What is Postman and How to Use Postman to Test API?

How to Use Postman to Test an API

What is Postman and How to Use Postman to Test API?

API’s being in the core of the software, required appropriate testing and testing methods. Number of testing methods satisfies the early need of recognizing and eliminating error, which could possibly be major hurdle in further development. Today, As a load testing company, our Technical experts explore the steps of How to Use Postman to test API and why API Testing is needed.

What is Postman?

In simple words, Postman is a computer application used for API testing. Postman sends an API request to the web server and receives the response, whatever it is. No extra work or setting up of framework is required while sending and receiving requests in Postman. Extensively used by Testers and Developers for better testing of application. Easy to integrate with your Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Development Pipeline.

What makes Postman Useful?

Postman with it’s number of feature and being easy to work, has been used by millions of testers. Using it’s simple and user friendly interface, you can easily send request, just fill in required data, select the HTTP method and hit the “Send” button. Another most widely used feature is Automation, that let you set up tests and write test suites.

Though, it is free to use, Postman offers you a paid version with pro features like multiple users access, Control over roles, access, SSO Authentication, etc. Allowing users to set up required environment, write specifications and finally monitor every step, is all that makes Postman ideal Testing Tool.             

Download & Install Postman: Postman is available to download for free as it is open source project. It is as easy to download and install as any other computer application.

First, Go to https://www.postman.com/downloads/ and download it as per your system OS. Being cross platform, it is available for Windows, Linux & Mac. And to make it more easy, Postman now has web version, in case you want to experience it on your web browser.

In case you wish to use web version all you have to do is create an account or log in with existing one and you are ready to try.

Moving on, once your download is complete you can begin with installation by simply double clicking the application.

Soon enough it will ask for your Postman Account details, if you don’t have an account you can create one right away, else login as usual.

Once you are in, it will ask for your preferences, workspace and there you are. You now are on start up page. 

Read also: What is API Testing and Why API Testing is Needed?

How Use Postman to Automate API Test?

Postman is User friendly testing tool that allows you to send API request in fewer steps. To begin with, on your landing page, you will see a number of  buttons that are designed for easy navigation.

Clicking on New button, you can create a new request or collection. When on new screen, HTTP Request such as POST, GET, DELETE, etc are listed and can be selected as per need. Next to that is Request URL, where you are expected to enter the endpoint URL and at the end of the line is the Send button, which upon clicking will send the request to the intended URL and receive the response.

This is the basic of how to use the Postman, but Postman has number of other features that are used for better testing. Following the Send button, Save button allows you to save the current request so as not to lose any changes. Params, where parameters are entered in Key Value format,

Authorization is required when you are dealing with URL which are not publicly open and for that purpose bearer token or User name & Password is used. Depending on the requirement, Headers with content type as JSON can be set. Body allows you to set customized details probably for the POST request. Pre request Scripts are the scripts that are executed prior to the request, with aim to make sure that the environment is set as per need so the further testing is done properly. Test consist of the script which are executed while the request is under process, these helps you in verifying the status of response and other points.

Import allows you to import an existing collection while Runner allows you to execute automation tests.

Automating API Testing can be divided in four basic steps, starting with Manual Testing of the APIs, then understand the API’s response received, based on previous two steps you can now write test suites and finally execute these test suites from different endpoints.

Basically, test suites are wrote or created as per API requirements of parameters and other necessary details and these test suites are executed over and over again, from various endpoints. These test scripts are written in JavaScript and can be executed before the request is made and after a response is received to the request made. Number of snippets are available for you to get started with test.

Now, for the final step, all you have to do is send the request manually, but this time once the response is received for the request, Postman will automatically run the test written. Test Results tab show you the results of the test.

This is simplest example of automating a test in Postman, with added test suites and multiple request along with parameters and required authorization, you can execute complex tests.     

Why Automate API Testing is important?

For any software to be able work as expected needs to undergo testing phase for better service and with involvement of API, which is core and most important part of a system, it is essential that these APIs are tested through every possible endpoint and implementing automation in API testing ensures that every endpoint is tested and possible bugs are caught quickly.

Automation helps in case of repeated testing is required over single module, allowing you to reuse a test suite. Averting possible human errors while testing is achieved through automation testing. 

To Wrap It Up

With features like use of Collections, Test Suites, Continuous Integration, Storage of calls, Postman is a choice of tool for API testing. Though, Postman allows you to use it without account, it is recommended to have an account as it will save your work.

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