Postman is a tool most web application developers are familiar with. A lot of what we use Postman for we could write ourselves or use the Unix curl command. But Postman makes interacting with APIs easier for developers. Plus, its ability to save requests and collections is really useful.
But why would we want this?
Imagine you are developing a Single Page Application (SPA). In doing so, you often create a bunch of APIs that the SPA calls. This usually leaves you wondering how you will test these pieces. One option is to build all the software and test it top to bottom. Anyone that has built a SPA knows that testing using that methodology is a recipe for a slow development cycle.
A better path is to test your APIs individually. As I mentioned before, you could do this using the Unix command curl. But this is where Postman can be very useful.
Postman allows for testing these API endpoints without writing any code. You can quickly stand up a test for one of these endpoints.
Postman has some other options too. You don’t just have to create a collection of requests. You can group your requests into an API. With this API, you can have multiple versions. And because each version is a collection, you can create collection variables that allow you to share information between requests.
Below, we have an API with a couple of methods.
We can quickly and easily create variables particular to that collection.
We can use those variables when creating requests.
Postman is a powerful tool, but some pretty impressive features. I didn’t even mention the ability to create mock APIs, which can also be useful.
If you are building SPAs, you might want to give Postman a try.