The Postman Always Tests Your Web APIs, Twice.

If you are a developer that spends quite a bit of time writing RESTful, OData or any other type of Web API, then you probably also finding yourself doing a reasonable amount of time testing these as well. If that is the case, then this post might be something worth reading.

Get to know your Postman

Postman is a simple Web REST client that allows you to easily create and monitor requests and responses from your existing Web API.

It's extremely easy to use and while it may not go as far in-depth as Fiddler, its ease-of-use and clean, refined interface provides many of the same features you would expect and commonly use:

Postman UI Example

One of the best things about it is that you get all of the convenience of testing your API without ever leaving the browser as Postman is available as a Chrome App. Simply download it, open it up, target your API and fire away!

If you need to really dive-deep into issues with your API and examine the requests / responses at the byte-level, then by all means, use Fiddler. But as I have found, Postman does a fine job most of the time.

Some Fun Features

  • The UI. - The interface is certainly worth mentioning as the application runs extremely well and is quite intuitive. Adding custom headers? Easy. Need to re-run previous requests? No problem. It just works.
  • Authentication made easy. - Making requests to secure APIs becomes much easier with Postman. If you are using Basic Authentication, it's just a few keystrokes from getting the job done. Or if you actually use some type of Forms Authentication and already have the token in your browser, the Interceptor feature will take care of it for you.
  • Flexability. - One of the nicest things about Postman is that you can run it in your browser (as a Chrome App) or you can install the actual application on iOS.
  • The Price. - Unless you need some of the cool team-related features and other premium functionality that Postman offers, it's free.

See it in action.

Update: It appears the following video and tutorial series is no longer available. You can consider checking out this tutorial series on YouTube or just use your favorite search engine for examples.

While I could have made a walk-through video going through the entire process of setting everything up, all of my developer principles told me that it had already been done. Sure enough, Jerrie Pelser of ASP.NET Casts had already created a video walking through this process :

So if this post or the video above piqued your interest, then I'd encourage any readers to download it and play around with it. I know I've been using it quite a bit since originally running across it and thought it was worth sharing.