Digging in with SmartBear's API Tools

In the first two posts of this series, I gave an overview of how APIs come into play when building mobile solutions and emphasized the need to test and monitor the third-party APIs that are integrated into your code. After reading those posts, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that SmartBear provides some awesome tools for API quality:

  • SoapUI - The world leading API testing tool supports both functional and security testing of APIs – and it also allows you to create simulations of third-party APIs. SoapUI is available both as a free (open-source) version and as a commercial version with extra cool features (including data-driven testing) and the worlds nicest support team.
  • LoadUI - The world leading API load-testing tool; also available in both free/open-source and commercial flavors – LoadUI reuses functional tests created in SoapUI for complex and massive performance testing scenarios.
  • AlertSite API Monitoring – Re-uses your SoapUI functional tests and runs them as production monitors from over 80 locations in the world, including over mobile networks to get the right latency and bandwidth for performance measurements

Let’s fit this all together:

smartbear-api-tools

As you can see,

  • SoapUI is the core API testing component; you use it for creating functional and security tests
  • LoadUI reuses SoapUI tests for load testing
  • AlertSite API Monitoring reuses SoapUI tests for functional and performance monitoring of both your APIs and any 3rd party APIs you may depend on.

Hey wait – what happened to Mobile?

As you might have noticed, much of what I mentioned throughout this series wasn't really specific to mobile solutions, but applicable to any kind of APIs used for any kind of client device (which is the whole idea behind APIs anyway). So, was the title of the original post just a scam to get you interested so I could praise the greatness of our tools? Well – partially, perhaps – but there are a number of mobile specific aspects to API testing that need to be highlighted:

  • Users of mobile applications are much more impatient than web users; the performance of your APIs is crucial and needs to be assessed continuously. Make sure you keep bandwidth requirements to a minimum by choosing data-formats and protocols accordingly.
  • In the same line of thought; indirect integration of 3rd party APIs is preferred to keep bandwidth and client complexity down; be sure to test and monitor these APIs in production to detect any problems before the users of your mobile application do.
  • Often mobile applications will consume your APIs using a mobile carrier – our API Monitoring solution can use these carriers for its monitors giving you a realistic view of your API performance.

Final Words

So that’s it – my blog series is complete and you’re all set for mobile API success! Now all you have to do is head over to our API Testing products’ websites to learn more about their features, watch some videos and demos, and be sure to download the free versions or commercial trials to give them a spin. Nothing can stop your APIs now.

Thanks for your time!

/Ole Lensmar

SmartBear Chief Architect

See also:

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