Automating and Testing a REST API
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Automating and Testing a REST API

A Case Study in API testing using: Java, REST Assured, Postman, Tracks, cURL and HTTP Proxies

About the Book

Have you ever wished that you had a worked example of how to test a REST API? Not just automate the API, but how to interact with it, using command line and GUI tools, to support your manual interactive testing. Then take your testing forward into automating the API?

That's what this book provides. A step by step case study covering:

  • How to read the REST API documentation.
  • How to tell if the application is using the API.
  • How to interact with the API from the command line with cURL.
  • Automating with BASH and Windows Command Line.
  • Sending API requests through an HTTP Proxy so you can see in detail the requests and responses.
  • How to use HTTP Proxies to create data in the application through Fuzzing.
  • Postman REST API GUI tool.
  • Automate 'under the GUI' parts of the application that don't have an API.
  • Automate the API with Java using REST Assured.
  • Build abstraction code to make your automated efforts readable and maintainable.
  • JSON and XML parsing with Serialization and Deserialization.

The book is fully supported by executable code which you can find on GitHub, and the support page for the book has sample videos showing some of the early steps in the case study in detail.

By working through this case study you will be able to interact with an API from the command line, GUI tools, HTTP messages in Proxies and with Java code.

Over the last few years, the Author has used the Open Source Tracks application as an example testing target to teach: Technical Web Testing, Automating GUIs and REST API Testing.

This book collates the preparatory work and teaching from the REST API workshops. The code from the workshops is included: for creating users, generating random data, testing basic API calls with PUT, GET, POST and DELETE.

Also the early steps of exploring and investigating the API interactively to support manual technical testing are explained in depth.

About the Author

Alan Richardson
Alan Richardson

Alan Richardson has worked as a Software professional since 1995 (although it feels longer). Primarily working with Software Testing, although he has written commercial software in C++, and a variety of other languages.

Alan has a variety of on-line training courses, both free and commercial:

  • "Selenium 2 WebDriver With Java"
  • "Start Using Selenium WebDriver"
  • "Technical Web Testing"

You can find details of his other books, training courses, conference papers and slides, and videos, on his main company web site:

Alan maintains a number of web sites:

Alan tweets using the handle @eviltester

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Introduction to APIs
    • What Is a Web Application?
    • Google Is an Example of a Web Application
    • What Is an API?
    • What Is an HTTP Request?
    • What Is a URL?
    • What Are HTTP Verbs?
    • What Is an HTTP Response?
    • What Is an HTTP Status Code?
    • What Are Payloads?
    • What Is JSON?
    • What Is XML?
    • What Are HTTP Headers?
    • What Is Authentication?
    • What Is REST?
    • What Tools Are Used for Accessing an API?
    • Example APIs
    • Recommended Reading
    • Summary
  • Introducing Tracks Case Study
    • Support Page
    • How to Use This Case Study
    • Source Code Location
    • Case Study Contents Overview
    • Why Test Tracks?
    • What Is Tracks and GTD?
    • Summary
  • Installing Tracks
    • Official Tracks Install
    • Pre-Built Virtual Machines
    • Using Virtual Machines
    • Summary
  • A Tour of Tracks
    • Why Learn the GUI If We Are Testing the API?
    • Login
    • Home Screen
    • Starred Screen
    • Projects
    • Admin
    • Basic Functions to Use and Check in the API
    • Summary
  • The Tracks REST API
    • What Is a REST API?
    • Tracks REST API Documentation
    • API Doc Examples
    • General HTTP REST Return Codes
    • Summary
  • Using a Proxy to View GUI Traffic
    • Why?
    • How?
    • Viewing Traffic
    • Implications
    • Summary
  • Using a Proxy and Fuzzer to Create Users
    • Tools
    • Capture and Resend the Create User Request
    • We Learned
    • Using OWASP ZAP Proxy
    • Capture Traffic in ZAP and Use the Fuzzer
    • Multiple Users Created
    • Quick Tip - Creating Data in a Spreadsheet
    • Summary
  • Case Study Example Using cURL on Tracks
    • What Is cURL?
    • Case Study Details
    • Installing cURL
    • Reading the Examples in Tracks Documentation
    • Try the Tracks API Examples
    • Tracks GET API Calls
    • Adding Data
    • Amending Data
    • Deleting Data
    • Additional References
    • Summary
  • Exploring the Tracks API with cURL Through a Proxy
    • Using a Proxy with cURL
    • For Debugging
    • For Exploration
    • For Simple Scope Coverage
    • Summary
  • cURL Summary
  • Exploring Tracks API with Postman REST Client
    • The GUI
    • Issue Requests
    • Postman Collections
    • Environment Variables
    • Authentication
    • Using Postman Through a Proxy
    • Recreate cURL Requests in Postman
    • Summary
  • How to Use the Source Code
    • Source Code Location
    • How to Use the Source Code
    • Summary
  • Starting to Automate
    • Why Explore First?
    • Choosing a Java Library
    • REST Assured Overview
    • REST Assured Related Reading
    • Summary
  • The Case Study Overview - Testing Tracks v 2.3.0
    • The Tools
    • Code Location
    • The Approach
    • What I Automated
    • Summary
  • The Case Study Creating Users with ‘App as API’
    • Creating a User In Tracks via the API
    • Does This Mean We Have to Stop Automating Here?
    • How to Create a User
    • ‘App as API’
    • Investigating How to Treat the APP as API
    • What Requests Do I Need?
    • How Do We Do That?
    • TracksAppAsApi
    • Login Via “App as API”
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - Create Random Users Utility @Test
    • A Utility @Test Case
    • The Main Utility @Test Method
    • Configuring the @Test User Creation Utility
    • Local Abstractions Overview
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - API Abstraction
    • Overview of the API Abstractions
    • TracksApiEndPoints Explained
    • TracksApi
    • Domain Objects
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - Sending HTTP Calls using REST Assured
    • HttpMessageSender
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - the Test Code Explored
    • What Makes It ‘test’?
    • TestEnvDefaults
    • Synchronisation
    • Synchronisation with Wait
    • TracksResponseProcessor
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - the Authentication @Test Methods Explored
    • Evolving the Authentication Tests
    • AuthenticationTest
    • Final Test
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - the Project @Test Methods Explored
    • Create Project
    • Amend
    • Delete
    • Summary
  • The Case Study - the Task @Test Methods Explored
    • Supporting Private Methods
    • Create
    • Delete
    • Summary
  • REST Assured JSON and XML Processing
    • Code Example Location
    • What Is XML?
    • What Is JSON?
    • REST Assured JSON and XML Parsing
    • XML Attributes with GPath
    • JsonPath and XmlPath
    • Parsing from File or String
    • Parsing from URI
    • Deserialization to Objects
    • Deserialization in Practice
    • Serialization in Practice
    • More Information
    • Summary
  • Summary of REST Assured
    • Adding REST Assured with Maven
    • Setting a Proxy for REST Assured
    • Sending Message with REST Assured
    • given, when, then
    • Using given to Set the Message Details
    • Using when to Make HTTP Requests
    • Using then to Process Response
    • Basic Example
    • Assertions Using body in then
    • JsonPath and XmlPath
    • Serialization and Deserialization
    • Summary
  • Suggested Exercises
    • Installation Exercises
    • Coding Exercises
    • Refactor and Expand
    • Summary
  • Future Refactoring
    • Instead of Returning a Response Object
    • What Would You Do?
    • Refactoring Resources
    • Summary
  • Conclusions and Summary
    • Next Steps
    • Reminder of the Non-Obvious
    • App as API
    • REST Assured Wrapped with Abstractions
    • Test Data Creation Through Web Scraping
    • Random Test Data Creation
    • Extensive Abstraction Creation
    • Summary
  • Appendix - Random Data Creation for v 2.3.0 Testing
    • Symbol Replacement
    • Interface TestDataRetriever
    • RandomFoodBackedDataRetriever
    • Generating a Project Name or TODO
    • Summary
  • Appendix - Other REST GUI Clients
    • Chrome Applications
    • Desktop Applications
    • Firefox Plugin
    • IDE and Editor Plugins
  • Appendix - HTTP Debug Proxy and Proxy Support Tools
  • Appendix - Creating Random Data for Tracks v 2.2.0 Testing
    • Approach
    • Scraping Data Support Classes
    • Scraping Data Code
    • Testing the Utility @Test Class
    • Setup Data with the Utility @Test Class
  • Exploring Tracks API with Postman REST Client
    • Using Postman Through a Proxy
    • Shared Cookie Jar Gotcha
  • About the Author

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