Challenges behind automation of REST API Testing

Adoption of REST APIs has increased manifold in recent days and REST has become a leading standard for building web APIs. The era of pure desktop-based applications is continuously going down. People are shifting from NG to web and further mobile-based applications.

Most of the web-based applications or mobile applications are backed by REST APIs. Testing this type of applications has become a major challenge. Various tools/frameworks/libraries (utilities) are there to automate the testing activity. People choose these utilities depending upon their context, environment, budget and skill level, etc.

In this post, we will discuss the need for automation followed by various challenges behind REST API Automation Testing. I will appreciate questions/feedback if you have any ☺

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Perform Version Control with Locally Stored Test Data

There are several API Testing tools/software out there, which offer Version Control of Test Data, but the only problem with them is that their system of Version Control is not implemented in an understandable way. Their Version Control is very much restricted to the User Experience of their own tool.

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Minimize merge conflicts with structured test data

Version control of test data also plays a great role in the same manner as you can’t live without source code version control. You should definitely think of this dimension while choosing the test automation tool. Otherwise, you will face various issues once you have adopted the tool in the later run. The following issues are centered around version control:

  1. Test data Auditing (Who changed what data at what time)
  2. Review process
  3. Minimizing merge conflicts
  4. Team collaboration or sharing issues
  5. Backup and restore test data

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Reusable Automation Test Scripts for API testing

In the API Testing world, if an automated testing tool doesn’t provide reusability then you will pay a great cost while maintaining the test suites over a period of time. Reusability and maintainability are two sides of the same coin. If reusability decreases then maintainability also decreases and vice versa. If you are having a small number of APIs/test cases then reusability might not be a concern for you, but if your whole architecture is based around APIs then reusability plays a great role while creating the automated test suites for those APIs. And it is very important to think about this dimension while choosing the API automation framework/tool. We should follow the DRY (Do not repeat yourself) principle.

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