Introduction

POSTMAN is a tool for testing API. The POSTMAN software is available on the internet for different platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac. The software is easy to use, and API requests can be created, tested and also can be shared.

POSTMAN is an API client that is used to develop, share, test APIs. It is also used for creating documentation for APIs. Test suites can be quickly designed using Postman, and also it can store test information to be used in other tests. It is integrated with Plugins, such as Jenkins, which makes it more powerful.

It takes a few minutes to get started with the POSTMAN software. Once a user login into his/her personal account in the POSTMAN, the files, requests, and collections can be accessed from anywhere around the world over the internet.

The Postman can be either downloaded as native software and can be installed into your system or it can be added as a chrome extension. We shall see the downloadable software.

There are various reasons for using POSTMAN, some are listed below :

  • Ease of Access : All the files, requests, collections, etc can be very easily accessed through the POSTMAN software with the help of the internet.
  • Collections : There is a facility for creating a collection, inside which it is possible to create folders and sub-folders which manage the requests and the APIs in a very convenient way. Due to the presence of collection, the request can be shared between different collections belonging to different environments.
  • Sharing : In POSTMAN there is a facility of exporting the response file into different formats- such as json, xml, etc. This way the output can also be used in different software. Also, the collection can be shared among various software or entities. Also, the direct link of the collection can also be shared.
  • Environment: Different environments can also be created inside the POSTMAN software. Environments are nothing but the variables and conditions which are kept fixed and can be applied for carrying out different tests. Now, when we new request, which has to be checked with different credentials(for example), that time we can use simply use a ready-made environment to which sets all the credentials automatically.
  • Code snippets : Code snippets are nothing, but small codes that are already written into the software.
  • Multiple Test Iterations : In the POSTMAN software, there is a facility for running a test in multiple iterations. This saves the time of initializing the test and doing it again and again.

Installing POSTMAN

POSTMAN can be installed wither as a native software in your local machine or it can be added as a chrome extension. The POSTMAN software is available for different Operating systems, such as Windows, MAC, and Linux.

In this section, I will show you, how to install POSTMAN as Native software or as a chrome extension in a Windows OS.

Installing POSTMAN as a Native software

Requirements :

  • Windows OS (32 bit or higher)
  • RAM 1GB(recommended).
  • Disk Space more than 20 GB recommended.
Creating Your Account in POSTMAN

After you visit the above page, you should see a Sign in button in the top right corner.

postman-signin-button

Now click the Sign-in button on the website and you will be navigated to the free account creation page.

postman-create-account-option

Create your account after filling the necessary details.

postman-free-account-creation

Now after signing in, you must see the page as below:

postman-workspace

Now, check your email, and you might have received the confirmation email from POSTMAN.

postman-email-confirm

Now after confirming the email, you must see a confirmation page like as below:

postman-email-confirmation

You may click on the head to profile to visit your account, but that not the proper way.

Download the software:

To download the POSTMAN software visit the official page of POSTMAN https://www.getpostman.com/downloads/

postman-download-page

Now, click on the Download button and select the OS in which you want to install the software. I have chosen the 64-bit option. You may choose the 32 bit if you are using a 32 bit OS.

postman-download

After you select the OS, the software should start downloading, as shown below:

postman-software-downloading

Now, once the download completes, open the file and start installing the software. By default, the software should be inside the downloads folder, if you are using the windows and have not customized your download location on your computer.

postman-software-downloaded

Right-click on the software and choose open to install the software.

postman-software-installation-confirmation

The POSTMAN software gets installed in the background, and it does not inform the user on completion.

Once installed, sign in with the username and the password, which you used at the time of creating the POSTMAN account. Once signed in, you should see the following page. This is the interface, you must see when it opens for the first time.

postman-first-interface

POSTMAN as Chrome Extension

To install POSTMAN as a chrome extension, Visit the link:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/postman/fhbjgbiflinjbdggehcddcbncdddomop//%40

And add the postman extension into your chrome.

postman-chrome-extension

Just click into the Add to Chrome button the extension will be added into your chrome browser after the below confirmation:

postman-add-chrome-extension

After you confirm by clicking the Add app, the extension will be added into your chrome browser.

postman-chrome-extension-added

After you click into the POSTMAN icon (which is the chrome extension now), you will see the same interface as you see in the POSTMAN native software.

But, now when you try to start the POSTMAN Chrome app extension, a warning will pop up. You may ignore the warning and continue using the App, but many features such as the proxy, etc will not work.

postman-chrome-extension-warning

The chrome developers are itself advising you to download the native app instead of using the Chrome extension.

In the below explanation, I will be explaining everything on the basis of the Native Chrome App and not the extension.

Getting started with POSTMAN

To Get started with POSTMAN, you must understand sections in the interface of the software. The sections in the POSTMAN interface are:

The Dialog Box

Once you start the software a dialog box will appear which contains different short-cuts such as- Inside the Create New tab -> Request, Collection, Environment, API Documentation, Mock server, and the Monitor.

postman-dialog-box

Then inside the Templates tab, you have different options like Categories which is a scroll listing of details related to POSTMAN. And in the right side section, there are different shortcuts like SOAP, Reverse Engineering, etc.

postman-dialog-box-templates

Then you will find the API Network tab. Inside there are different categories, you select one, and can easily import an API into your Native POSTMAN software and can start sending a request and so on.

postman-dialog-box-api-options

Header Options (in the left) & Buttons

There are only four header options in the top-left corner of POSTMAN.

  • File: Open a new tab, file, import a file, close window, new postman window, new runner window, settings, etc.
  • Edit : Edit, Copy, Paste, Select all, etc.
  • View: Toggle full screen, Zoom-in, zoom out, two-pane view, console window, etc.
  • Help: Update, Documentation, and support.

postman-header-options

Below the header, there is a drop down-button, New. This button can be used to create a new request, new folder, new collections and provided short-cuts to environments, collections. etc. It has two parts- Building Blocks & Advanced.

The next option is Import. It is used to import any file or folder. There are different options which you can import such as:

  • Collection.
  • Environment.
  • Folder
  • data dump
  • curl command
  • RAML/WADL
  • Open API/ RunScope File

postman-import-option

The next option is Runner. Clicking on the Runner button will automatically open a new window as Collection Runner. Inside the collection runner, there are different buttons, for mentioning the number of iterations, setting different delays between the iterations, adding a request script file, etc.

postman-collection-runner-option

Buttons in the top right corner

There are some buttons in the top right corner of the software interface.

  • Sync API
  • Capture Request
  • Settings
  • Notifications
  • Tweet about us
  • Manage Accounts
  • Upgrade

postman-right-side-button

Below the above options, you will see a drop-down button, which is for selecting the environment. Then you have the eye button and the gear-shaped button.

Request Tab & Request URL Bar

The Request tabs are used to perform different operations on different request APIs. Tabs allow us to have individual space for individual requests.

The Request URL bar is used to input the address of the request. In the below image, you can see the Request type is GET and the name of the request is Untitled Request. You can click on the plus(+) button on the right side of the tab to create a new tab.

postman-request-tab

Below the name of the tab name, you have the Request URL Bar and a drop-down button to display all the different types of requests available or is allowed in POSTMAN.

postman-request-type-with-url

As, in the above image, you can see that the type of the request is POST and the Request URL is empty. By clicking the drop-down button, you will be able to select the type of request. The usually available requests are:

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT
  • PATCH
  • DELETE
  • COPY
  • HEAD
  • OPTIONS
  • LINK
  • UNLINK
  • PURGE
  • LOCK
  • UNLOCK
  • PROPFIND
  • VIEW

Below all these comes the:

  • Params
  • Authorization
  • Headers
  • Body
  • Pre-Request Scripts
  • Tests
  • Settings

postman-options-below-url-bar

Environment Option

Environment in POSTMAN is the set up of variables, parameters and all the settings which are set fixed and are dedicated to a particular request, collection, or folders. An environment in POSTMAN can also be applied in the collection level, and thus the sub-folders or the requests can access the environment parameters.

There may be different Request which needs to be tested within a short interval of time. Therefore, it is not easy to change all the credentials and perform the next API test. In such a case, different environments are to be set up so that, just by changing the environment, the parameters such as- credentials, variables, etc can be changed.

postman-environment-option

As, in the above image, you can see, that the environment option is a drop-button which can be clicked to see all the different environment you create and can be selected.

All the other options, we shall in the next chapters.

Important Concepts

New

This button can be used to create a new request, collection, environment, etc. Also, inside the button, that is an advanced option which is for the documentation, Mock Server and the Monitor.

postman-new-button

Import

The import option is right next to the New button. Inside the import option, you have options or importing files, importing folder, import from a link, etc. Also, there is an option for entering raw text.

Collection Runner

The Collection Runner button takes into a separate window for handling the collection. There are different options like selecting the environment, enter the number of iterations, entering the delay between the iteration, etc.

postman-collection-runner-button

Also, you can select a data script file in json or different formats and then the collection can run with the information within the script.

Work Space

Then there is an option called workspace, which is a drop-down button and shows all the created workspaces inside the POSTMAN software. Workspace is the area where collections are created and the API testing is performed.

What is a POSTMAN Collection?

POSTMAN Collections are groups of pre-built request that can be organized into folders so that, that can be run independently. Collection can also be shared with other collections. All the APIs requests can be stored and saved inside a collection.

What is a Test in POSTMAN?

A Test is nothing but a javascript code that will run after the response of the request has been received from the server. A Test in POSTMAN can be created at different levels. It can be created in folder levels, request level and also in collection level.

What is Pre-Script in POSTMAN?

Pre-scripts are the small code snippets that are executed before the request is sent to the server. There is a text editor in the POSTMAN for writing pre-scripts which can be used to write codes.

Pre-request can be added into different levels such as in the request level, folder level or the collection level. There is also the option to SET and GET variables in the pre-scripts.

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