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How To "Increase The Quality" Of Your APIs

SmartBear Software has released a new product designed to test and monitor the quality of Application Programming Interfaces and web services. API Complete is intended to help development shops "increase the quality of the APIs" that they do select and deploy.

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Here's the rationale: More Agile in active usage can mean that interconnections between developers and operations staff become increasingly fragmented — a problem which is further compounded by increasingly disparate, disconnected, geographically displaced teams. Put simply, we need to drill down into more granular analysis of application components wherever possible.

To this end, Gartner analyst Eric Knipp recommends treating a public web API as "a key component of your web strategy", not merely as a bolt-on to an existing project. Thus the API gets managed with the same care a firm would typically afford to its enterprise web presence.

According to SmartBear's Ian McLeod, the speed and availability of web services are a crucial component of the larger end-user experience delivered by web applications — but, until now, development and operations teams had to use disparate toolsets for testing and monitoring.

"API Complete combines the soapUI API testing tool, loadUI for load testing, and AlertSite, SmartBear's web performance monitoring solution and global monitoring network into an integrated framework for API lifecycle quality management. Using common test scripts and validation assets, API Complete helps development, IT operations, and e-commerce teams ensure that APIs are thoroughly tested pre-deployment and performing well for end-users or business partners around the world once in production," said McLeod.

NOTE: Web APIs are generally agreed to be "growing exponentially" and are required for mobile and social applications, as well as for new forms of e-commerce that combine web services and contextual information. To ensure their quality, says SmartBear, it is now critical to conduct meticulous functional and load testing during pre-deployment to identify and resolve problems early, as well as continuous monitoring and regression testing post-deployment to ensure ongoing quality of service and availability.

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