APIs or Application Programming Interfaces are defined interfaces which enable interactions between enterprises and applications. An API can be the primary entry point for a website and applications as well for third party integrations. They are focused towards programmable web which include web and native applications. They are a standard method of interconnecting system components. In the context of financial services, they have been referred to as game changers. Edwin Urrutia APIs are at the heart of all smartphone applications and service driven websites as they allow to acquire data from multiple sources and use them in different ways. The risks associated with application failure have a broader impact on business. Hence, the integrity of the APIs used is more important. API testing ensures its security, reliability, and performance in the business-critical applications.
The API approach is an architectural approach revolving around programmable interfaces to a set of services for different applications for different types of customers. This approach creates a loosely coupled architecture which allows a component service to have a wide range of future uses and is technology agnostic.
API implementation leads to the following benefits
Cost Reduction: APIs are a cheaper way of building applications by increasing the reuse of services. With the increase in applications the benefits are more evident.
Increase in business Agility: The ability of API integration with any technology stack, allow higher productivity for developers. Also, APIs, let the enterprise reach out a larger pool of application developers to build apps on a suitable eco-system.
Increase in Innovation and new Business Models.
Increase in consumer loyalty: Through innovation and new models, the enterprise can increase brand awareness and loyalty. These early users eventually drive the market into new directions that the enterprise in promoting.
To harness the new found support for APIs, the banking industry mostly pursues the following common strategies:
- Banks reorient the architecture towards enabling a build and replace program. Here, when new services are built as REST APIs to replace existing services.
- API leaders build cross departmental support and interest in an API strategy. New APIs are created through more collaboration between business and engineering and an API design approach is adopted that ensures internal APIs can be opened up to partners or third party providers.
- Banks build development expertise, including best practices in developer engagement to leverage external innovation with developers in the future.
A comprehensive API Testing is necessary for the vital business critical APIs and API driven applications. With APIs, a broad range of conditions and cases need to be covered. Hence automation comes to the forefront. Due to the business critical banking transactions, highly sophisticated and extensive test automation is required that provides a comprehensive set of functional test cases, reusable in a systematic manner.
Continuously evolving APIs help organizations stay ahead while responding to the business needs. These frequent changes present significant risks in quality if the test suite runs behind the evolution. Hence, the impact of the changes should be assessed and required changes should be made for updating existing tests.
As API’s are highly exposed to consumers, there is a high potential of unpredictable increase in traffic volumes. To determine the API’s performance in the event of erratic demand, it is essential to perform a thorough performance testing.
A banking API, due to its criticality has a greater surface area for attack. Hence, a multi-faceted testing strategy in essential to ensure that appropriate levels of security has been built into the application.
A financial application deals with management of monetary business processes. Using new technologies, an organization will be able to shift left in their functional testing and expose more defects with easier, faster and less expensive methods to fix them. To achieve quality objectives, the company needs to create reusable test assets that would enable exhaustive testing of the services provided. Running different test types also help to validate the API across different perspectives.