API Testing in IoT-Enabled Product Development

Application programming interface – API testing-White Box TestingAn interconnected world dependent on proprietary business networks is highly reliant on the ability of these systems to exchange data. The main mechanism for doing so is the Application Programming Interface. API Testing is therefore a Quality Assurance process of vital importance. Despite the clear importance of API testing, it is sorely neglected due to a lack of awareness of its business value.

Business growth is increasingly dependent upon the innovative use of the Internet of Things. Real-time feedback and over-the-air software updates are real enablers of business value. All this is nothing new: it was never a question of ’if’ this internet-enabled revolution would take place, but rather a question of when.

Related reading: Managing the Intertwined Lifecycles of Hardware, Software and Service Development

API testing is vital to meet the expectations of consumers that increasingly demand mass-customized, innovative products with hardware, software, and service components. Today, it is vital to ensure the seamless integration of new features, to push bug fixes remotely (even before the user has encountered the problem), and to ensure the security of data.

With the increased alignment and intensive communication between the data, logic, and presentation layers of applications, API testing is becoming more and more important.

What you need to know about API testing

API Testing is best suited to an environment where test automation and continuous testing are used, therefore it's mostly associated with Agile software development and DevOps.

Read our post series on DevOps:

Part 1 | Agile Operations: The Evolution of DevOps

Part 2 | DevOps Part 2: Methods, Practices and Tools

Modern applications are generally broken down into three distinct sections:

Presentation layer: the customer-facing aspects of the applications (GUI)

Logic layer: this layer manages data across the two other layers, and coordinates the application (takes input from the presentation layer, manages data in the data layer, etc). This is, essentially, the API.

Data layer: the database serving as the base of the application where information is stored, and from where it is retrieved

As the API is the interface between the two core layers, using simple black box testing (where you only test whether the functionality is working, e.g. giving the application an input and checking if the output is what you expect it to be) is a no-go. In API testing, white-box testing is used.

What is white-box testing?

White-box testing is a verification technique that software engineers often use to examine if the code itself works as expected. In order to be able to design white-box test cases, testers need to have an internal perspective of the system and extensive programming knowledge. That's because white-box testing has to cover all the paths data takes within the application, rather then just the overall functionality of the product itself.

Due to the granularity of testing provided, API testing should be used in safety-critical applications. Only this helps ensure that the end product is safe and reliable to the extent required by safety-critical regulations.

As a holistically integrated Application Lifecycle Management tool with lifecycle-wide functionality, codeBeamer ALM adequately supports sophisticated testing procedures. To learn more, contact us with your questions, or start your free trial right away.

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