Do you write and maintain APIs? Do you know how they’re performing? If any of your endpoints are returning data, are you sure the schema of the data returned is correct? You could write your own monitoring solution from scratch, but who has time to do that? I’ve found Postman to be a great solution for monitoring my APIs. Granted, using it is like a car mechanic taking their car to a service center to get their oil changed, but for me its about saving time. Tons of time.
Postman has so many features, it would be tough to write about all of them in one blog entry. I’ll tackle my favorites for now. First, with Postman, you can fire off scheduled, automated requests to your APIs which are grouped into collections, with monitors. Monitors not only let you call your endpoints with optional data parameters, but you can check the results of each call with configurable tests. Postman can also automatically generate API docs for you, complete with a curl endpoint call ready to copy and paste into your shell. You can even publish these docs with a paid tier subscription.
Postman has an online dashboard as well as a desktop app component. Here’s my dashboard containing a couple monitors I have set up.
With the desktop app you can set up, configure and call any of your endpoints, set collections and monitors, then sync them to the cloud. Collections between the online dashboard and desktop component are synchronized when you are signed in. This is a great feature if you want to check things on the go, or are switching between computers. Here’s a view from the online dash of a call history from a monitor I have set up.
There are several usage plans available, including a free tier, Pro and Enterprise tier, each with features you can read about.
Another amazing feature is the API Network. This allows you to pull in ready made API client configurations from published third parties right into your desktop app. Here’s an example from the Bing Cognitive Services API. You can see my query is all set up for me, I just have to obtain a key and replace the placeholder value with it. This is super cool.
But wait, there’s more. You can also set up mock servers for your endpoints before they are even live! This is great for when you want to simulate a response from a call before you’ve written the code. Full disclosure, this is not a paid endorsement of Postman, its just that neat of a tool.