What is API Mocking?
To mock is to copy or imitate data with API is called API Mocking. These Mock APIs provide predefined API responses for Client applications. Say for Example, just think of an application that has a database. We may want to create a mock API for that database that returns example data representations. So that, we can take a handful of common data objects from the database and place them into a mock API.
Using the Mock APIs Developers and client applications can interact in the same way they interact with the real APIs. But here, “mocks” do not provide authentic interactions this is the common drawback faced while using mocks APIs.
Why Should We Mock API Data?
The goal of a development teams is to design, develop, and ship code efficiently. Unfortunately, the major obstruction to develop efficiently is to set up a backend for developers to test and run the code with it. Sometimes additionally there might be more than one complicated back-end database when we use large applications this may take a week or more to set up. A solution is to get developers coding as soon as possible to create a mock API that returns example data.
Similarly, in some cases mock APIs can add third-party API services. For example, sometimes your application wants to use a third-party API, it may be expensive, or no use, or impossible to call the third-party API for many numbers of times during development or testing. In such cases, data mocking is very beneficial.
Drawbacks in Mock APIs
While there are many advantages we also have some disadvantages also, Firstly, mock APIs lack authentic data interactions. It means in an application; similar pieces of data may go through 3-5 transformations or processes in single user interactions.
Second, mock APIs are also another kind of tools that requires maintenance. The accuracy of the example responses and server interactions are critical to the effectiveness of the mock API. There is an additional responsibility to update old request and response data on the developers, designers, or someone else in the team. If the mock API is outside of the everyday development workflow, it could become obsolete.