10 API Testing Tools You Can’t Live Without In 2023
Any defects that arise in production have a risk of reputation; the software product needs to be tested thoroughly before deploying to the production environment. There are different levels of testing, such as unit testing, integration/API Testing, end-to-end testing, etc. When organizations follow multi-level testing, the defects can be reduced.
This blog post discusses the best API testing tools available in the market. Before that, let’s understand API testing and why you should automate it.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What is API?
- 2 What is API Testing?
- 3 Advantages of API Testing
- 4 Types of API Testing
- 5 Why should you automate API Testing?
- 6 Popular API Testing tools to use in 2022
- 6.1 Postman
- 6.2 REST Assured
- 6.3 Soap UI
- 6.4 Limitations of SoapUI
- 6.5 Katalon
- 6.6 JMeter
- 6.7 Insomnia
- 6.8 Karate
- 6.9 Cypress
- 6.10 Playwright
- 6.11 Testsigma
What is API?
API is the Application Programming Interface. It acts as a middle layer between the User Interface and the Database. API communicates and exchanges data from one software system to another.
What is API Testing?
API testing is a software testing practice that tests API for functionality, performance, and security. It can be considered Integration testing. API testing helps to test the application logic. It consumes less time and is more effective compared to UI testing.
Advantages of API Testing
- Short execution time: The API tests are always less time-consuming as API testing doesn’t care about the application.
- Stable results: The API test results are less flaky and more accurate.
- UI independent: API Testing can be done early in the software development life cycle before developing UI. It doesn’t need any UI.
- Integration testing: The API testing acts as integration testing; the individual components can be integrated to perform the API testing.
- Less maintenance: The API tests can be written in any language, as API testing happens through HTTP requests and response calls. Any language which supports HTTP requests can be used for API Testing. API testing needs significantly less maintenance as APIs are at the middle layer.
- Faster release: The API tests are quick and easy, which helps to reduce the release cycle.
Types of API Testing
The API testing can be performed with different intentions and broadly classified as below:
- Functional Testing: The API functional testing checks the API functionality at the code level. The specific requirements are validated.
- Security Testing: The API can be used for security testing. Any publicly exposed API needs to be validated against the security requirement. Security testing concentrates on authentication, injections, encryption techniques, etc.
- Load Testing: The same API endpoints can be used in multiple places in the applications. The API should be capable of handling multiple requests parallelly. The Load testing involves testing the specific amount of users accessing the API endpoints by using the user simulation technique.
Why should you automate API Testing?
API Testing can be done either manually or using automation. The manual testing technique maintains the set of test cases in the repository. The QA team or developer needs to manually verify API test cases, such as status codes, API contracts, etc., by sending HTTP requests. Like any other manual testing approach, manual API testing is time-consuming, and it delays the release cycle.
Many API tools provide features to automate API testing. Some tools can be integrated into CI/CD pipeline to automate the release cycle. The API automation provides the results quickly and eliminates the QA/Dev dependency, which in turn helps ship the code faster.
In this article, we discuss the TOP 10 best API testing tools.
Note: The tools are not ranked and sorted randomly.
Popular API Testing tools to use in 2022
Postman is the most developer-friendly tool. It is a proprietary testing tool owned by Postman Inc. Used for both manual and automation of API Testing, Postman provides the User Interface for performing all the actions for API Testing.
Postman tool is available as free and paid plans. The free plan comes with some restrictions though.
Advantages of Postman API Testing Tool
- User friendly: The Postman tool is the most user-friendly tool. One doesn’t have to go through pages of documentation to learn. The user-friendly interface is self-explanatory and easy to learn.
- Multiple environments: The Postman tool can be configured to multiple test environments using the environment feature. It allows you to set up the environment variables, base URLs, etc.
- Data-driven testing: It also allows testing API using the data-driven testing approach.
- Supports multiple platforms: The Postman tool is available for multiple operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, etc.
- Reports: It provides the HTML and Junit reporters.
- API Mocking: The tool provides an easy way to mock the API.
Limitations of Postman
- Free version limitations: The free version can be used only for basic API testing such as validating API responses, status codes, contracts, etc.
- Performance Testing: The tool cannot be used for performance testing as it doesn’t give any insights and required metrics to analyze the performance.
- Code Reusability: Postman test scripts are difficult to reuse.
REST Assured is a popular tool in API Automation. It is an open-source Java library, which provides end-to-end API testing functionality. It can be easily integrated into any Java-based testing framework. Rest Assured is now sponsored by the Parkster.
Advantages of Rest Assured
- Open source: REST Assured is an open-source library, and all the features are available for free.
- Easy to validate: REST Assured tool makes it easy to validate Rest services in Java.
- BDD syntax: It supports the Gherkin syntax that is Given, When, and Then, which makes it easy to understand for anyone.
- Easy to Integrate into continuous testing: As the REST Assured is a Java library it’s easy to integrate into Continuous testing platforms.
- Data driven testing: It supports data-driven testing.
Limitations of Rest Assured
- Ease of use: REST Assured is preferred for API automation. However, it’s very difficult to use for Manual API Testing as the tool doesn’t provide any UI’s.
- Performance testing: REST Assured cannot be used for performance testing directly; it is designed for API Testing.
- Reporting: REST Assured the reporters are not available out of the box.
- Java-based library: REST Assured is a Java-based library. So, if you are using a framework other than Java language, you cannot integrate it directly.
- Technical expertise: Unlike other tools, REST Assured requires sound technical knowledge of Java to implement the framework.
SoapUI is one of the leading Open-Source API Testing tools, maintained by the SmartBear community. SoapUI can be used for automated functions, regression tests, and performance tests.
Advantages of SoapUI
- Easy to use: SoapUI provides an easy drag-and-drop feature. This doesn’t require advanced technical expertise.
- Easy to Debug: SoapUI tests are easy to debug, providing a clean user interface and debugging mechanism.
- Multiple environment support: SoapUI tests can be configured for multiple environments such as QA, staging, production, etc.
- Allows scripting: Developers/Testers can develop advanced scripts based on their needs.
- Security testing: SoapUI can be used for Security Testing, as it supports vulnerability scanning techniques.
- Performance testing: Unlike other API testing Tools, the SoapUI can be used for Performance Testing and Load testing, which helps in end-to-end performance monitoring.
Limitations of SoapUI
- Consumes memory: SoapUI consumes significant memory at a time, making it challenging to write the scripts.
- Requires technical knowledge: Not every scenario works out of the box; you often need to write complex logic.
- Limited to core features: The Ready API tool is built on top of SoapUI, which provides advanced features but requires a paid subscription.
Katalon is an all-in-one software testing tool. It is used for end-to-end testing, API Testing, Visual Testing, etc. It is a Free Proprietary tool by KMS technologies. Katalon also has paid version that provide extended features and support.
Advantages of Katalon
- Easy to use: Katalon comes with a good user interface that is easy to use and understand.
- BDD support: It supports BDD syntax, which makes it easy to understand the test scripts.
- Data driven testing: Easy to adopt the data-driven testing model.
- Hybrid testing: It supports both end-to-end testing and API testing. You can configure a hybrid framework, where a single framework can be used for multiple types of testing.
- CI/CD Pipelines: Scripts can be integrated with CI/CD pipeline.
Limitations of Katalon
- Restrictions of the free version: Katalon is a Proprietary tool, and many features are limited in the free version.
- Community support: It has a smaller user base, so there is less community support. It’s difficult to get a workaround for complicated scenarios.
- Scripting language support: The tool lacks Scripting language support.
JMeter is an open-source project. It is popular for Performance testing but can be used for API testing without hassle. It comes with its own UI, making it easy to write complicated tests.
Advantages of JMeter
- Easy to set up: JMeter is easy to set up. You just need to download the JMeter jar and start testing.
- Open source: As it is Open source, all the features are available for free.
- Powerful CLI tool: Tests can also be executed using the JMeter CLI; it provides a lot of options to users, including reports.
- Extensible: There are a lot of plugins available for the tool; you just have to download and use them.
- Multiple operating systems support: As JMeter is a Java (jar) application, it supports all the operating systems which support Java.
Limitations of JMeter
- UI glitches: JMeter UI is not smooth. Many users find difficulty while executing test scripts
- Memory consumption: JMeter consumes high memory compared to other API automation tools, so glitches are common.
- Complexity: JMeter scripting for API testing is complicated compared to other API testing tools.
Insomnia is a Free tool managed by Kong. Used for API testing, it shares a lot of similarities with Postman.
Advantages of Insomnia
- Setup: Just like Postman, Insomnia comes with an installer. You can download and install the installer and start testing.
- Easy to learn: Like Postman, Insomnia is also easy to learn; many features are self-explanatory.
- Testing support: Insomnia supports both manual and automation API testing where you can add the assertions to pass or fail the test cases.
- Plugin support: Insomnia supports creating new custom plugins that can extend your testing framework.
- Code snippet generation: Insomnia can generate the code snipped from the API schemas.
- API Responses: Insomnia responses are not just JSON or XML; it allows you to view images, PDF documents, etc.
- Inso CLI: The command line tool, helps to run the Insomnia test without any UI.
Limitations of Insomnia
- Free version limitation: Insomnia also comes with paid support, which provides a lot of advanced features, however for the free version features are limited.
- Lack of community support: The Insomnia tool is still gaining users so the community support is less compared to other API testing tools.
- Documentation: Insomnia documentation is very difficult to understand for beginners.
- Data-driven testing: Setting up the data-driven testing framework needs sound technical knowledge.
Karate is an open-source API Testing tool. Though Karate is a BDD tool, unlike other BDD tools you don’t have to write the step definitions, as it has all the common scenarios ready for you. This feature makes Karate unique and easy to use.
Advantages of Karate
- Less Coding Knowledge: Karate doesn’t need coding knowledge to start API testing. As it has step definitions ready, you can call those by defining your scenarios.
- JSON validation: Karate JSON validation feature is shipped out of the box.
- Parallel execution: Karate supports parallel execution, so the test can be executed faster by using multithreading.
- Logs and reporting: Karate provides detailed logs and reporting.
- Performance testing integration: Karate can be used for performance testing.
Limitations of Karate
- Documentation: The Karate documentation is complicated to understand
- Debugging: Karate tests are difficult to debug.
- Community support: Community support is moderate for Karate. One might find it difficult to get the solution for edge case scenarios.
- Manual testing: Karate doesn’t provide any UI for manual testers. So, using Karate for Manual testing is not easy.
Advantages of Cypress
- Setup: Cypress is easy to set up. It is shipped as a node package; you can install just like any other NodeJS-based tool.
- Out-of-the-box API testing support: Initially, Cypress was designed with end-to-end testing in mind, but today Cypress supports API testing out of the box. No external libraries are required.
- Mocking Feature: Cypress provides the most efficient mocking feature that helps test the API even before they are ready.
- Hybrid framework: Single framework can be used for Component, End to end testing, and API testing. No need to switch between the tools.
- Less maintenance: Since all your tests are in a single framework, it reduces maintenance.
- Community support: As Cypress is used by many organizations, there is good community support.
Limitations of Cypress
- Limited API testing support: Extensive API testing might require using the extensions. The in-built API testing supports only basic scenarios.
- Data driven testing: Though Cypress supports API Data driven testing, one should have the sound technical knowledge to set up the data-driven framework.
- Reporting: Cypress doesn’t provide HTML reporters out of the box; one needs to rely on third-party plugins for HTML reports.
- Performance testing: Cypress cannot be used for Performance testing.
The Playwright is Open-Source Automation Framework maintained by Microsoft. Like Cypress, Playwright is an End-to-end test automation tool, but it also supports API testing. Playwright helps to have a single framework for all different types of testing.
Advantages of Playwright
- Easy to set up: Playwright is easy to set up and doesn’t require much time.
- Mocks: Playwright supports mocking the API request, which helps to write the test before developing the API.
- Documentation: It provides clear and understandable documentation with an example, which makes it easy to start the API testing.
- Less maintenance: You can have multiple types of tests in your single framework, which reduces the maintenance of the framework.
- Reporters: Playwright provides many different types of reporters, including HTML reporters, all are shipped out of the box.
Limitations of Playwright
- No GUI: Playwright doesn’t provide any GUI like Postman or JMeter, so manual testers may find it difficult to use it.
- Technical knowledge: One needs to have strong technical knowledge to set up the Playwright framework.
- Performance testing: The framework cannot be used for API Performance testing.
- Community support: Playwright is new to the market; community support is less compared to other API testing tools.
Testsigma is a codeless automation testing tool that supports multiple testing types. It is a SaaS-based tool; you don’t have to download or install it. Testsigma comes with a Free and Paid subscription model. Unlike other tools, Testsigma free version provides a lot of features.
Advantages of Testsigma
- No Installation required: Unless you need to record the script, you don’t have to install any applications or tools to start testing.
- Easy to test: Testsigma provides a good user interface; you can start testing with basic knowledge of the tool.
- Documentation: Testsigma provides step-by-step documentation to set up your API testing project.
- Codeless automation: Manual testers can get used to the Testsigma tool easily, as everything can be done just by using UI.
- Stable and accurate: Testsigma provides stable and accurate results, tests are not flaky.
- Test management tools integration: Testsigma provides easy integration to many testing tools such as Jira, Jenkins, etc.
Limitations of Testsigma
- Need to create an account: Being a SaaS-based platform, you need to create an account with Testsigma.
- Support: Testsigma community is growing, and you might find less community support. But we have a dedicated support team, and you can always contact us.
API Testing is critical as it provides more stable and accurate results than end-to-end testing. The major problem with the API testing tool is configuration, setup, and reporting. Most API testing tools require sound technical knowledge to build a robust API testing framework. Codeless automation is the next generation in the automation space, where anyone can automate tests, with no coding skills. Testsigma doesn’t require any installation, so if you have a Testsigma account, you can create, execute and maintain the tests from anywhere online. Sign up for free today!