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Postman

Postman for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • Version: varies-with-device

Free app for API developers

Postman is a free app that makes developing API easier, faster, and better. Apps are primarily designed to consider the developer's requirements and are, therefore, loaded with options and features. Some of the features are saved API requests history, detailed and web-viewable API documentation, flexible API monitoring, mock servers supporting split-stack development, etc. Postman apps are created on an underlying layer, which ensures consistent user experience and performance. Also, they comprise features for all API developers (individuals and teams) and should improve your existing workflow.

The benefits of using Postman

API stands for Application Programming Interface. It allows apps to communicate with each other via API calls. Since its release, Postman has become a development tool of choice for millions of users for various reasons. For one, it is a free and open-source app, which means that you can download it easily and without shelling out money. 

Aside from free and easy download, the app is also very accessible. You would only need to login to your account, and you can access all your files anytime and anywhere. Provided, of course, you have the app installed on the computer. Postman also lets users create a collection for their API calls. Each collection can create subfolders and multiple requests, which helps in organizing test suites. 

The app also allows the creation of environments, which lessens—if not prevents—repetition of tests. More, you can add test checkpoints, such as verifying for successful HTTP response status, to each API calls to ensure test coverage. The app’s console also helps check what data has been retrieved, making it easy to debug tests

Teams can also take advantage of the program’s collaboration feature, which allows them to import and export collections and environments. With this, they can easily share files among team members.  They can also use a direct link to share collections. Since this is an open-source tool, it supports continuous integration, so development practices are maintained. 

Postman features and tools

To start using Postman, new users should create their accounts. There are two ways to sign up. One is to create a Postman account, and the other is to use a Google account. You can use the tools that the app offers without logging in. However, signing up allows you to save your collections and access them later

The Postman interface is very simple, with its tools cleanly displayed. In the dashboard, you can see all the request, collection, and environment that you have saved. Of course, you can create a new one by clicking the New button at the top-left corner of the screen. 

Next to the New button is the Import button, which—as the name suggests—lets you import a collection or environment. Upon clicking, it will provide you with options to import from a file, folder, or link. You can also paste raw texts. 

There is also the My Workspace feature, which allows you to create a new workspace individually or as a team. You can collaborate on a workspace by inviting team members. As noted, the app allows you to organize your collections in subfolders and multiple requests. It also lets you duplicate them. 

The past requests you sent are accessible via the History tab. With this, you can easily track all your actions. The request tab displays the titles you are currently working on. By default, requests without titles are named Untitled Request. But you can always rename them for easier tracking. 

Clicking the HTTP requests will display the list of different requests, including GET, POST, COPY, and DELETE. When testing, the most commonly used request are GET and POST. Then, you can identify the link to where the API will communicate with using the Request URL button. All changes to a request must be saved so that new changes will not be lost or overwritten. 

There are still other features that allow you to further customize your requests. This includes the Params, where you will write the parameters needed for a request. There is also the body, where you can customize details in a request, and the headers, where you can set headers, such as content type JSON depending on the needs of the organization. You can set proper authorization for your request using the authorization tool. Authorizations may be in the form of a username, password, or a bearer token. 

Postman also comes with a pre-request script, which are scripts that will be executed before the request. Of course, there is also the Test itself, which are scripts executed during the request. 

Essential API-based developers tools

Postman is a tool that covers the full spectrum of API development. It makes the process of thoroughly testing, documenting, and sharing APIs almost effortless. It comes with various, yet efficiently organized, features that are quite novice-accessible.  This developer tool is a must-try for developers who regularly works with APIs for their web or mobile-based projects.

PROS

  • Intuitive UI
  • Advance tools for testing and managing APIs
  • Covers the full spectrum of API development
  • Quite novice-accessible

CONS

  • Some collaboration features are not free
  • Sometimes crashes

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