Identifying the best API testing tools in 2022 is a bold and challenging endeavor. But I decided the quest was worth it due to the explosion of API services in recent years and the need for robust API testing.
API testing ensures an API endpoint is capable of adequately meeting its functional goals while withstanding real-life load conditions. With thousands of public APIs available, improving their overall security, quality, and performance is imperative.
However, with so many moving parts, it can be overwhelming to figure out the right API testing tool. To alleviate your burden, I have provided a list of the 10 best API testing tools. As a bonus, I have also included a FAQ section to explain APIs and why they have become important in our digital ecosystem.
Best API Testing Tools: Comparison Criteria
This is the evaluation criteria I used in making my API automation testing tools selection:
- User Interface (UI): Is the layout clean and inviting? Does it have well-designed navigation elements that flow naturally from one related task or menu to the other? A hallmark of a good user interface is the ability to highlight important tasks in their immediate context without being obtrusive.
- Usability: API testing teams need to hit the ground running. They shouldn’t spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out how an automation tool works. So, I evaluated the level of difficulty required to learn, master, and use an automation tool.
- Integrations: DevOp and QA teams utilize myriad tools, so it’s crucial the API testing solution they choose can communicate and integrate easily with other tools they’re already using. I looked at how the API testing tool seamlessly integrates with other CI or deployment pipeline elements.
- Value for $: Here, I looked at how competitive a tool’s pricing rates are compared to others. An extraordinary testing tool should provide value for money to the customer over and beyond its price tag.
API Testing Solutions: Key Features
Test automation is no longer a “nice-to-have” luxury. Continuous testing has made test automation an indispensable, “must-have” feature in modern automation tools.
API tools that incorporate a high degree of test automation eliminate the need for constant human monitoring, while minimizing the incidence of human error.
In addition, the bar is being raised for automation testing as most tools are currently equipped with AI capabilities to detect anomalies and other hidden patterns.
DevOps teams have embraced the Agile methodology and the principle of continuous integration to constantly deploy software through the application pipeline. To keep up with this software development paradigm, API testing tools should be capable of integrating seamlessly with these CI/CD workflows and pipelines.
Reliable test coverage
An API testing tool should be robust, flexible, and expansive enough to accommodate a broad range of test coverages. It should allow QA teams to build test suits for both the functional requirements of an app, in addition to performing non-functional tests for security, performance, and usability.
Its reliability should inspire testers to trust their automatic testing units and test suites in general. While the scope of test coverage is determined by the tester, a good API testing tool should be systematic in facilitating test effectiveness and completeness.
A good API test tool should make it easy to implement and execute its workflows by supporting a wide breadth of testing environments, operating systems, scripted languages, and web browsers.
Overview of The 10 Best API Testing Tools
Here I’ll go over each tool’s use case, summary, and features and provide screenshots for a glimpse into the user interface.
QA Wolf is an end-to-end testing automation solution that comes with an expert team of QA engineers to write, run, and repeat all your critical tests. It’s as much of a ‘tool’ as it is a service, taking the burden of in-house QA work off your shoulders. They are currently used by companies like Gumroad, MainStreet, Mailchimp, Replay, and Padlet.
QA Wolf does bug testing by having their team run tests, investigate failures, and then write up a bug/issue report with repro steps, a video recording, logs, and any other data you need. You can log into the platform to view progress at any time or wait for a scheduled review session.
Key features include end-to-end test coverage, a comprehensive test plan strategy, failure triaging and test maintenance, high-quality bug reports, fast parallel test run infrastructure, and an easy-to-use app for real-time status updates.
QA Wolf integrates with tools like Stripe, Salesforce, email providers, Auth0, SMS, Github, and even more options through their flexible API.
QA Wolf has a freemium version with 100 runs per month. Paid plans cost from $40/month.
Testim is touted as the first automation testing tool to use AI and machine learning. It flattens the time used for testing by recording every action you take and can subsequently turn these into tests in a matter of minutes.
Testim allows you to create stable tests quickly, easily, and accelerate product releases. By using its machine learning algorithm, it analyzes your app and knows which actions to perform when changes are made to your codebase. Therefore, Teslim helps QA teams reduce the need and burden of tedious test maintenance.
There are several tools to automate manual testing but if their pace is too slow, with ramping-up authoring posing significant bottlenecks, then it’s time to consider Testim. Testim allows you to create the most resilient end-to-end test with fast iteration that leverages AI-powered automation.
It comes with robust debugging tools that allow testers to troubleshoot quickly and diagnose failed tests.
Testim’s Community plan is free. For its paid plans, customized pricing upon request for its Essentials and Professional plans.
Katalon Studio equips DevOps and testing teams with several features to ensure they have a robust strategy to produce well-tested applications.
It is immensely flexible, allowing you to run tests on all platforms, whether desktop, web, or mobile. It can be used on various OSs like Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Katalon also permits you to run automated tests on UI elements such as pop-ups, iFrames, overlays, and so on.
One of Katalon Studio’s selling points is that it allows you to create and reuse automated scripts without going through the arduous process of writing code. While this codeless experience is a boon for beginners, it also provides sophisticated extensions and plugins for experts.
Moreover, Katalon gives you out-of-the-box, ready-made seamless integration with DevOps pipelines and CI testing tools. These factors help to drastically reduce the time necessary to create automated scripts.
It also provides several ways to customize and enhance your test procedure to fit your application’s context. These include keyword-driven testing, page object model testing, data-driven testing, and TDD/BDD Testing.
It provides support for the command line and other execution environments. It also supports Groovy, a language that is Java domain syntax compatible.
Katalon Studios comes with a free version but it doesn’t provide support for API monitoring in any of its products. Moreover, its paid plans are prohibitively priced, with Runtime Engine and Studio Enterprise costing $1,499 USD per license/year and $1,899 USD per license/year respectively.
Smartbear is a simple, yet scalable GUI test automation tool that focuses on desktop, web, and mobile testing. These modules allow you to recreate repeatable tests easily across various platforms, environments, and multiple devices.
Smartbear’s TestComplete feature offers automated UI Testing works across a diverse range of desktop applications, whether they’re built on Windows, or designed with WPF, Java, .Net, or other software languages. It makes continuous testing a breeze by enhancing your ability to run automated tests with test scripts, along with providing record and replay capabilities.
Its ReadyAPI solution allows test engineers to accelerate API quality through web services like GraphQL, RESTful, and SOAP.
To add to its strong suite of test products, Smartbear acquired the open-source Cucumber, thereby merging the latter’s leadership in a behavior-driven development (BDD), especially among agile teams, with its expertise in test automation.
Smartbear’s TestComplete and ReadyAPI modules are expensive.
TestComplete Base offers Desktop, Mobile, and Web options; and it allows users to mix and match these according to their needs and affordability. Choosing the Desktop option alone starts at $5,438 USD. Mobile alone costs $6,158 USD, while the Web option by itself starts at $5,438 USD.
Apigee Edge allows developers to test API proxies with ease. Apigee Edge enables API architects to build these API proxies – gateways or intermediaries so programmers can rapidly develop business solutions.
It provides robust API management functionality by wrapping your API with a proxy layer. If your application lacks an Apigee, it means its API is called directly by other APIs that want to consume its services.
Therefore, Apigee Edge provides developers with several abstractions and mechanisms so they don’t have to consume the services they need directly. This provides great security implementations for APIs, so you can share services without exposing your code.
In addition to scaling and analyzing your API, Apigee Edge also provides API authentication and monetization.
Apigee Edge provides users with the flexibility of not having to use any domain-specific language but extracting response data with either XML or JSON.
Apigee’s Evaluation plan is free. For its paid plans, customized pricing is available upon request.
SoapUI is an immensely popular API tool offered by SmartBear and includes ReadyAPI and TestEngine in its product suite. However, its popularity stems from the open-source technology at its core and its array of advanced tools.
One of the main factors driving its popularity is the fact that it both supports REST services and SOAP APIs. In addition to these, SoapUI’s ReadyAPI provides end-to-end testing for widely adopted protocols like GraphQL, Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), Java Message Service (JMS), and other APIs.
With TestEngine, SoapUI enables you to run test suites at a tremendous scale and in parallel to accelerate delivery pipelines.
SoapUI is a robust cross-platform solution that allows you to engage in various testing methodologies. It is widely adopted because it covers the whole gamut of the testing spectrum, ranging from functional API testing, load testing, security, and API mocking.
SoapUI comes with a Pro version and a free, open-source version.
ReadyAPI has three modules, namely API Test Module, API Performance Module, and API Virtualization priced at $759 USD per license, $5,639 USD per license, and $1,060 USD per license respectively. They are billed annually and provide 14-day trial periods.
Subject7 makes becoming an automation expert accessible to anyone through its codeless automation. Thereby, leveling the playing field when it comes to API testing.
It is an exceptional automation tool for both technical and non-technical users in addition to reducing maintenance for QA engineers and testers. You can create easily create robust test flows with widget definitions, AJAX calls, and configuration templates across a library of over 100 hundred platforms, android, and iOS devices.
Whether it’s web or native app testing, Subject7 simplifies the process by enabling test authoring and running of sophisticated API automation tests a breeze. It incorporates a wide range of end-to-end test capabilities that encompass desktop, web applications, web services, mobile, security, load testing, and much more.
Subject7 is capable of delivering robust testing capabilities that scale adequately while providing enterprise-grade security, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud.
The adaptability of Subject7 lies in its ability to provide GUI interfaces to interact with a wide range of automated commands, at a minimum, eliminating the need to write java codes. In addition, it provides several in-built commands to perform interactions for web and desktop applications.
It uses both open APIs and native to seamlessly facilitate integration with existing Agile tooling and DevOps ecosystems.
Unfortunately, Subject7 doesn’t provide any free version or free trials for users to test out its features before deciding to make a purchase. Its Professional plan is reasonably priced, although it requires an annual subscription of $250 USD per user/month. Both its Enterprise and Private Cloud plans provide customized pricing upon request.
Hoppscotch is a free, open-source tool and API request builder. Hoppscotch provides REST API testing via a GUI API client to make HTTP requests and validate API request responses.
Incidentally, it was built as an alternative to Postman. And compared to other API frameworks, Hoppscotch has a more minimalistic, less distracting interface. Hence, Hoppscotch enables you to write test scripts with minimal distraction so requests are created faster.
For instance, Hoppscotch has a feature called Collections, which allows testers to group and save all the HTTP requests belonging to a single API endpoint together in a logical, organized manner.
Hoppscotch is an asset to API development environments because it allows developers to create HTTP requests in a logical, step-by-step manner. Especially when the API contains request objects with many layers of nested arrays and HTML objects.
Along with pre-request scripts, DevOp teams save precious time on their API development efforts. In addition to the REST services it provides, Hoppscoth also incorporates GraphQL to enable developers to retrieve descriptive data queries along with their API tests.
Therefore, Hoppscotch benefits resource-driven apps by ensuring the API is reliable and highly secure.
Hoppscotch is free but it accepts donations through PayPal and Patreon.
Postman’s abundant resources make it easy to build, test, and debug APIs together. It allows QA and DevOp teams to stay committed to favorable short release cycles in the spirit of Agile methodology and continuous testing/integration.
Postman provides templates for testers to easily create test suites by reducing the amount of time spent on coding test scripts. Its schema editor makes it possible to work with files of various sizes and formats.
Equipped with an API client that automatically detects the contents of an HTTP response body – from its format, language, and links, Postman provides a streamed and effective environment to work and accelerate API test and development.
In addition to supporting all HTTP methods, it is also possible to define complex API requests for Websockets, GraphQL, OpenAPI, and SOAP formats.
Although Postman’s vast structure can be a challenge to implement for beginners, it more than makes up for this in several ways. It saves work progress by automatically storing all your API calls in your cloud-based system. Hence, you can easily reuse them to quickly create a prototype API workflow.
In addition to all these benefits, Postman is incredibly affordable. It comes with a free version that allows you to do run-of-the-mill stuff like designing and testing APIs. Postman’s other pricing tiers are Basic, Professional, and Enterprise. These are priced at $12, $29, and $99 respectively; all are charged in USD per user/month but billed annually. However, the prices are higher when billed monthly.
Parasoft provides software engineers and DevOps with a comprehensive suite of software testing and QA platforms. It provides a range of solutions, starting from software development to testing automation that is powered by artificial intelligence.
Parasoft SOAtest simplifies the complexity of testing through visual drag-and-drop mechanisms to facilitate scriptless API Testing without writing a single line of code. It covers testing needs ranging from unit testing to functional and load testing across APIs and HTTP requests.
Unlike most API testing tools that predominantly handle REST API test cases, the Parasoft SOAtest module takes care of both REST and SOAP web services. In contrast to most automation tools, Parasoft allows you to integrate C/C++ tests into your software development environment through an IDE, in addition to containerized deployments, and CI/CD pipelines like Jenkins.
Overall, Parasoft SOAtest makes it easier to automatically enforce industry compliance, especially by its ability to early detect defects. As its name suggests, Parasoft Virtualize provides API virtualization that provides DevOps with deep insights through informative diagrams, detailed reports, and dashboards.
However, Parasoft is a bit complex to get started with but it more than makes up for that by enabling DevOps teams to implement quality assurance and security across the software development lifecycle.
Parasoft SOAtest doesn’t have any free version or free trial. Pricing is provided upon request.
10 Best API Testing Tools Summary
Freemium version (100 runs/month)
|$40/month||Check out QA Wolf|
|1000 runs/month||Check out Testim|
Free Trial for paid support services
|Free with paid support services starting at $54/month||Check out Katalon Studio|
|Check out SmartBear|
|Check out Apigee Edge|
14 Days Trial Periods
|$759/license, $5,639/license, and $1,060 /license respectively||Check out SoapUI|
|$250/user/month||Check out Subject7|
|Check out Hoppscotch|
|$12, $29, and $99 respectively; all are charged in USD per user/month but billed annually||Check out Postman|
|Check out Parasoft SOAtest|
Need expert help selecting the right Testing Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Testing Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- Sauce Labs – Automated API test generation for fast debugging on cross-browser and mobile apps.
- Apache JMeter – Ideal for testing performance both on static and dynamic resources.
- Karate DSL – The only open-source tool to combine API test automation, performance, and UI automation.
- Rest Assured – API test validation tool for Java RESTful services.
- Tricentis – No code API test solution built for everyone
Relevant API FAQs
Have a few lingering questions? Start here!
What do you think about this list?
So, these are my top picks for the best API testing tools. There are many API automation tools that do a very good job in the API testing domain. As a result, it was difficult filtering them down to the cream of the crop.
I would like to hear your opinion on the lists, including thoughts on any tool you think should have made the cut, and where the list might be improved.
In the meantime, please check out a related article on the 10 Latest Software Testing Tools QAS are Using in 2022.
Subscribe to The QA Lead newsletter or listen to any of our top-notch podcasts.
Also Worth Checking Out: CI/CD PIPELINE OVERVIEW: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT