Application integration testing is an essential part of the software development process. It involves testing the integration points between different software applications to ensure that they work as intended and that data is exchanged correctly. In order to ensure the success of application integration testing, there are a number of best practices that developers should follow with specific considerations to keep in mind.
The topics below are all part of what’s known as test-driven development (TDD) where elements of testing are taken into consideration at the start of the project. While logic suggests that all testing activities should come after development, experience demonstrates that forethought toward testing can save time and effort, particularly with regards to debugging and fixing problems during user acceptance testing (UAT).
Connectivity testing is essential when using an iPaaS. You should always test the connectivity between the applications and the iPaaS, as well as the connectivity between different applications within the iPaaS, to ensure that data is exchanged correctly. Identify and address any issues with connectivity as soon as you begin developing flows.
Map out integration flows
Before conducting any testing, it is important to map the expected integration flows between applications in the iPaaS. This written or visual plan is the result of identifying the data that needs to be exchanged, the order in which it should be exchanged, and the specific integration connectors that will be used.
Create test cases
Once you have defined the required flows, it is crucial to create test cases that cover all the possible scenarios that could occur during integration. These tests should include both positive and negative scenarios, such as testing how the system handles incorrect data or how it responds to unexpected errors. Test cases are commonly written at the requirements gathering stage of the project.
Use appropriate sample data
When conducting integration testing with an iPaaS, it is important to use sample, or mock, data that reflects real-world scenarios. The sample data helps to ensure that the tests accurately represent how the system will behave in actual use. In fact, it’s common to obtain sample data during your requirements gathering.
Running load and stress tests on the integrations is critical. The results help to identify any performance issues that could arise during actual use and address them before they become major issues. It’s important to take into account both the known (current) load, as well as build in a buffer for unknown (future) load, to strengthen the scalability of the integrations.
Security is a critical consideration when integrating applications, but it can be easy to overlook. When using an iPaaS, make sure to test security measures such as encryption, access control, and data protection. Test the integration flows with different security scenarios to look for vulnerabilities.
Automating integration testing with an iPaaS can save time and reduce the risk of human error. Automated tests can be run repeatedly and quickly, allowing developers to identify and fix any issues before they become major problems. This is especially useful during unit as well as performance testing.
Collaborate with other teams
When using an iPaaS, collaboration between different teams is essential. Partners should include the iPaaS vendor, as well as any other teams involved in the integration process, such as business application owners and users. Effective communication and collaboration can help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that any issues are addressed in a timely manner.
In summary, when using an iPaaS for application integration, it is important to follow (at least) these best practices for integration testing. By doing so, you can ensure that the integrations are thoroughly tested and that many issues are identified and addressed before they impact the business’ operations.