Postman and its uses in the development world

15 januari 2021 om 10:00 by ParTech Media - Post a comment

As a user, we often come across all sorts of applications. Web Applications and Mobile Applications keep us connected all over the world, and there is a lot of information being transferred through such applications. Businesses build these applications to attract more customers and more users. And all of us know that these applications are hosted on the Internet.

Now you might wonder how companies develop such applications. How do the applications communicate over the Internet? Applications are built on servers that help them to communicate. If an application wants to talk to another application, developers make use of APIs and this is where Postman comes in.

In this article, you will understand more about API, along with what is Postman. You will learn about the benefits and advantages of using Postman and its uses in the development world.

Table of content:

  1. What is an API?
  2. Why do you use Postman for development?
  3. What is Postman?
  4. Features of Postman
  5. Using Postman to execute APIs
  6. Wrapping up

What is an API?

API or Application Programming Interfaces can be defined as a set of protocols to help software components interact with one another. It is an intermediary specification that allows two applications to talk to each other.

API is a very significant term in Software Development. Developers save a vast number of resources by working with APIs while developing applications. They save a lot of time since APIs enable developers to directly integrate functionality in their applications and do not have to write everything from scratch. In popular and large-scale products and applications, developers work with multiple APIs to release new functionalities and updates in less time.

For instance, if software A wants to communicate with software B. Then software A sends a request to the API of software B and receives a response from B through the API. The API acts as a communication layer between software A and B.

What is Postman?

The use of APIs nowadays has become very significant while creating applications. This is because most of the applications being built now use APIs to implement different functionalities and features in an application. Since APIs help developers to save a lot of work and time creating functionalities from scratch, developing APIs has become a common and significant trend in the development world. Developers build APIs first and then use those APIs to create user-friendly applications. This is where Postman comes in, for developing and testing APIs

Postman is a simple, user-friendly, and easy to use API client. It is used for the development, testing, and managing of APIs by quality professionals. To test an API, it sends a request to the webserver and gets the response back.

Using Postman, developers can build and manage APIs faster. Postman offers a wide range of benefits and features to help developers work with APIs. Postman has its own API builder that helps developers build APIs.Postman’s Graphical User Interface makes it very easy for developers to work with APIs.

Features of Postman

There is a wide range of features that Postman offers developers, but we will list down a few and the most important ones:

  1. Easy testing of APIs by creating, sending, and saving requests and receiving responses from the API.
  2. Developers can use scripts to set request execution order, chain requests, branch, and loop.
  3. It allows the creation of unlimited personal and team workspaces.
  4. Easy creation of API documentation.
  5. It allows schema support for OpenAPI, GraphQL, and RAML.
  6. Postman enables developers to create private mock servers and simulate API endpoints with the mock server.
  7. It allows to visualize response data as graphic or table and view response in Preview Mode to convert to HTML.
  8. It is very user-friendly and cost-effective.

Using Postman to execute APIs

A simple process for executing APIs is to send a request to the API and receive a response in return. Let’s go through the step-by-step process to execute an API using Postman.

  1. Launch Postman by clicking on the logo, and the Welcome panel appears.
  2. In “Enter Request URL”, enter the API endpoint and select the method on the left from the dropdown menu. The default method is GET, but you need to select the method that your API uses.
  3. Add authorization credentials to authenticate to the server from which you want to get the response or data. Postman supports several authentication protocols. You can select the one according to the server requirements.
  4. Enter headers if required.
  5. Enter a POST body if it is required, or enter body details according to the method.
  6. Now click on the send button. The send button executes the API and sends a request to the server for information. That is all. You can also save the API request if you wish to.

This is a simple flow of the request and response from an API. The Postman API execution can be done using a simple JavaScript code that runs upon sending the request and returns a response from the server.

Wrapping Up

Postman is an all-in-one go-to tool for managing APIs. It has benefitted developers tremendously in the past and is continuing to do even today. Its user-friendliness makes it a highly preferred tool for both individual users and organizations alike. With API creation and usage on the rise, this tool is undoubtedly an important asset in the arsenal of most developers. Next time while developing applications, try to use Postman to make your lives simpler and better.