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Postman is a delight to demo APIs and services! My top 3 features ✨

lidderupk profile image Upkar Lidder Originally published at Medium on ・2 min read

I use Postman extensively for most of my workshops and demos. If you haven’t heard of Postman, it is an API development and management tool. I however use it as a client to demo external APIs including IBM Cognitive APIs.

You can see me using it to demonstrate different features of CouchDB in this webinar. In fact, most of the workshop was built on top of Postman. I really care about making the workshop straightforward with two goals in mind …

  1. Is everybody able to finish the workshop within the designated time?
  2. If they are not, can I provide the end solution that they can import and learn something from?

Introduction to CouchDB on IBM Cloud Webinar

I use the following features of Postman heavily to make my life easier …

Environment variables

The environment variables help in two ways

  1. I set them up on the folder level so that all the requests in that folder can reuse the variables.
  2. The participants generally have to use their own API key and this makes it easier to setup in one place.

Environment variables in POSTMAN

Repeat REST calls

There is a cool feature to run REST calls multiple times. You can even put a Delay between the calls. I am running the document-create call 10 times with a delay of 2ms between calls in the example below. This will create 10 documents in CouchDB. The other way to do this would be to write a script with the 10 POST calls, or use the CouchDB SDK in the language of your choice. All good options, but this seems the simplest for a webinar/tutorial.

Collection Runner

Collections/Folders and Export/Import

This is the coolest feature. Postman has a concept of Collections and Folders within those collections. You can then package REST calls in different folders

Collections and Folders in POSTMAN

I also use their export/import feature to split my workshop into multiple phases. So as to cater for all levels of participants. It also gives a good and natural break point if it is a longer workshop. I have seen some folks use github branches and tags to do the same thing.

So what are some of the things you use Postman for? Do you have other tools you use for tutorials and workshops?

Thank you Max Katz and IBM Developer for hosting the webinar on CouchDB.

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