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GigaOm Radar for API Functional Automated Testingv1.02

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Functional testing has been a standard part of application development for a very long time. As application programming interface (API) usage grew, the need for functional testing that focuses on the API itself grew as well. Increasingly, some projects or products are composed solely of APIs performing specific functions or accessing specific data. These APIs can’t be tested using traditional functional methods because that testing is based on user interfaces or subroutines as entry points, while APIs create a whole specification that neither of these entry points would cover.

Automation has long been key to testing adoption. Slowing deployments while a test team runs manual testing was never an option for most busy IT departments. These constraints became even more of a burden as agile development and development operations (DevOps) increased the cadence of software delivery, and by extension increased the burden of testing. Automation solves these issues, offering tools that can run test suites automatically, filter results without user input, and offer results that are manageable and actionable for both testing and development teams.

The increase in API usage combined with the growth of DevOps has driven a need for API functional automated testing. With increasing numbers of applications turned out at a faster rate, the need for quality assurance of all kinds is also increasing. The best tools in this analysis can offer testing, support for shifting testing and resolutions left, and functionality unique to API testing.

An API client that facilitates test development, for example, is relatively standard in these tools but not necessary in other functional testing toolsets. This feature can help developers and testers to develop tests interactively and save those tests for repeatable testing.

Tools in this market facilitate test-driven development (TDD) for organizations wishing to use this methodology. The tools offer the ability to use the API contract as the starting point for tests, then add test functionality as the project progresses and the code behind the contract is developed. While functional testing tools are not necessary to perform TDD, they are useful tools to have.

Application quality is important to all organizations, and today, applications are built from a collection of API calls with user interfaces overlaid to place the application on different targets. API functional automated test tools help ensure the quality of the underlying APIs and to increase stability and quality of the application regardless of where it is deployed.

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key API functional automated testing vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating API Functional Automated Testing Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.