce API.

POST: POST is used to create new resources. Think of adding a new product to your shopping cart using a POST request. It typically involves sending data along with the request in the body.

Also, Read An Introduction To Performance Testing

PUT: This method completely replaces an existing resource with new data. For instance, updating the quantity of an item in your shopping cart might involve a PUT request.

PATCH: Unlike PUT, PATCH allows for partial updates to a resource. Imagine editing the shipping address for your order; a PATCH request would update only the specific address details.

DELETE: As the name suggests, DELETE removes a resource. This could be deleting an item from your shopping cart or permanently deleting a user account.

Understanding HTTP Status Codes: The cornerstone of API testing is interpreting HTTP status codes. Familiarize yourself with codes like 200 (OK), 401 (Unauthorized), and 500 (Internal Server Error) to assess the success or failure of your requests and identify potential issues.

Also, Read Principles of Software Testing

Validating Response Body: API responses are the lifeblood of your application. Utilize Postman's assertion capabilities to validate the structure and content of the response body. Ensure returned data matches your expectations using JSON or XML assertions.

Testing Edge Cases: Don't just test happy paths! Craft test cases that explore edge scenarios like invalid data, missing parameters, or authentication errors. This helps identify potential weaknesses and ensures your API is robust.

Advanced Testing Strategies:

Leveraging Test Scripts: Go beyond basic assertions with Postman's powerful scripting language. Write test scripts to perform complex validations, manipulate data dynamically, and handle conditional logic, creating a robust testing suite.

Embrace Data-Driven Testing: Testing with static data can be limiting. Postman supports data-driven testing, allowing you to import test data from external CSV or JSON files. This enables comprehensive testing with various data sets.
Mocking and Virtualization: Is your API dependent on external services? Postman's Mock Server functionality allows you to create simulated responses, enabling isolated testing and development without relying on external dependencies.