What are API and API Testing Tools?
Ever wondered how Google Maps was able to locate your current location and show you the nearest exit when you were stranded in the middle of god-knows-where?
Well, that’s Google Maps API doing the work.
An API (Application Programming Interface) is, in simple terms, the messenger that enables two software to share data and talk to each other. But how do an application remain fully functional, as it’s designed to every time, without compromising on user privacy? The answer is API testing tools.
Benefits of API Testing in Agile
Using API testing tools is how development and testing teams qualify software performance before they get to the users’ hands. Now guided by the principles of Agile, the main benefits QAs and developers are after include:
- Earlier testing and feedback without waiting for the whole software to be completely built
- Faster test maintenance and refactoring
- More bugs and issues were spotted in less time compared to UI tests
Choosing API Testing Tools
The number of API testing tools on the market for you and your team to try out and select will probably take forever. That’s why we have listed a few key considerations for you to keep in mind.
Basic API Requirements: Does it support the majority of the HTTP requests? Can settings and artifacts be imported from one project/test to another to save time?
Complexity: Make sure the skillsets in your team are able to learn and use the software in the shortest time possible.
CI/CD Integration: Check its list of integrations to see if the tool works with CI systems your team is using like Jenkins or Bitbucket, and also if it’s native to avoid extra time trying to configure everything.
Interoperability: Can the tool be connected to communication platforms like Slack, project management systems like Jira, Git for version control or your team’s toolchain?
Non-technical Friendly: Read the tools’ documentation to see if they support BDD conventions and are able to export easy-to-understand reports.
Top 15 API Testing Tools on the Market
1. Katalon Studio
Recognized as the Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choices for Software Test Automation for three consecutive years, Katalon Studio is the leading test automation solution for API, Web, and Mobile and Windows applications.
- Easy-to-use UI and productivity-centric features for projects of all sizes
- Supports REST, SOAP requests, and SSL client certificates
- Enable test import from Swagger (2.0 & 3.0), Postman, WSDL, and WADL
- Native CI/CD integrations (Jenkins, Azure DevOps, CircleCI, Dockers, etc.)
- Data-driven testing methods better test coverage and reliability
- AssertJ support to create fluent assertions in BDD style
- Support API test data setup using UI testing
- Built-in reporting platform to centralize reports and activities across tool stacks: version control systems, CI/CD, test automation tools, and ALMs
- Free API testing courses and tool tutorials on Katalon Academy
Pricing: Free — $69/license/month
Originally a Chrome browser plugin, Postman extended to an on-premise solution for both Mac and Windows.
- Easy-to-use REST client
- Offer rich interface
- Available for both automated and exploratory testing
- Able to run on Mac, Linux, Windows
- Provide many integrations like support for Swagger & RAML formats
- Run, test, document, and monitoring features
Users could share the knowledge with the team at ease as they can package up all the requests and expected responses, then send them to their coworkers.
In version 7.3 of 2020, Postman uses new advanced preferences to help users smartly organize the collections and API elements (mock servers, monitors, tests, and documentation) generated from API schemas. Also, you could manage your team’s public data and share links to all items in the workspace, such as collections, requests, APIs from Postman app.
Pricing: Free – $12/user/month
Apigee is a cross-cloud API testing tool, enabling users to measure and test API performance, support and build API. Apigee also provides PCI, HIPAA, SOC2, and PII for apps. This tool has been named one of the leaders in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Full Lifecycle API Management four times in a row.
- Allows design to monitor, implement and extend API
- Define performance issues by tracking API traffic, error rate, and response time
- Easily create an API proxy based on open API specifications and deploy it in the cloud
This tool is designed for digital businesses and the data-rich mobile-driven APIs and apps that power it. Since version 4.19.01 in 2019, Apigee gives users more flexibility to manage their APIs with features (e.g., Open API 3.0 support, TLS security, Self-healing with apigee-monit, Virtual host management improvements). Now, the latest version is enhanced with minor bug fixes and security improvements. Overall, it is feature-rich and well recognized by users.
Pricing: Contact Sales
Initially, JMeter was created for performance testing, however, it is commonly used for functional API testing.
- Cache and offline replay of test results
- Automatically work with CSV files, thus enabling the team to create unique parameter values for the API tests at speed
- Able to include the API tests in CI pipeline thanks to JMeter and Jenkins integrations
- Available for both static and dynamic resources performance testing
The latest release JMeter 5.4.1 is packed with versatile features and enhancements such as new themes, bug fixes, visual representation of disabled elements, revamped Groovy library, and updated JMeter templates for functional testing. This tool is most suitable for Web application performance and load testing.
This open-source Java Domain-specific language enables testing REST services more simply. It can be used to validate and verify the response of these requests.
- Offer a bunch of baked-in functionalities to help users proceed with the codeless practice
- Integrates seamlessly with Serenity automation framework, thus users can combine the UI and REST tests in one framework that extracts excellent reports
- Support BDD Given/When/Then syntax
- Supports POST, GET, PUT, DELETE, OPTIONS, PATCH and HEAD requests
- Users do not need to be an HTTP expert to utilize this tool
Version 4.0.0 required at least Java 8, offered support for Apache Johnzon, and fixed many issues with the initial OSGi support. The latest version 4.4.0 is released with various improvements and bug fixes.
Assertible is an API testing tool that focuses on automation and reliability.
- Support automating API tests throughout CI/CD pipeline
Assist in running API tests after deployments and integrates with familiar tools (e.g., GitHub, Slack, and Zapier)
- Support validating HTTP responses with turn-key assertions
- Help testers update their tests when their specifications change by The Sync feature. Hence it’s needless to manually update tests after adding new parameters or changing the response of the API
In October 2019, Assertible added the Encrypted variables feature, which provides a new way to store passwords, tokens, and secret data fields. This offering is to improve API testing security practices.
Pricing: Free – $25/month
7. Soap UI
This headless functional testing tool is dedicated to API testing. It allows users to test REST and SOAP APIs and Web Services with no hassles.
For the Free package, users can:
- Acquire the full source code and build their preferred features at hand
- Create test effortlessly with Drag and drop, Point-and-click
- Reuse load tests and security scans for functional test cases in just several steps with Reusability of Scripts feature
For the Pro package, users can:
- Powerful data-driven testing – which means users can simulate how consumers interact with the APIs thanks to data loaded from files, databases, and Excel
- Support native CI/CD integrations and asynchronous testing
The latest version SoapUI 5.6 has updated third-party libraries (org.apache.HTTP components, commons-logging, commons-codec, and JUnit) and removed unused third-party libraries such as Jackson, KeenIO.
Update: SoapUI now disables the Load and Save project scripts by default to enhance testing security.
Pricing: Free – $749/year
8. Karate DSL
This new API testing tool assists users in creating scenarios for API-based BDD tests simply without writing definition steps. Indeed, KarateDSL creates those definitions itself, thus users can quickly kickstart the API testing.
- Build on top of Cucumber-JVM
- Run a test and generate reports likewise to any standard Java project
- Supports configuration switching/staging, multithreaded parallel execution
The latest revision, Karate UI 1.2.0, was released with a slew of new features, including redesigned HTML reports, call-Single-Cache, Karate Robot Windows for Windows Desktop app automation, and enhanced tree walking in UI Tests. Also, Karate UI allows you to write tests in any language that can handle HTTP, JSON, or XML.
9. Rest Console
This tool is a REST/HTTP Client for Google Chrome that enables users to visualize and construct custom HTTP requests to test with any RESTful API service.
- Construct POST or PUT body via raw input
- Support to modify custom headers through intuitive UI
- Assist users in creating query parameters at ease
- Able to be used for several authentications like Plain, Basic, OAuth
- Supports customizable interface
The most recent release, Rest Console v4.0.2 has been upgraded with several features to enhance user experience and bug fixes (e.g., oAuth improvements, Collapsible sections, Clickable Links in Response, UI enhancements).
10. API Fortress
Testers and developers can create and automate functional tests since API Fortress is a continuous platform for API testing.
- Easy-to-use intuitive UI for any skill level
- Plug-and-play stimulates your continuous API Testing
- Support Web Services, Test REST, SOAP, GraphQL, and Microservices
- It’s a web-based collaborative tool for teams that helps testers work within a browser and requires no downloads.
The latest version in September 2020 offers many new features which allow a test to continue after a fatal error, improve multipart for on-prem and load testing, and K/V store for mocking services. API Fortress is free to use and easy to customize to the specific requirements of your project.
Pricing: Contact sales
Read more: API Testing Tips for Beginners and The 50+ API Interview Question
It is a Python-based REST API testing platform that supports tests in JSON or YAML config files, no coding knowledge is required.
- Generate and validate mechanisms to build complete test scenarios
- Allow easy deployment on-server for smoke tests/health checks with minimal dependencies (pycurl, pyyaml, optionally future)
- Returns exit codes on failure to slot into automated configuration orchestration tools
In 2016, the latest version, v1.7.1 was released with a fixed JSONschema extension in Python 3 and added test coverage. This tool is best used for RESTful APIs.
Hoppscotch is a tool in the API tool category of the technology stack. It is a free and fast API request generator with a minimalistic UI design, allowing you to send requests and get/copy responses in real-time. Therefore, you can create requests faster, saving valuable development time. In August 2021, Hoppscotch was updated to version v2.2.0 with some minor bugs being fixed. As an open-source tool, you can feel free to customize it to your project requirements.
Taurus is a free and open-source framework for simple and direct API testing because it is easy to learn. Taurus helps you hide the complexity of running performance tests without learning any programming languages; instead, all you need to understand is the basic YAML structure of Taurus.
Taurus v1.15.4 updates various features, improves user experience, and fixes bugs.
14. Citrus Framework
The tests provide a Java fluent API to specify the test logic and are fully automated. Citrus can act on both sides as a client or a consumer during the test when replacing the actual request/response message over the wire.
Citrus 3.1.0 is the latest stable version. It is available in the central Maven repository so that you can add Citrus as a Maven dependency to your project. It’s a free, open-source tool with custom scripting functionalities that you can utilize your programming skills to fit project requirements.
Airborne is an API automation testing framework with a Ruby-based RSpec-driven framework. Since Airborne is a programming framework, it has no user interface apart from the text file to create code. Besides that, to use Airborne testers need to remember a few critical methods in the toolset and some Ruby and RSpec fundamentals.
In 2020, Airborne was updated to version v0.3.5 with minor bug fixes. It is a free-to-use and open-source API testing tool that testing teams may use to meet their requirements.
Although we have introduced some of the best testing tools on the market, it is essential to keep the pros and cons in mind. You may need to be flexible in trying various options before finding the one that best suits your requirements. Click the button below to learn more about Katalon solutions.
Originally published at Top Automated API Testing on Katalon’s Blog