API testing is not a one-off affair, and those in charge of testing the API have to do so in several aspects. One of the core tasks in the testing phase is what’s called the unit test.This isa survey of individual code modules that stand for the API’s individual components. These are tested independently from other parts of the API, and several of them can be carried out at the same time. Some examples of unit tests are tests for particular API endpoints, tests for individual HTTP methods, and tests for request parameters.
The goal of each unit test is to see whether an API component can function on its own, according to the expectations set by developers. A savvy API tester would know that some of the most important headway in the API’s development happens during unit testing. They’d make the best out of unit testing while relying on a comprehensive API testing tool. If you want to increase your gains from the API testing process, pay special attention to your unit tests. Here are five reasons why they matter.
They Break Down the Complex Logic of the API
Even if your API is built around a single, straightforward service, it has many working parts. Sometimes, these are difficult to understand together, no matter how seasoned a developer you are. Thankfully, unit tests simplify things by quite a lot.
Just by virtue of conducting unit tests, the API development team can parse large sets of API logic into smaller, more digestible sets. Doing so makes it easier to pinpoint issues in the API and can streamline the problem-solving efforts for it.
They Are Quick to Write, and Quick to Run
Unit tests are relatively lightweight requirements that are narrow in their scope. Once you get a good idea of what your unit test is meant to achieve, it won’t be difficult to write it. It won’t be difficult to run either, and you’ll be able to do so simultaneously with other unit tests.
Surprisingly, you can get a lot done when you run unit tests against subsets of the API. The unit tests will be sufficient in verifying the behavior you’re testing for.
They Result in Code of Better Quality
Unit testing is also a means of looking at the API’s defects more closely. Often, it’s these tests that will push you to be more attentive in your coding.
When you’re in the testing mindset, you can consider problems like edge cases—in other words, things may not have paid attention to before. Thus, the unit tests can motivate you to write more thorough, complete, and functional API code.
They Help You Catch Software Bugs Earlier on in the Process
In API production, delays are very costly. So, the earlier that bugs are detected, the better it is for the API team. Timely resolution of bugs will result in a smooth and trouble-free API integration, and fewer expenses on IT support. This is something that both the API company and its client will want out of the end product.
Unit tests can expose faults in implementation or what’s lacking in the unit’s specification. They make handy tools for debugging and fine-tuning the API.
They Facilitate Easy Documentation of the API System
In the recent decade, API documentation has become a priority among developers. Everyone knows the value of tracking the API’s development and making its core info accessible to users.
Though API testing and API documentation are very different tasks, they actually go hand in hand. Unit tests can be used to compile vital information about the API’s features, upgrades, and versions. For each round of unit testing you do, make sure to collaborate with the API’s designated documenters. From these, they’ll create an output that will make the API system even more appealing.
Well-executed unit tests make it easier to implement key changes to the API. The sum of all your hard work as a tester is an excellent API product—one whose individual parts work as they’re meant to. Strive for this and everything will fall into place.