The APIs improve customization to allow web developers to access and utilize data and functionality from other applications. Through this, developers can customize the web applications and content to tailor fit the visitors. It makes the user experience more personalized and flexible. It offers the ability to unlock data and enable organizations to connect with other applications, systems, etc. While choosing an API, the organization must go through its project. Considering the necessary factors, the APIs should be integrated.
What is an API?
API (Application Programming Interface) is a software interface and a method of communication between multiple computer programs. It offers a service to other sections of the software. It enables companies to open their software’s data and functionality for third parties such as internal departments, developers, business partners, etc.
API allows products and services to communicate with each other through the help of a documented interface. The developers use the interface to communicate with services. Since the past decade, the usage of API has highly increased. Today’s web applications are not even possible without APIs.
API testing is necessary to verify and validate the system in the development cycle. When there is not a single fragment of UI, you can use the API tests to test APIs in detail. Selenium is a browser automation tool or library. It is used for testing web-based applications. It can be used for tasks that require automated browser interaction. Web APIs are the base of cloud applications. And, Selenium plays a major role in testing web and mobile applications powered by the cloud.
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How does Selenium API work?
Selenium WebDriver is known as an open-source API. It allows interaction programmatically with a browser on an operating system. Earlier, it was used to help with browser testing for web applications. It will work through API commands like GET and POST. Its function is based on the Selenium script requests. The request is sent to the HTTP server of the browser driver and the browsers through HTTP. Moreover, it is an API, not a testing framework, to open a browser drive and window using mouse and keyboard emulations.
The users will use two approaches to utilize the Selenium APIs. The first is to use the jar fines, and the other is to call the dependency in the pom.xml page. Here are the ways to use APIs in Selenium WebDriver.
- Using jar files: The developer must visit https://mvnrepository.com/ to download the jar files and add them to the project.
- The second method is to add a dependency to the pom.xml. Visit the maven repository and search for the necessary APIs which you prefer to use in the project. After getting the APIs, click on a particular API. You can click on the latest version to copy the dependency to see and paste.
Different types of APIs in Selenium
There are different types of APIs in Selenium WebDriver. Below is the list of APIs and their brief explanation.
- Excel Reader utility -APACHE POI 4.1.0
The Excel Reader utility is used for reading, writing, and performing various operations in excel files. When you want to work with these APIs, you must visit the MVN Repository. Then, you need to download the specified jar files. You can also copy the dependency and paste it into the maven project. There is a utility for Excel Reader. Using the utility, the developers can perform different excel operations.
- Log4J API
There are two types of logs to work with Selenium. The first log is called an application log with user-friendly features. The selenium log is another one related to the selenium response log and server log.
You can create a selenium log with X and 3. X versions. When you use the latest API version, you may be unable to generate the selenium or application logs. The confirmation of Log4J API is simple and easy. It consists of two APIs- Log4J 1 and Log4J 2. When you compare Log4J1 with Log4J2, Log4J1 has excellent features. Moreover, it is flexible and comfortable to use.
The first step is adding a dependency to the POM.xml file. The log file will be generated automatically when you add the dependency to the project.
- JavaMail API
JavaMail API is a third-party API that is used for automated email. This API is used to read, write and compose electronic emails. It offers a platform-independent and protocol-independent framework to send and receive mail. The javax mail activation packages and the javax mail consist of JavaMail API core classes.
You can use it during user registration to send notifications for important updates and various events. For example, to send thank you messages, forgotten passwords etc. Hence, there are multiple usages of JavaMail API.
Users must complete the JavaMail API prerequisite and add the jar files to their project. You can also add the dependency to the pom.xml. Later, the user has to create a class -MonitoringMail, to send mail.
- JDBC API
The JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) API helps connect the database and write queries to validate the results. The user will find a third-party vendor to perform a JDBC connection. For example- MYSQL, SQL, MongoDB, etc.
The user can easily connect and execute their queries with this database. This API is a part of JavaSE (Java Standard Edition). It uses JDBC drivers to connect, such as JDBC-ODBC Bridge Driver, Network Protocol Driver, Native Driver, and Thin Driver.
With this API, users can access tabular data in a relational database. Moreover, the user can update, save, fetch, and delete data from the database.
How can you secure the APIs and their integration in Selenium?
Organizations and companies have to provide enhanced security to safeguard the Selenium APIs. It is critical to support basic security best practices and controls when publicly sharing APIs. Here are the ways to secure your APIs and their integration in Selenium.
- Inventory and Manage APIs
Companies have hundreds of publicly shared APIs. You should be aware of them to secure and manage them. It is important to conduct perimeter scans to discover your APIs. Later, the developer can work with DevOps teams to manage the APIs.
- Enhanced Security
Companies must prioritize their API’s security. You can face huge losses with unsecured APIs. This is why it is necessary to make API security the foremost priority.
- Principle of Least Privilege
A foundational security principle holds subjects such as program systems, users, processes, and devices to get minimum granted access when necessary. It should be applied to Selenium APIs.
- Remove Information
APIs are automated developer tools. It consists of passwords, keys, and other information. These must be removed before the APIs are made publicly available. This step must not be overlooked. Organizations should use scanning tools to limit the exposure of secret information.
- Limit Data Expose
APIs and their integration can reveal excess data that is unsafe or must be publicly shared. Some extra data can be returned through the API or reveals unnecessary data. It happens when an API leaves the filtering task of data to the user interface. Organizations must ensure that APIs only return the information necessary to complete their function. Moreover, implement data access controls at the API level containing confidential data.
- Validate Input
Do not pass input from a Selenium API through to the endpoint. The developer has to validate the input before passing it.
- Encryption Of Traffic with TLS
Organizations sometimes do not prefer to encrypt API payload data which is non-sensitive. But, companies whose APIs regularly exchange sensitive data and information such as login credentials, banking information, credit card, social security, health information etc., must encrypt with TLS. It will provide high security to stored data.
- Strong Authorization and Authentication Solution
Poor authentication and authorization can turn into major issues for publically shared APIs. Authentication breaks when APIs don’t implement strong authentication. It happens mostly with private APIs, which are only for internal usage. Selenium APIs are an entry point or gateway to the organization’s databases. Therefore, it is strictly necessary to provide security-controlled access to them.
- Usage of Rate Limit
When the developer sets a threshold or rate limit above, the subsequent requests will get rejected. This will also prevent denial-of-service attacks.
Selenium has been a huge advantage for organizations that use APIs. Accessing and handling data and information has become easier based on the organization’s needs and preferences. In today’s generation, organizations know the benefits of APIs and their integration with Selenium.
There are immense beneficial features of using Selenium for test automation. It offers recording and playback to test web applications. Moreover, the developers can run multiple scripts in different browsers. The benefits of the Selenium automation tool hold significance in several business segments.
Archit Gupta is a Digital Marketer, and a passionate writer, who is working with MindMajix, a top global online training provider. He also holds in-depth knowledge of IT and demanding technologies such as Business Intelligence, Salesforce, Cybersecurity, Software Testing, QA, Data analytics, Project Management and ERP tools, etc.
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