An Introduction to Server Testing
What is Server Testing?
Server testing verifies that the services you need to develop your apps are working as intended. A testing suite includes a number of test cases that demonstrate not only what is working correctly, but what works when it shouldn’t, for example logging in without a password or requesting another user’s secure data. The server should handle every one of the test cases properly.
Server testing is typically done by writing and running scripts, making it a type of automated testing.
Why Should You Test Services?
There are many advantages to server testing that justify the initial time investment required for developing testing suites.
Engineers become more knowledgeable about the structure and flow of the service
When your team understands the services and how they are supposed to function, they are able to make observations and ask questions that expose flaws immediately, rather than further into the project. This helps to reduce bugs and speed up development.
Tests can point out the flaws of the service before developer work is started
Without server testing in place, developers have to spend time locating where the issue is. Did it originate on their end? Is it a service issue? With server testing scripts, this can be identified immediately which eliminates uncertainty. As a result, the cause of the issue can be discovered and corrected without time-consuming, manual debugging. Additionally, server testing can be conducted asynchronously, which can ultimately save time and money.
Tests can identify changes faster than manual testing on the working app
Scripts are much, much faster than manual testing, taking a matter of seconds (depending on complexity). They can also test a much wider breadth of cases and are more consistent, assuming that they are written effectively.
Additionally, they allow teams to identify changes made to the services much more quickly. In some cases, services and other facets of the projects will be worked on simultaneously. Because you can see what was changed and when it was changed, if there are issues you can easily identify if services are the culprit.
Both QA and developers become less frustrated
Finally, server testing just makes things easier on your team, letting them do their jobs more efficiently. There is less confusion, less time spent trying to identify where the issues, less time spent trying to manually debug, and the blame is directed at the source of the issue.
Things to Keep in Mind With Server Testing
Developing testing suites takes time – It takes time to write the scripts, but it will save your team a lot of time (and headaches) in the long run.
Maintenance takes time – It takes time to maintain the scripts if things change; for example, if a new call is added, you would need an additional script to test it.
You need documentation – In order to be able to write the scripts, you will need the appropriate services documentation (this is something you would need this for development anyway)
The more cases your tests cover, the more valuable they are.
The benefits of server testing are clear from both a business and development perspective. It is well worth the initial time investment to help your team complete projects more efficiently, speed up development, and ultimately ship better products.