Sunday, October 9, 2016

API Testing -- A Web API transforming to be the RESTful API and Web Services

After knowing lines behind in birth of the REST, I will move on to know more about the Web API and what does the REST architectural style have to contribute for it.

What is a Web API ?

I keep it simple as this -- The application programming interface available to facilitate the service to the needed client (also server) over the Web. It provides the interface to data and service methods for who are in need of it.

Note: Refer this comment to have short briefing about what is an API.

Here is what MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) says and Micrsoft Developer Network say about it.

What is a Web Service ?

Web services are web servers built on specific purpose which supports the needs of a site or other applications.  The client program will use the APIs to communicate with the web services.  The API will expose data and functions to facilitate communication between the applications by allowing them to exchange the information. For example, the payment gateway page opening to Net Banking channel and taking to the login page of the chosen bank, is via API offered by that banking web service. So the credit card payment and debit card payment too.

Here is how, the client, API and web services placement look in general.
{ Client } < - - -  request and response - - - > { ( Web API ) <---->( Web Services ) }

REST API - Is this right way of calling it ?

The design of Web APIs adhering to the REST architectural style for having the access to the web services and it's technologies, is called to be REST API.  But the question is, should I call the REST as an API ?  

No, the REST is the architectural style for the Web and a concept; it is not an API.  An API having these essence of REST is called by name REST API.  

Personally, I feel, the right way of calling it being a Software Testing practitioner is,

  • REST conforming APIs
  • or, APIs conforming to REST architectural style

What is RESTful API ?

An API is beneficial and usable, when there is a web service in back which is reliable and accurate to it's purpose.  If there is no web service as this, then API is still a gateway but not serving the actual purpose for which the API is used.

The web service becomes more powerful with the APIs conforming to the REST architectural style. When this happens, it will be RESTful Web Services.  In other view, the APIs having this efficiency is also RESTful by conforming to it's standards and practice.

Next in this blog series
  1. Usually in the Web API testing !?
  2. The "not thought about" in RESTful API testing

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, do write your comment on the read information. Thank you.