Web Services Testing: How To Test And Automate?

Web Services ensure communication between two systems on the internet, and testing them ensures that the communication is right. Go through this guide to understand the various nuances and intricacies of testing these web services.
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The internet is a mesh of networks. It consists of multiple systems of varying types and OS running together and exchanging information. And they use web services to ensure a smooth data flow between these machines. We are going to understand web services testing, which checks if your web service is reliable and working properly.

Here’s your guide to knowing web services and their testing better.

What is a Web Service?

Web services are a collection of standards or protocols that facilitate communication between two devices/applications over a network. They are a set of open functions that allow data exchange and information flow between systems irrespective of their backend and the underlying structure. It connects the client-server with the application server.

All software programs use web services through several programming languages running on various OS platforms to facilitate a smooth and easy data transaction. In simple words, any software, application, or cloud-based platform that uses standard web protocols, such as HTTP and HTTPS, to interact across the internet is called a web service.

There are two types of web services: SOAP and REST.

SOAP

SOAP is Simple Object Access Protocol. It is a message protocol distributed elements of an application use to communicate. You can carry SOAP over various standard protocols, including the web-related Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

REST

REST is Representational State Transfer. It refers to a set of specific rules that directs how web services should communicate with each other over the network. RESTful APIs follow these rules.

What is the Difference Between Web Services and APIs?

While it may seem like web services and APIs are the same, this is not true.

Web services are a set of standard protocols and functions which online systems use to communicate. However, APIs are software interfaces that enable two applications to communicate without involving any users. Simply, all web services are APIs, but the vice versa is not true.

An example of this is accessing flight/train details on an aggregator site, such as Cleartrip. This application shows information about multiple airline brands. In contrast, if we go to check an airline like spicejet’s website, we will only see details for spicejet flights. Here, Cleartrip, a third-party travel website, pulls information a web service that provides information about the various flights. Here, this web service is the same as API.

On the other hand, APIs don’t require a network to communicate. Two applications on the same device can transfer data via APIs without a network.

What is Web Service Testing?

Web services testing refers to verifying the transfer of data between two servers on the internet. The process involves validating the web services for functionality, reliability, performance, and security. And like every other test, you can either take the manual route or automate the test cases as per your need.

For automation, Testsigma is a no-brainer tool that you can use to automate all your web, mobile, and API testing. We will discuss automating web services testing and the tools, including Testsigma, that you can use. Other popular tools include SoapUI and Postman.

Why is Web Service Needed?

Many online applications today use web services. That is because they rely on the request-response principle to function. Users send a request for data and receive a response from the application accordingly, which they can understand.

Now, if you want to build an application that displays a weather forecast or shows the running status of a train, you don’t need to start from scratch. Instead of developing the software, collecting data, and processing the information yourself, you can use existing play-and-plug services within your application.

So, if you want to display the running status of trains in your application, use the already available service in the market, buy it from the people who own it, and embed it within your application. You can call this web service within your software application via SOAP or HTTP protocol. A real-life example is Google Maps, used by cab-services apps such as Uber. Other examples include financial services platforms, such as Groww and ETMoney, which access stock information from the finance market.

Here are some of the more reasons why web services are important:

  • HTTP requests invoke web services. And once it exposes your code on the network, other applications can use the services provided by you within your software.
  • Web services allow multiple different applications to talk to each other and share data over the network.
  • They use a standardized protocol for communication; it offers businesses a wide range of choices, including lower costs for using the existing services and better quality.

When to Automate Web Services Testing?

We have a few instances of when you should automate your web services testing:

  • Go for automation when you are in need of test cases that you can reuse. Automation helps carry out efficient testing and remove redundancies in executing the same test cases repeatedly.
  • When your budget and resources are limited, you can choose automation testing as a cost-effective way to test the application in less time.
  • Automation testing is the right choice when testers want to verify the accuracy of web services in varying conditions and environments. It checks if they are performing well under certain traffic loads or are not sending corrupt/wrong responses to a request.
  • Automating web services helps QAs to isolate and test one particular aspect of the web service, such as load, performance, API, and more. This process makes identifying and fixing the issues easier as you know exactly where the problem resides.

But to start and continue with automation, you need the right tools that support web service testing and allow you to run the test cases easily. Testsigma is a cloud-based, AI-powered test automation tool that provides web, mobile, and API testing for all your testing needs. It is a no-code platform, so you won’t have to spend time and effort coding the test cases. Our NLPs offer testers the option to write test cases in English and run them with just a few clicks.

We will explore more features of Testsigma in upcoming sections. It will help you understand why Testsigma should be your go-to for web services testing.

How to Test a Web Service?

You can use two ways to test a web service: manual or automation. But in both cases, you will first need to follow the below steps:

  • Understand the WSDL file that contains all the information about the web service
  • Understanding the operation of the web service that you would be testing
  • Determining the request format that we would send to the application
  • Get to know the web service response as per our request
  • Use a tool to send the request and validate the response (follow this when you are automating the web services)

Because web service testing focuses on the format, it is much easier to do when a tool is used. When the test is to be repeatedly executed, it makes sense to automate these tests.

With Testsigma, you can automate test cases for REST APIs testing in just a few minutes. All you need to do is enter the endpoint, select the method, add headers, set the status code, and run the test. With our tool, you can:

  • Validate different REST API methods (GET, PUT, POST, DELETE, HEAD) separately or in one integrated test to ensure comprehensive test coverage.
  • Verify multiple scenarios with various data sets without changing the test script every time.
  • Store and reuse API responses by automatically capturing specific run-time data.
  • Set up tests to run automatically as part of your CI/CD pipeline with our native integrations.
  • Receive detailed insights into the status of your tests with detailed logs, screenshots, and more.

REST API Methods

The image shows the different REST API methods (GET, PUT, POST, DELETE, PATCH) that can be tested using Testsigma.

Testsigma is a test automation tool that offers multiple benefits to testers in the form of no-code testing. You can test all types of Rest APIs with our API tool, such as GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE. You can understand more about the features of automated API testing with Testsigma here.


Web Testing Services Terminology

Every tester should know the common terminologies of web testing services.

Request and Response

Request refers to the input given to a web service by a user. The response is the output received from the web service.

Message Exchange Format

It refers to the format of the request and response messages. Two of the popular formats are JSON and XML.

Service Providers and Clients

Providers host the service, and clients are the ones using the web service. One example of this would be you using another web service to display the weather forecast on your application. You will be the client; and the web service will be the provider. The real life instance is pulling videos off of YouTube. Many websites display tutorial and demo videos on their web page. Most of them embed Youtube links on their own website instead of deploying their own video-playing and sharing feature.

Transport

It refers to the way a service is called. HTTP and MQ (message queue) are the most common ways to call a web service.

Summary

A web service is are a set of standards or protocols for communication between two devices over a network. They use the request-response duo for smooth interaction, where the former refers to calling a web service, and the latter refers to its reply. Testing these web services is imperative to keep the flow of data and communication intact over the internet among millions and billions of web services.

Web service testing can be done via manual or automation efforts. While manual needs more attention and time, automation simply requires the skill to understand the tool and the web service. Many web service automation tools are available; some are code-based, and others are low or no-code automation tools. Testsigma is a no-code test automation tool that provides web, mobile, and API testing with high test coverage. It offers HTTP request-response validation and API testing without the need to code. You can easily write the test cases in plain English, run them, and record the results on the platform.

For more information, you can always book a demo with us or visit our website.

Frequently Asked Questions