The benefits of API integration are seemingly endless, as are the questions surrounding them. APIs are an intuitive and efficient way to enhance your business’ software, but they don’t come without their own set of challenges.
Custom software development companies and professionals alike should familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of integration testing. Integration testing is an upkeep method to ensure your API integrations are running as they should. Although not a tricky topic, there are certainly a few frequently asked questions that can be addressed to help make the topic easier to understand. Let’s take a few minutes to go over the most common FAQs!
What Is Integration Testing?
To put it simply, integration testing can be defined as the process of testing various components of a software system and how well they work together. For instance, this may include testing how different components, systems, or modules handle integration, as well as the integration of various software applications and/or programs– i.e., API integration.
The primary goal of integration testing is to ensure that the collective components of your software system are functioning properly, working together, and communicating without issues. Ultimately, these integrations (when properly functioning), will work to improve your business’ software.
What Is API Integration?
One of the most common questions asked when considering integration testing is “what even are API integrations?” It’s a fair question, and an easily explained one! An API, or “Application Programming Interface,” is a set of protocols, routines, and tools for building software and applications.
The phrase “API integration” is in reference to the overarching process of integrating various software systems with the help of APIs. These APIs essentially allow the software systems to exchange information with each other. The result? They save custom software development teams time and money, and improve their overall efficiency.
What Are the Benefits of API Integration?
After understanding what API integrations are, you might ask yourself what the benefits of API integration even are. It’s a fair question, and the truth is that they’ve significantly impacted the custom software development community. One of the biggest benefits of API integration is that it allows businesses to gain access to a much larger range of data and functionality than they have had historically.
They have completely transformed business software by giving them access to third-party services (such as a financial service provider) to implement into their current software system. This way, businesses can modify the services and range of their own software by simply stacking on the capabilities of others–all through a few API integrations. This saves them the time of needing to develop their own additional software, which in turn saves resources and money.
Moreover, API integrations assist businesses with their overall operational efficiency. Since they have access to a wider variety of systems and services, they are able to automate even more processes and cut down on their manual operations.
Integrating these various systems inevitably cuts down on the need for manual data entry and/or task completion. With a bit of effort from a business’ custom software development professionals, they may upgrade their current software with multiple integrations that essentially do the job of several workers. It isn’t all positives and profits, however. Since businesses may lean so heavily on these APIs, it only makes sense that API testing is so critical for their continued success.
APIs are a great way for a business to remain competitive within the field, but these APIs cannot exist unchecked. Just as with any process of the custom software development life cycle, APIs require regular monitoring, maintenance, and testing to succeed.
What Are the Various Types of Integration Testing?
Three of the most common types of integration testing include:
- top-down integration testing: involves testing critical modules first so that any major design flaws are detected (and fixed) early on.
- bottom-up integration testing: involves testing low-level modules first to identify issues as they come, making early defects easy to identify.
- big-bang integration testing: involves integrating all models at once for testing. The testing is completed in less time; however, the testing team also has less time to identify errors.
How Does Integration Testing Differ From Unit Testing?
Unit testing focuses on testing individual components or units of an application. integration testing focuses on testing the interactions between those components or units.
What Are Some Examples of Integration Testing Best Practices?
Some best practices for integration testing include starting with small, simple tests and gradually increasing their complexity. Test interactions between each different component of the application. Automate as much of the testing process as you’re able.
What Are the Best Tools to Use for Integration Testing?
There are a wide variety of tools available for integration testing. Common examples include: JUnit, TestNG, and CppUnit for unit testing of Java and C++ code. You may also try tools like Selenium, Appium, and TestComplete for testing web and mobile applications.
Begin Integration Testing Today
API integrations have grown to be a staple of modern websites and applications. Because they streamline so many otherwise tedious tasks and processes, it’s absolutely imperative to test these systems regularly. Failing to keep up with consistent testing may result in catastrophic issues for your website or application. These mistakes are easily avoidable, even if you’re unsure where to begin your testing process. Give our 245TECH experts a call at (865) 465-4040 to get started.