Every API company goes into their product’s development with one thing on their mind: its eventual integration. All that effort spent coding, testing, debugging, and fine-tuning is only worth it when a client says “yes” to integrating the API within their system. Though each company’s journey to API integration is different, most successful ones have good API testing experience to thank. The simple task of paying attention to API mocking—or making substitute parts to emulate the API’s behaviors—can accelerate integration by a lot.
How important is mocking to integration, and why should you consider doing so on a quality testing tool? This article will illustrate the benefits of open API mocking and why testers should see it as crucial to the end-goal of integration.
The Worst-Case Scenario: When You Assume Only the Best
The greatest downfall of many API companies is this harmful assumption: that they’ve engineered a trouble-free product that gets everything right on the first try. They figure that all API calls and requests will play out as expected. And if the API follows relatively simple structures, they see no need to mock extensively.
Suppose this were your situation on demo day with a would-be client. What if the API-in-progress that you’re presenting to them doesn’t perform as planned? What if there are unprecedented delays in responding to requests or errors that seem new to even you, the API providers? This kind of scenario would be a major turn-off to your client. They might come to the conclusion that you don’t know enough about your product and that you haven’t planned for every possibility. And that, in turn, may give them cold feet about integrating with your API.
If this were ever to become a reality, you’d wish you paid more attention to your API mocking. So, what should be your overall approach? The answer is to avoid guesswork, commit to minimizing delays and bugs, and gain solid working knowledge about your API’s capabilities. This can only be achieved by taking your API mock testing seriously.
Achieving the Best-Case Scenario by Preparing for the Worst
In contrast, having an eagle-eyed approach to API mocking could inch you ever closer to surefire integration. The key is to use API mocking to clear obstacles in the feedback loop, whose phases include developing the API, debugging, and integration.
In a nutshell, API mocking can help you tick off on the following:
- It can help you visualize the particulars of your API. You’ll be able to make accurate conclusions about how it will behave, from its endpoints to the parameters of each call.
- It will enable you to test and resolve errors in a controlled environment. You can test how your API holds up against all possible errors without endangering its infrastructure.
- It will help you anticipate bugs and come up with quick solutions to fix them. This will minimize downtime, which is costly and tedious to deal with.
- It can improve your API team’s development and testing workflows. This will increase their agility at dealing with the more complicated issues concerning your API.
- It can help you find opportunities to smoothen the integration process which, ultimately, makes for a happier client-provider relationship.
Once you’ve unlocked these advantages for yourself, you’ll have a higher chance of securing what it was you wanted: a thumbs-up from your client.
How to Make the Best of the API Mocking Stage
In order to make your journey from mocking to integration as seamless as it can possibly be, remember these tips.
- You’ll get the best out of your mocking experience if you mock test in a conducive environment, like an open mock server. Today’s tools make testing easy, manageable, and even fun to complete.
- Act on the feedback you get from mocking. What you find out about your API’s behaviors could save you a lot of trouble during integration.
- Don’t get too hung up on mocking—remember to see it as a means to an end! Test wisely, but don’t get caught up in mocking for every single possibility—just the ones that will matter to your API.
The most satisfying thing you’ll get out of this endeavor is the greenlight to integrate. So, here’s to hoping that your mock testing leads to a smooth, successful integration of your API.