Why is the Browser and API Testing Shift Left?

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Quality assurance and software testing are the key areas of the software development phase. The current scenario is that the software development lifecycle (SDLC) demands integrating testing simultaneously with development. To assess the quality of test codes with ease, teams find it easy to execute testing soon after the development stage across the CI/CD pipeline for better quality checks. It is referred to as shift left testing.

Shift left, initially conducted at the end of the software development lifecycle, is now executed simultaneously in each stage of development (testing comes to the left of the development stage in the workflow process). This technique is becoming exceedingly popular and driving the growth of DevOps and other modern development techniques.

Testing is introduced in the early stage of the product development lifecycle, which allows the team to detect potential bugs, improve brand affinity by building products that customers desire and save time and money for their organizations. After the developers added the end-to-end browser and API testing to CI/CD pipelines, the scope of testing and quality assurance practices have extended.

What is Browser testing?

Browser testing is a type of non-functional testing that validates the performance of a code on different browsers. In addition to this, browser testing also checks how test codes interact with essential data sources. By introducing browser testing to the early stage of the development process, the developers have added another layer of quality testing to check the code compatibility across different browsers. The QA practices are reformed with the addition of browser testing along with other shift-left testing techniques such as unit and security testing in CD/CI pipelines.

The key areas that are analyzed in browser testing

  1. Browser testing validates the basic functionality to ensure that most of these work on different browser combinations. The functionalities such as dialogue boxes, menus, the input fields in the forms, website handling first-party cookies, and seamless touch inputs for mobile and tablets are validated by browser testing.
  2. The website designer chooses a uniform design such as applications fonts, images, and layouts. The team executes browser testing to ensure that the design elements appear the same as the design shared before the execution of the step. 
  3. The team executes browser testing also to check if it meets the accessibility criteria. The account must be compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and accessible to all users with ease.
  4. Browser testing also validates the website responsiveness. The design team ensures that the website design seamlessly adapts and fits the different screen sizes and orientations.

What is API testing?

API testing is a software testing type where we test functionality, securityperformance, reliability, accessibility, usability, and API attributes of an Application Programming Interface (API). API is a group of codes or collective codes replicating an interface between two computers. With the help of API, organizations can deploy external systems with their existing programs and extend the verification and computing services beyond the purview of the programs.

Let us start with an understanding of what the Application Programming Interface is. An application is integrated with many data, and how users can access these data through communication with the application interface. Now consider that an organization wants to deploy an external system with their existing one to extend services through other channels; API makes this process effortless.

This connected program and framework need an adequate assessment and verification. Organizations conduct testing at the API level to focus on assessing the business processes, application security, and data responses. As API testing is ideal for DevOps and the continuous testing process, the development and QA teams use and automate it.

API testing is important

API testing is an integral part of the Agile software development process, which needs to incorporate feedback immediately for a smooth process flow. The User Interface or UI testing is inadequate for validating API service functionality and fails to cover necessary aspects of back-end testing. It may lead to the rewriting of innumerable codes, often causing a delay in the product release and a rise in the cost of production. If not detected earlier, it may also result in bugs going unnoticed within the server or unit levels.

API and Unit tests are easy to maintain and effective, and organizations prefer them over other tests. Tests like the GUI test are hard to keep up with the pace of frequent changes in an Agile environment and require continuous reworking.

The developers can begin with API testing early in the development cycle. It allows the developers to resolve the bugs before they become a critical issue. API testing allows the development team to provide improved services and products to their customers. Incorporating API testing into the Agile methodologies can help engineering and development teams to improve the entire development lifecycle and provide outstanding quality products and services to their customers.

The key areas that are analyzed in API testing

The key areas that are analyzed in API are the responses of,

  • Reply time
  • Quality of data
  • Confirmation of authorization
  • HTTP status code and
  • Error codes

Benefits of API testing

  • API testing ensures that the connection among the shared platforms is accessible, reliable, and safe.
  • API test automation is faster and cost-efficient as it requires less code than automated GUI testing.
  • API testing helps developers identify errors in the early development stage and fix the issues before the product release. Developers can access the app to discover the grey areas early without a user interface, allowing them to save time and money.
  • API tests use JSON or XML, and it contains HTTP requests and responses, making them independent of language criteria.
  • API tests analyze applications of harmful codes and breakages. It protects applications by removing all possible vulnerabilities.
  • API tests can be easily integrated with GUI tests before performing the latter. API tests allows to integrate new users to facilitate the testing process.
  • API tests help in analyzing the non-functional tests like security and performance testing as well.

How are both “shift left testing”?

Before we investigate how the browser and API testing is shift-left testing, let us understand what shift-left testing is? Shift-left testing is also defined as “Early and Often” because it analyses the functional aspects of the product at the early stage of the Software Development Lifecycle.

It is easy for the development and testing team in the agile framework to detect the issues early rather than putting them up for the later stage of the software development lifecycle. DevOps executes comprehensive end-to-end automation to enhance product accuracy and efficiency. But, there are other essential functional and non-functional aspects of software testing that need consideration but often go unnoticed.

API testing and browser testing are the perfect examples of shift-left testing, which needs serious consideration to validate the overall quality of the software. By including browser testing and API testing, the production team combines all functional and non-functional aspects into CD/CI pipelines and Continuous testing in a cost-effective and time-effective manner. It helps in reducing operational expenses and maintaining high-quality standards with greater ease. 

API and browser testing is introduced in the agile workflow early during the software development lifecycle and simultaneously runs along with integrationuser acceptance, performance, security testing and more. Testing of unit and element can be done separately and integrated with the product during assembling. The practice does not just enhance the product quality but also helps in reducing time, money, and effort. 

Developers verify end-to-end workflows by combing HTTP requests and API calls through API tests. It helps the team validate all the layers of their systems from worldwide locations. Often there can be changes in the UI features that can affect the application performance on the website. The users validate complex navigation with the help of browser testing to ensure that no changes should hamper the application performance and look. It captures user view early at the development stage. 

Tests like API and browser are “shifting left” to earlier stages of the development process to maintain the rapid development pace. Companies are moving towards leveraging CI/CD practices to ensure that the codes are ready to be deployed. By taking the API and browser codes through the CD/CI pipelines, developers can analyze the product compatibility with different browsers. It can also help in detecting bugs earlier in the development cycle.

Running browser and API tests in your CI pipelines can help the teams to compare the tests with data from different stacks like the front end, back end, application, and infrastructure. They will be able to detect and troubleshoot failed tests during the development stage that boosts the QA process and development lifecycle.

Shifting browser and API testing to the left are considered the best option. By doing this development team can monitor any fundamental changes immediately before the final code goes live. It will also help in improving an organization’s business and operational activities.

Conclusion

We follow an agile methodology and framework in Yethi. We have a well-structured and planned environment for continuous testing. Our codeless test automation platform, Tenjin, is a plug-and-play banking-aware solution that is easy to integrate and learn. Tenjin’s robotic capabilities enable to learn and adapt to the application and its updates. Regardless of the complexity and number of updates, Tenjin facilitates continuous testing, minimizing the manual effort and speeding up the test execution, thereby helping you launch your product early in the market.

Our testing solution allows you to test your software at the beginning of the development stage. Testing is executed simultaneously with the development process so that you can test as you build. Tenjin covers comprehensive end-to-end testing, ensuring you have the quality codes and the product.