Most modern web services, websites, and mobile apps depend on RESTful APIs, more commonly called REST APIs. As MuleSoft describes in “What is a REST API?“, these APIs have replaced SOAP APIs at most organizations due to the ease of using multiple protocols during API calls. This makes RESTful API design especially good for web APIs that often require handling calls with data that changes in format and/or structure.
Many of today’s Top 25 RESTful API Testing Tools including API Fortress seamlessly test REST APIs across JSON, XML, TOML, YAML, CSON and other data serialization formats. These formats are divided between better for human readability or better for machine readability, allowing REST APIs to unlock innovative use cases for intelligent automation and smarter apps.
What makes REST APIs more flexible than SOAP APIs also makes them far more challenging to test: the REST architecture is restricted with statelessness. That means a REQUEST between a client and a REST API server must contain sufficient information to understand the request without prestored context on the server. The client is required to store and handle all state-related information, resulting in a continuous process of creating and recreating the state at the edge. REQUESTS with statelessness are isolated from prior REST API conversations and therefore must contain credentials that have not been stored with the client.
Accurate REST API testing involves checking all of the information in the header, body, and params of a REQUEST. However, due to the statelessness of REST APIs, it is critical for REST API testing to check the entire API conversation on a continuous basis.
Patrick Poulin, CEO and co-founder of API Fortress remarks: “Think of APIs as books. You can’t just run a spellcheck and consider the book properly edited. You need to validate the book from every angle including sentence, structure, and logic. That’s why we built API Fortress with the ability to capture API conversations, generate tests, but then make editing and adding intelligence to the test easy.”