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Chris Achinga for Developer Circle: Mombasa

Posted on • Originally published at chrisdevcode.hashnode.dev on

Using Postman Like a Pro!

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Postman logo

Postman is an API testing platform. You can use postman web platform:

postman web

or the desktop application for testing your APIs.

desktopostman.png

Postman can be used to test all API requests: get/put/create/delete

If you are new to postman, I'd suggest you go through their Bootcamp: https://web.postman.co/bootcamp

I will be using the desktop application for the demos, they're no big differences from using the web version of postman.

What this article covers:

  1. Creating collections
  2. Adding requests
  3. Creating environments and Variables

Creating Collections:

In Postman, collections are folders where you put all APIs with similar descriptions or projects together. It is a pretty neat way to organize your APIs for testing.

https://www.postman.com/collection/

Follow the few steps to create an API collection:

  1. Ensure that you are on the collections tab by clicking on the Collections with a folder icon on the top left side menu.

Postman Collections

On the right of the Collections notice the "+" icon and on hovering it, a pop up with the message: "Create new Collection" appears.

Create new collection - postman

  1. Click the "+" icon to create a new collection. Notice a new folder is created New Collection and a new tab opened simultaneously.

created collection

Right-click on the folder and select rename to give the collection a name of your choosing or double click on the new collection name on the tab to rename.

double-click.png

right-click.png

PSST! I will rename mine to Demo

Adding requests to a Collection:

On hovering over the collection name on the left panel. notice the 3-horizontal-dots, click on it to open a quick menu.

Add a new request

Select Add request and notice a new tab opens:

new-request.png

Let's add an API endpoint and make a request:

https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/users

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Paste the URL in the input label with a placeholder text "Enter request URL", ensure the method on the left is set to "GET" and hit 'Send' to make a request.

Making a request

The response:

response.png

Creating environments and Variables

An environment in postman is just a collection of variables to be used in a request or a collection

https://learning.postman.com/docs/sending-requests/managing-environments/

The selected environment status is at the top-right of Postman, the default is "No environment".

Here is how we create a new environment and add our variables:

On the left side of the postman web/app, click on the Environment.

Click on the "+" icon to create a new environment, then give it a name.

new-env.png

To create a variable, manually fill the details on the environment tab:

I will create a variable for the base URL of the API endpoint: https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/

VARIABLE: url
INITIAL VALUE: https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/
CURRENT VALUE: https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/

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variable

To use the variable, go to the request tab and replace the https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/ with {{url}}

Then on the top-right, select an environment (select the one you just created from the Dropdown).

After that, make the request to see if everything went well:

env-var.png

That is it, to view the demo use:

Run in Postman

NOTE

There are many ways to create a variable, environment or collections in Postman, I just highlighted the common ones. Feel free to hover on the postman docs to learn and practice more:

https://learning.postman.com/docs/getting-started/introduction/

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