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API Testing – The responsibility of QA or Development?

When it comes to API testing, determining who should test them can be a point of contention in some organizations. There really is no simple or easy answer since the really depends on the QA and Development teams themselves.

APIs can be formidable to many, but not to those with some programming knowledge.  At one point in time, that knowledge was held only by the developers. However, testers have become increasingly capable of programming since many automation tools now require it.

So the short answer to the question is that it depends on the QA team.  In a more mature organization that has some QA personnel with programming skills, the onus should be on the QA team to perform API testing.  This doesn’t necessarily have to mean unit testing, though it certainly could if that’s how your team wanted to handle it.

In less mature organizations with QA team members that lack programming skills, the API testing will of course have to done by programmers.  However, it may be useful to enlist the testers to help determine the actual test cases.

Regardless of who does the actual testing, there are many API testing tools available, some designed for very specific APIs, from robotics to mobile apps.  QA Mentor uses SoapUI to simulate production systems and complex behaviors of the associated APIs.  For HTTP client testing, we use Postman since it can encode data, keep a working history, and send binary responses when needed.  JMeter is a great benchmarking tool for simple API testing, and Runscope Radar helps us to automate backend services.

Who does your API testing, and what tools do they use?

About the Author

The author, Ruslan Desyatnikov, is the CEO & Founder of QA Mentor. He created QA Mentor to fill the gap he has witnessed in QA service providers during his near 20 years in QA. With Ruslan’s guidance, unique services and methodologies were developed at QA Mentor to aid clients in their QA difficulties while still offering a high ROI. Ruslan offers monthly seminars aimed at imparting his extensive testing knowledge that can be applied to start-ups as well as large companies. To learn more about QA Mentor and testing services please visit www.qamentor.com or contact Ruslan directly by sending email to rdesyatnikov@qamentor.com

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