How to Use and Test Open APIs

QASource QASource | April 24, 2019

How to Use and Test Open APIs

Cloud computing has become a synonym for potential opportunities and capabilities in today's digital world. Almost every product we use is connected to the cloud in some way or another — unless it’s kept in local storage. The cloud industry is maturing at a rapid pace, and the technology has made its way across enterprises of all shapes and sizes. Cloud computing is carried using a special API: Cloud API. Our expert engineers have shared their insights into this growing technology and what to consider when testing open APIs. 

Cloud computing has enhanced computing powers, especially by managing data storage. This technology is now widely used for chatbots, communication, messaging and calling apps, testing tools, social networking, big data analytics, and application development. Common examples of this are iCloud by Apple, which is used to control information stored on their servers, and WeTransfer, whose public APIs are used by developers to share and store files over the cloud. Other examples are Netflix, Siri, Alexa, and WhatsApp.

A Cloud API (Application Programming Interface) provides the interface for cloud software, hardware and platforms. Open API modeling is becoming increasingly popular as more companies are looking for ways to establish collaboration between their multiple environments. The core goal is to create a secure and multipurpose cloud environment that creates an infrastructure with a scope to expand. Cloud APIs have elasticity for controlling and distributing virtual data on multiple platforms.

Cloud APIs Provide the Following Services:

IaaS (Infrastructure based): The infrastructure-based layer maintains elements such as virtual machines, hardware, servers, load balancers, and storage. IaaS also assists in providing backup, security and maintenance. These are the control APIs which contribute to the control of cloud-based resources and their distribution.

PaaS (Service based): In the service-based layer, applications are developed and functionalities are defined for the cloud environment. PaaS is a cloud computing technique for platform development where deployment, support and application management takes place.

SaaS (Application based): You can access the application-based cloud computing layer when you simply make use of a web browser or an application to access the software.

Popular market trendsetters for open APIs are Simple Cloud, Amazon Web Services API, Google Computer Engine, OpenStack API and Apache CloudStack. Tech giants like Google launched Google Latitude and Google Buzz. When they failed to release the APIs for these services, they faced backlash and lack of interest worldwide.

Cloud computing is closely associated with the API strategy followed by an organization. It is important to have an effective cloud API that is able to integrate with other associated systems.

Core Characteristics Considered for Cloud API Security:

Confidentiality and integrity of the user data is the key determining factor for an effective Cloud API, however, both the customer and cloud provider are faced with potential security threats in their cloud API. Below are characteristics to look for when testing your the security of your cloud API.

  • Third Party Integration Windows: For product management, your API should be able to handle the security aspects related to association with other systems.
  • Authorization and Authentication: To evaluate the authentication, your Cloud API should have the access role implemented. Does your API provide support system to OAuth, for example?
  • Import and Export data: Your API should be able to import, export, and migrate data into the cloud storage.
  • Development Practices: For JSON or XML messages, input flaws and prone attacks should be tested. Testers should adhere to schema validation - a specification document that provides valid ways to define validation constraints and also to define the keywords that can be used to specify validations for a JSON API.
  • Message Protection: Along with following the standard code practices, you should also validate message body and headers.

Today, product companies are making every possible effort to reach out to their target groups and establish themselves in the competitive market. This has directly affected the application development cycle.

Continuous Integration for API Tests:

To validate the integration of various programs, there are available tools for continuous testing. DevOps has emerged as a collaborative culture environment that encourages speeding up the API testing process and enlargement of its horizon. To attain commercial success, start-ups and enterprises are closely working on automation - continuous integration of API tests is one such move.

In order to be sure you are following the best practices for cloud API testing, we advise that you refer to the online documentations provided by the cloud services provider. Collaborating with a professional cloud testing services provider ensures that regular penetration tests are performed on the vulnerable data and the authentication mechanism is audited on a regular basis.

When you are working with open APIs, you must ensure that it is functionally correct and reliable, and as with any industry, there are common pain points in the collaboration domain. In order to alleviate these pain points, ensure confidence in your software and its ability to function optimally, partner with a software testing company that has extensive experience with API testing.

 Want to learn more about API testing from an expert in the field?

Watch the free webinar below!

The Future is API Testing: Trends and How to Propel Your Testing


This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.