UPDATED 11:16 EDT / DECEMBER 16 2016

CLOUD

Postman Pro automates API testing for development teams

Having recently scored $7 million in venture financing to develop its software for building, testing and documenting application programming interfaces, Postdot Technologies Inc. is wasting no time in announcing a major update to its Postman product.

Called Postman Cloud during its beta test phase, the released product has been renamed Postman Pro to reflect its more powerful multi-user features and integrations, the company said.

The Pro edition is an extension of a free browser plug-in that began as simple tool to make API testing faster and easier. Developers can use it to test API calls and validate that responses are accurate. Postman Pro provides for team collaboration tools and sharing of test cases, enabling developers to share, test, document and monitor APIs. Postman says the free extension has been downloaded more than 3 million times.

Developers can leverage Postman Pro at each stage of their API workflow, including development, testing, collaboration, documentation, publishing and API monitoring. The collections feature lets developers group individual requests together and organize them into folders to mirror a production API. Requests can also store sample responses when saved in a collection. Developers can share API collections within a common team library, access the latest version of team assets and analyze changes and updates on a line-by-line basis. Any changes to the collection are automatically updated for all users.

Documentation and publishing features include descriptions of requests, collections and code snippets, which can be posted on internal and external web pages. The product also provides for flexible monitoring of API request collections to test for uptime, responsiveness, and correctness, along with a dashboard of monitoring results organized by collection and monitor.

More than 30,000 users

The company claims that its free version is used at more than 30,000 companies. One of them is DocuSign Inc., a developer of software and services that enable secure document signing. About 60 percent of DocuSign’s transactions come via an extensive library of APIs that third parties can use to integrate its services into other applications. Using Postman has enabled DocuSign to build a self-service API portal for developers, which cuts down on support time and expands the service’s reach.

Developers can use Postman to test their use of DocuSign APIs using real data and results. “We use Postman as a demonstration tool to show what you send DocuSign and what you can expect to get back,” said Jeff Kyllo, senior global enterprise solution architect. “To be able to show a developer how the APIs work so they can build their own integration is valuable.”

The team of 12 DocuSign developers started with the Chrome extension and saw that “it was so easy to use that it could eliminate a lot of manual tasks,” Kyllo said. “We started sharing collections back and forth and now our entire EMEA [Europe/Middle East/Africa] team is using it.”

Postman was designed to support, rather than to replace, existing workflows. The software can import multiple API formats, and has built-in integrations to GitHub, Slack Technologies Inc.’s namesake collaboration platform and the Jenkins open source automation server, among others

“We’re also now distributing collections off our developer site,” Kyllo said. “Developers can come and learn how to use the APIs without having to talk to anyone.”

One particularly useful feature of Postman is its ability to capture information from one call and embed it in another. “Usually you’d have to write code to do that, but it’s straightforward in Postman,” Kyllo said.

Image by werner22brigitte via Pixabay

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