Implementing a RESTful API testing program

By CIOReview | Friday, September 15, 2017
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RESTful API testing ensures a culture of continuous testing and team accountability within an organization. Although the standard tests for web applications initially were dominated heavily by front-end graphical user interface testing, today it has transformed into a complex and technical procedures. IT teams need to be well-versed in automation to harness the advantages of a modern delivery pipeline such as continuous delivery and integrations. Also, a steady focus should be on building good quality products and on efficiency to prevent any system bugs. Besides, middle management such as the product managers, developers, and business analysts must also plan and build better testing portfolios. Working together allows each team to identify the needs, meet the acceptance criteria and determine best testing methods. This journey starts with RESTful API testing.

Defining a RESTful API

REST is a communication medium for two or more computers over the internet. In this case, one of the computers plays the role of a web browser while the other acts as a web server. The transfer of data happens over the web using HTTP/HTTPS protocols by performing request methods such as GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE. The most common methods are GET–for retrieving data from a specified resource, and POST—for creating data to be processed to a specified resource.  

Reviewing REST Layered Architecture

The REST Layered Architecture is a software design pattern which is then implemented in layer stack as traditional layers allows organizations to better organize codes. For example, any application can contain the following layers: data storage, presentation, data access, and business logic.

• The Presentation Layer

User interface is the top-most layer for any application, which is responsible for translating the machine input into a readable format for the end users. Presentation layer takes care of content representation in the user interface.  

• The Logical Layer

Logical layer acts as the brain of the application. It is responsible for processing and communication the data in between the layers and making logical decisions. Some of the decisions the logical layer makes includes handling system APIs, audits, exception handling, authorization, and authentication.

• The Data Access Layer

This layer is responsible for providing simplified access to the stored organizational data such as flat files and databases—separating from the business logic and presentation code. The data access layer is also tightly coupled with the data storage layer.

• The Data Storage Layer

This layer consists of multiple systems such as RDBMS, NoSQL database, file system, remote storage in the cloud or in-memory.

Designing the API Blueprint

While designing a testing strategy blueprint, it is important to outline all the activities that will be carried out for a sprint and the release. This enables a clearer view inside the testing strategy and increases collaboration and communication from the beginning of the project itself.

Selecting Testing Technology

Although there are lots of open source tools, vendor tools, and custom testing harnesses available throughout the market, it is important for organizations to practically assess the requirements while evaluating a testing technology.

Defining Standards

It is important for establishing and communicating the standards to everyone on the team as it will assist in avoiding general testing and coding mishaps caused due to changes or no ability of scalability.