Postman is a very popular tool for API development and testing. It began as a side project by Postman’s CEO Abhinav Asthana and quickly garnered attention as one of the best tools for streamlined API testing. In this blog post, we will be exploring some of the cool features in Postman that can greatly improve your efficiency as an API developer.
Let’s say you are just starting a new project, with Postman’s mock servers, developers can create mock implementations of their APIs. This feature allows developers to simulate the expected responses of the API, and helps align the goal of the team. As a direct result of this, both frontend and backend development can be done in parallel with fewer setbacks or delays. Which is possible since the backend doesn’t have to be spun up.
Next up, testing.
Automated testing has almost become one of the fundamentals in modern software development. As most developers know, automated tests can save you a lot of time and Postman enables you to write these tests for your APIs which can be integrated into your CI/CD pipeline. It is very similar to API monitoring which will be discussed later on, therefore, we will not be dwelling on this.
Next, let’s move on to the less common features in Postman.
Postman offers more than one way of collaborating between teams. Collections, which are executable API requests, can be easily shared among developers. Also, with Postman workspaces, you can share and invite team members to collaborate on your project. An important concept in collaboration is version control. Postman’s version control allows you to record version changes in your API, resolve conflicts swiftly, and restore previous versions if needed. Click here for more information.
Automatically generate API documentation
Arguably one of the least known features of Postman, documentation generation displays an increasing shift towards automation in the software development industry. With Postman’s API documentation tool, you can automatically generate documentation for your APIs. The documentation tool creates a link where you can view the published documentation. The documentation can be published privately so that only those you share the collection (executable API requests) with will be able to see it. Or, it can be published publicly so that anyone with the documentation link can view it.
Now that you are done with the initial development of your APIs, it’s time to monitor their health. Monitoring, fundamentally consists of automated tests that run periodically to ensure your APIs have the required responses. These monitors can be added to your API development pipeline and when a test fails, a notification is sent via email or integrations like Slack. For more information on available integrations, check out Postman’s integrations docs
Finally, let’s talk about cost. Postman offers four tier plans.
1.) Free: This includes all the features we discussed in this blog with some restrictions on the number of requests for monitoring, mock server calls, and collaboration features (pretty amazing deal in my opinion). They also offer add-ons (pay-as-you-go: 1000 calls for $0.75, and pre-purchased for $20 per pack/month) to increase your monitoring requests if you don’t want to pay for any of the plans below.
The next three plans slowly ease up on the restrictions as you go down the list, and adds a few extra features such as support, in order to justify the prices.
2.) Team: Price starting at $12 per user/month
3.) Business: Price starting at $24 per user/month
4.) Enterprise: Price not listed. Requires you to contact the Postman sales team.
For more details on the plans, check out Postman’s plans and pricing
In summary, Postman is the “all-in-one tool” for your API development and testing needs, and is used by over 500,000 companies worldwide. From API design to monitoring, Postman makes the development process more streamlined and efficient for the developer. Even better, you can enjoy a lot of these features for free. I hope you benefitted from this blog post. Please check out our other posts for very interesting topics.