How Insufficient API Testing Can Impact Your End Users
October 24, 2017

Sven Hammar
Apica

Share this

We have seen Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) emerge as a new engine for digital business transformation, tying into many parts of organization including new product innovation and the prospect of new partnership integration. In creating effective API-centric architectures, companies are breaking free from the tedium of monolithic design so that different teams can work independently to quickly produce new offerings to keep pace with market innovation. And, as APIs are increasingly published so that applications can easily make processes available to other applications, there's a world of new opportunity open to every business with the appetite and ability to capitalize on the API economy.

According to Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Kristin R. Moyer, "The API economy is an enabler for turning a business or organization into a platform." It's a positive message for platform-based businesses that are experiencing accelerated digital transformation fueled by successful API management, but it's one that should also come with a warning: given APIs' essential role in driving innovation, there is should be more focus than ever on ensuring APIs are tested properly so that they deploy and function properly.

This blog will take a look at end users – the people waiting for your websites or applications to load, and the effects insufficient testing may have in terms of site abandonment, loss of brand loyalty, and turning to a competitor's solution.

Digital Desertion: Consumer Survey Results

Now more than ever, every second counts in the online world. Slow rendering time and digital disappointment will often drive consumers to a competitor's offerings. Apica recently conducted a survey with research agency 3Gem in an effort to better understand consumers and how they are interacting with websites and apps. We surveyed 2,500 web and app users in the US, UK, and Sweden to explore their expectations regarding digital experiences and to uncover exactly what would impact their opinion of brands.

Start with Poor Website and App Performance Results in Digital Desertion to learn more about the survey results.

On average, 83 percent of consumers in all markets are affected negatively by poor website or app performance. While around half of respondents say they lose patience and are somewhat negatively affected by page loading delays, over 35 percent of respondents say they abandon poor performing sites and apps quickly – often abandoning a site in 10 seconds or less. The survey also identified that 75 percent users expect webpages and apps to load faster than they did three years ago.

These alarming statistics are often born out of great web functionality expectations gone wrong. With APIs driving much of the new functionality on today's e-commerce driven sites, thorough testing has become more important than ever before. With API testing you can cover both internal APIs as well as external. The mix is what the user will experience when he or she is trying to complete a transaction.

Done properly, API testing will minimize deployment issues and catch performance issues earlier in the development cycle.

Validating APIs can be automated to a large extent and should be performed for every release. The secret lies in performing validation constantly for all code and infrastructure changes. Validating third parties is also a constant headache, as they do not always inform you about changes. You should not of course abandon conventional UI testing; but for performance and uptime, API testing will deliver more bang for the buck.

Done properly, API testing will minimize deployment issues and catch performance issues earlier in the development cycle; this is much easier to fix versus catching issues the day of the release.

Make sure that your test tool/vendor provides support for security tools as well as modularized selection of data. It is a big plus is if the test scripts are reusable for monitoring, ideally updated via API from the build engine.


What Does This Mean for Your Business?

Apica's survey results affirm that consumers are more demanding and less forgiving when it comes to website and app performance, and businesses should heed the warning. With three-quarters of users expecting sites and apps to perform faster than they did three years ago, businesses must recognize that they need to manage the peaks and troughs of online traffic and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences.

The survey also highlights "Digital Desertion" syndrome; if users are disappointed by their digital experience, they often move over to competitors' websites – leaving your site for one that provides a better digital experience. The revenue and brand impact is further impacted by the new reality that nearly 4 in 10 consumers indicate they would likely share a poor online experience with friends or colleagues.

There is nothing to dispute — negative digital experiences are likely to have an impact on brand reputation and loyalty.

Today, websites and apps are integral as a consumer-facing part of your business. The pressure is on companies to continuously monitor and optimize their online performance to ensure they deliver a digital experience that meets today's user expectations. This means taking a proactive approach in the development lifecycle by conducting comprehensive performance testing aimed at ensuring the user experience in production and optimal monitoring capabilities to respond to issues in production before they impact the user experience. Don't leave your revenue, brand and customer experience to chance.

Sven Hammar is Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Apica
Share this

The Latest

May 21, 2020

As cloud computing continues to grow, tech pros say they are increasingly prioritizing areas like hybrid infrastructure management, application performance management (APM), and security management to optimize delivery for the organizations they serve, according to SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2020: The Universal Language of IT ...

May 20, 2020

Businesses see digital experience as a growing priority and a key to their success, with execution requiring a more integrated approach across development, IT and business users, according to Digital Experiences: Where the Industry Stands ...

May 19, 2020

Fully 90% of those who use observability tooling say those tools are important to their team's software development success, including 39% who say observability tools are very important ...

May 18, 2020

As our production application systems continuously increase in complexity, the challenges of understanding, debugging, and improving them keep growing by orders of magnitude. The practice of Observability addresses both the social and the technological challenges of wrangling complexity and working toward achieving production excellence. New research shows how observable systems and practices are changing the APM landscape ...

May 14, 2020
Digital technologies have enveloped our lives like never before. Be it on the personal or professional front, we have become dependent on the accurate functioning of digital devices and the software running them. The performance of the software is critical in running the components and levers of the new digital ecosystem. And to ensure our digital ecosystem delivers the required outcomes, a robust performance testing strategy should be instituted ...
May 13, 2020

The enforced change to working from home (WFH) has had a massive impact on businesses, not just in the way they manage their employees and IT systems. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, enterprise IT teams are looking to answer key questions such as: Which applications have become more critical for working from home? ...

May 12, 2020

In ancient times — February 2020 — EMA research found that more than 50% of IT leaders surveyed were considering new ITSM platforms in the near future. The future arrived with a bang as IT organizations turbo-pivoted to deliver and support unprecedented levels and types of services to a global workplace suddenly working from home ...

May 11, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world. From augmented reality advanced analytics to new consumer solutions, IoT and the cloud are together redefining both how we work and how we engage with our audiences. They are changing how we live, as well ...

May 07, 2020

Despite IT professionals' confidence in their ability to support today's much greater dependence on digital services, there is a rise in application performance errors reported by more than half of consumers, according to the Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Transformation survey from xMatters ...

May 06, 2020

The new normal includes not only periodic recurrences of Covid-19 outbreaks but also the periodic emergence of new global pandemics. This means putting in place at least three layers of digital business continuity practice ...