SmartBear Software, a provider of software quality tools for developers, this week announced new API testing and building solutions that enable developers to find bugs faster and to simplify API design.
SmartBear’s new Ready! API TestServer is an automated API testing solution aimed at Agile and DevOps teams that are tasked with turning out new software faster. The emergence and growth of the API economy, where businesses are using and sharing APIs to put together applications more quickly, calls for new solutions. Despite the faster pace of development, enterprises cannot skimp on quality.
“APIs have become a fundamental building block to many new technologies—Web, mobile, Internet of things, enterprise integration, big data and more,” Paul Bruce, API product marketing manager at SmartBear, told eWEEK. “It is critical that they are designed and built quickly and as defect-free as possible, which is why we provide SwaggerHub and Ready! API to an increasingly mixed audience of developers and professional testing engineers.”
SmartBear’s Ready! API TestServer enables developers to build and execute tests to validate APIs. And they can use tools they are comfortable with to create test “recipes” that can be used for testing after each build, Bruce said.
“We provide a rich set of tools for engineers to create reusable tests,” Bruce said. “Those tests can be run by other team members or as part of a continuous integration or automated deployment strategy. We provide a few different ways to create these tests, suiting the preferences of both developers who love to code via Ready! API TestServer or via our graphical Ready! API desktop tools. These tests go beyond the basic unit tests that developers use to test their code after the build process.”
The product also automates both unit and functional testing with real data.
“Real data in functional and unit tests often exercises different logical paths in your API code,” Bruce said. “Using a realistic set of data for testing often exposes issues that impact other data caching mechanisms and hardware resources, particularly in databases and proxies, that wouldn’t otherwise be exposed by static, one-off testing. Data is part of every modern system, so testing without it is like only asking half a question and expecting a proper answer.”
SmartBear Eases API Building, Testing With New Tools
SmartBear Ready! API TestServer also enables developers to express tests as code and execute parallel testing processes on a consolidated set of resources.
According to Gartner’s Market Guide for API Testing and Service Virtualization, “The need for API testing and service virtualization is becoming increasingly important as IT organizations develop bimodal capability to support mobile, digital business transformation initiatives and the Internet of things (IoT). The rapid adoption of agile and SOA-based [service-oriented architecture based] solutions to support business agility demands that development and test organizations change approaches and tools to drive a broader, more accurate view of complex system quality.”
Also this week, SmartBear announced an upgrade to its SwaggerHub platform for developers to collaborate on APIs throughout the lifecycle of the API. The new SwaggerHub Domains feature helps simplify API design. It also supports larger API design teams and enables users to centrally manage APIs better.
“SwaggerHub Domains allow you store a collection of reusable components, artifacts common to the design process like models, paths, parameters and responses, then reference them from multiple API definitions,” Bruce said. “It saves people a lot of time and keeps from copy-and-paste problems across API designs.”
As a repository for managing shared components, SwaggerHub has more than 3,800 APIs and is used by over 70 organizations.
Meanwhile, last week, SmartBear announced the results of its “The State of API 2016” survey. The company conducted a global online survey over the course of two weeks in January. The findings are based on the aggregated responses from over 2,300 software developers, testers, IT/operations professionals, and business leaders representing more than 50 different industries and 104 different countries.
Among the highlights of the study are that one in five application programming interface providers began providing APIs within the last two years. Nearly two-thirds of API providers support mobile; one in five supports IoT. And nearly three-quarters of API providers deliver both internal and external APIs.
Moreover, mobile, IoT, enterprise integrations, digital security and microservices are the top-five technology areas expected to be key drivers of future growth, the survey showed.
Indeed, the rapid growth of the API industry is expected to accelerate even more with mobile and IoT driving future growth. Just over half (54.1 percent) of API providers say mobile is the technology that will drive the most growth in the API industry over the new two years, and 44.4 percent said IoT will drive the most API growth.