Automated Testing of Interactions with External Systems

Automated Testing of Interactions with External Systems

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

Testing the interactions of your platform with external servers, such as Twitter, can be challenging. This is particularly true when you lack control over the external system and cannot modify its API for testing purposes. In this article, we will explore a practical approach to automate these tests effectively.

Isolation in Testing

One of the fundamentals of testing is isolation. When dealing with internal resources, isolation is relatively straightforward since you have complete control over the environment. However, with external resources, achieving isolation requires a different strategy. Here are a few steps to consider:

  • Create dedicated test accounts on the external platform (e.g., Twitter).
  • Automate interactions using these accounts to control the environment as much as possible.
  • Verify the results by checking the interactions between these test accounts.

For instance, you could set up accounts like TestUser and TestFollower on Twitter. Automate the posting of tweets from TestUser and verify that TestFollower receives these tweets.

Using Mocks for Testing

Another effective approach is to use mocks. Mocks can simulate the behavior of the external API, allowing you to focus on whether your code interacts correctly with the API rather than the API’s availability or response times. Here’s how you can use mocks:

  • Create a mock service that mimics the external API.
  • Configure your application to interact with this mock service during testing.
  • Set up the mock to return predefined responses, simulating various scenarios.

This method reduces dependency on the actual external system and can save you from issues like downtime or rate limits imposed by the external service.

End-to-End Testing

Despite the use of mocks, end-to-end testing with the actual external system is necessary to ensure complete integration. Here are some steps to conduct end-to-end testing:

  • Use test accounts on the external platform.
  • Automate the critical paths to verify that your application interacts correctly with the external system.
  • Include manual checks if automation becomes too complex.

For example, you can automate the process of posting a tweet and verifying its presence on the feed. However, manual checks might be required to ensure the visual elements are correctly displayed.

Practical Example

Let’s consider an example where your application posts images to Twitter. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

  1. Create mock accounts on Twitter for testing.
  2. Automate the process of posting an image from one account.
  3. Verify the presence of the image on the feed of a follower account.
  4. Use mocks to simulate various API responses during unit testing.
  5. Perform end-to-end tests periodically to ensure complete integration.

By combining these methods, you can achieve a robust testing strategy for interactions with external systems.

Enhancing Your Testing Strategy with Repeato

To streamline the testing process, consider using Repeato. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, which helps you create, run, and maintain automated tests for your apps. Its computer vision and AI capabilities make it particularly fast and efficient for editing and running tests. This can be especially useful when dealing with complex interactions involving external systems, ensuring your tests are both comprehensive and easy to manage.

For more insights on effective testing strategies, you might find these articles helpful:

Like this article? there’s more where that came from!