What To Do When Chrome Drops Support For Your REST API Testing

  October 05, 2016

Recently, Google announced it will be ending support for apps in the Chrome browser on Windows, Mac and Linux.

This announcement has a significant impact for anyone interacting directly with REST APIs.  The news puts an end-of-life date to popular Chrome apps like Postman, Advanced REST Client, and Boomerang.  By July 2017, the Chrome Web Store will no longer show these apps.

If you’re a user of one of these tools, where do you turn?

One option is to buy a Chromebook, as Chrome OS devices will continue to support Chrome browser apps. This would allow you to continue to use Advanced REST Client, Postman, or Boomerang to test your REST APIs — but buying new machines for your team in order to use a single Chrome app probably isn’t the best option.

Another alternative would be to move from the Chrome app to its corresponding standalone app for testing REST APIs.  At the moment, Postman provides standalone apps for Mac and Windows.  Advanced REST Client also made an announcement that it will be publishing a standalone version in the near future.

Yet, this migration to standalone requires a few considerations.  First, to install new apps you need system permissions and clearance from your company’s IT division.  You should also consider that, going forward, the standalone app will have to manage its own authentication and web connectivity that was previously handled by Chrome.  Proxy auto-detection, web form authentication, cookie handling and support for IPv6 and HTTP 2.0 protocols will also be handled outside of the Chrome browser.

An opportunity to improve API quality

The final option is to reconsider your approach to API testing altogether.  You can easily migrate your current API tests into a different tool that can better meet your needs with API interactions. Whether you’re looking for a free, open source tool like SoapUI, or a more comprehensive platform like Ready! API, each provides an alternative to Chrome apps that will help you step up your API testing game.

Just by moving to the free version of SoapUI, you will see these benefits:

  • TestCases in SoapUI (same as Collections in Postman) allow you to string together calls for REST APIs, JDBC and SOAP. This will let you validate the backend data and any SOAP to REST migrations
  • Convert your SoapUI TestCases to a load test in a few clicks
  • Set up security tests against your API
  • Easily mock up / stub out / virtualize an API to get particular responses or start API interactions before a real API is available
  • SoapUI is available across all operating systems and your projects can be shared and run in any major operating system

If you’re really looking to get serious about API quality, Ready! API, the professional platform of API quality tools (built on top of SoapUI open source), also includes benefits like:

  • Configuring your tests against external data sources
  • Advanced reporting
  • Load testing, security testing, and service virtualization
  • Professional support and other enterprise features

Ultimately, Google’s discontinuance of support for Chrome apps is a hassle to many users that work with REST APIs. The silver lining to all this is that it provides you with an opportunity to reconsider your approach to API quality.

Your APIs are often the foundations of your architecture.  Your APIs are often externally facing and are called by other companies.  Your APIs carry an ever increasing bulk of your business logic.  Now is the time to evolve your API testing to be so much more than one-off API calls.