A Quick Beginners Guide for Using Postman

Postman is one of the most renowned API testing tools. It’s believed to be the best tool for developers to design and test their APIs. It’s one of the most used platforms in the world with an estimated 20 million users worldwide. Postman uses an HTTP client that tests requests with the help of a user-friendly graphic interface. By using this, many types of responses can be obtained. It’s said to be a relatively easy platform to use. Experts suggest that you can send requests with great ease because of its user-friendly interface. All you need to do is provide the required data, select the specific HTTP, and hit send. However, if you’re a new user and you wish to make use of this amazing platform, you’ll need some guidance. This article offers a quick beginners guide that’s going to make things much easier for you to use Postman.

How to use Postman - Guide for Beginners

Obtaining Postman

Before you move forward with using Postman, you’ll first need to download it from the web. As it’s not a Closed Source tool, that means you can download it from the web free of cost. It doesn’t matter which platform you use. It’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It works like a charm for API testing regardless of the platform. Once you select the platform of your choice, you need to download it, and you’ll see a message saying your download is in progress. Once the download is complete, click on the run option to start the installation. Once installed, you’ll need to launch it and sign in. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to sign up for one. You can sign up in one of two ways. You can either sign up for Postman and create an account or use your Google account to use Postman. However, if you wish to use Postman without logging in, you can do that as well. Once you’re done, your startup screen will appear.

Executing an API Using Postman

Now that you’ve launched the application, you’ll see your Postman workplace on the screen and various other features. Your workspace will consist of the following features.

  1. New
  2. Import
  3. Runner
  4. Open New
  5. My Workspace
  6. Invite
  7. History
  8. Collections 
  9. Request tab
  10. HTTP Request
  11. Request URL
  12. Save
  13. Params
  14. Authorization
  15. Headers
  16. Body
  17. Pre-request Script
  18. Tests

 

The “New” function is used to create any new request. You can use it to create a collection or even several collections. If you wish to import an already existing environment, you can use the “Import” feature. You can import from certain folders and files, and even paste the text. It also allows you to import a Link.  A “Runner” is used to run automation tests. If you’re willing to open a new tab you can use the “Open New” option. You can even create a new workspace using the “My Workspace” option. All these commands or features will be used to execute an API so you need to properly understand and learn them. They will play a pivotal role if you wish to learn to use Postman. 

Uploading Files on Postman 

Uploading files on any platform can be an issue and may be difficult. For this purpose, you can always look for uploaders that can be of help. Various uploaders provide a Postman file upload cheatsheet that you can use. You can even create one using an uploader. Familiarizing yourself with this will help you upload files much more efficiently.

The Workspace

The workspace can be either an individual or a team. If you’re working on an existing workspace and you wish to invite fellow teammates, you can use the “Invite” option for that purpose. If you wish to retrace your footsteps to see the previous requests, you can use the “History” option. The request tab is used to display the request’s title. If you haven’t named the request then by default the name “Untitled Request” will appear. 

HTTP Request

The HTTP request feature is to be used to check the list of various requests. Once you click this option, a dropdown menu will display the various types of requests. These requests can be POST, PASTE, etc. The identification of the link to where the API communicates is found by the “Request URL” option. Request URL is also known as an endpoint. Postman has a variety of features and advantages. If you make any kind of change to a request it’s good to use the “Save” option so as not to lose them once you close the request or tab. If you wish to add specific parameters to a request, you can use the “Param” feature for this purpose. To access a request, authorization is necessary. This authorization can be in any form. It is typically in the form of a username and password. If not, a token can be provided to personnel to access the request. These are called Bearer tokens.  

Learning a Execute a GET Request

What are GET requests? The purpose of GET requests is to recall the information from a specified URL. In GET requests, the endpoint remains the same or has no changes. Firstly, in the workplace, you need to make sure you have the right HTTP settings. Ensure that your HTTP is set for a GET request. Afterward, you need to go to the requested URL field and insert the link given to you. Once you’ve placed the given URL, all you need to do is to click the send button. Finally, if it’s successful, a “200 OK” message will appear. In some cases, the GET request is unable to execute and is unsuccessful. There can be multiple reasons for this, but mostly happens when the URL is invalid or an unauthorised person is doing the task. 

Learning to Use the POST Request

Requests from POST are unique and don’t resemble GET requests. GET requests are pretty simple because you just need to add a URL and request it. POST requests are a bit complex because data manipulation is involved and data is being added to an endpoint. To work with POST requests, for the addition of another user  create a new tap and generate a request. Now when you’ve done that, switch to the clear  tab and set HTTP settings to POST. Use the same link and insert it in the Request URL tab. When you’re done with that, you need to switch tabs and open the body tab. In the body tab, click on raw and select JSON. Afterward, just copy the first user’s result from the GET request we executed earlier and paste it. However, ensure that you don’t make any mistake copying the URL or code. You can change the ID here. Moreover, you can also give it the name of your choice. You can also do some changes to details such as address.

Learn Parameterization of a Request

Parameterization of data holds immense importance and is one amongst the most important characteristics of this tool. The benefit of parameterization is that variables can also be used that can be changed for a request. This is much more efficient than using the same request with different data again and again. It can be highly advantageous as it avoids the repetition of tests as well. They are represented by a double curly bracket. To create a parameterized GET request you’ll need to ensure your HTTP settings are configured to GET and input the given URL. Ensure that there are parameter brackets in the initial part of the link or URL and hit send. 

You won’t get any response because you haven’t set any source of your parameter. To ensure the proper use of a parameter, you have to set your environment. To do that, click on the icon that looks like an eye. Then proceed to edit and set the variable of the environment to global so that it can be used in all the collections available. Then in the variable, you can set up the name to the given URL or link and save it.

Creating Postman Tests

These tests are nothing but some codes that you add to requests. They assist a user in verifying results. A postman test should begin with pm.test. Let us proceed to do some basic API tests using Postman. As we’ve established a GET request earlier, let’s use that. Go to the GET user request which already exists and switch to the tests tab. If you look at the right side of the page, you’ll see certain codes, snippet codes. From this section, find the “Status code” and click on it. After clicking it, just hit send and you’ll see the test results being displayed on the screen.

How to Create Collections 

Collections hold immense importance for the organization of tests. The best part about collections is that you can export and import them so distribution becomes pretty easy. Let’s look at how you can create a collection. Open a new page and look at the top left corner of the page, you’ll see the NEW option. Click on it and a drop-down menu will appear, from that menu click on the collection. A collection window will open where you can insert a name and other descriptions. You’ll see that it has been created. Once this is done, proceed back to the previous GET request and hit the save button. This is how you can create a Postman collection.

developers using postman on mac

Postman is an amazing platform for API testing. It has a wide range of features, and what makes it so incredible is its accessibility and functionality. It’s relatively easier to use than other platforms. Moreover, it has numerous features that can come in handy in a variety of cases. Using Postman might seem difficult but it isn’t. You need to understand the basic features and it’ll be a piece of cake after that. Creating a request or a collection is pretty easy. You can create tests and save them to a collection as well.

Image Credit – Unsplash

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