Last Updated on June 24, 2023 by Aram
Postman is a comprehensive API building and testing solution, it has many features that can help you and your team test your product endpoints, in this document we will learn about 12 amazing features in Postman.
It is an intuitive tool that can be easily used by developers, testers, product owners, external providers and clients.
And can be easily managed and shared across different teams for collaboration and streamline engagement.
Postman has a long array of features that will blaze your team’s productivity when building and testing your API-powered solutions.
So let’s get started with 12 Amazing Features in Postman:
1. Enterprise-wide Workspaces and collections
Postman allows you to create API request, name it and save it in a collection. A Collection can include as many API requests as you want.
Better yet, you can even have variables used within each collection.
With the amazing Workspaces feature, you can easily manage multiple collections of API requests within different workspaces and share them with different teams.
This is a great way to streamline collaboration between all the different parties of your team as well as stakeholders and clients.
One important note is that you need to have an account to use the workspace feature.
2. Examples per Request
For each request, you can save multiple examples, these can be quite handy when you are trying to test different use cases for each request.
A good example is when you are trying to test a payment endpoint, where you want to keep testing with different cards, payment types, options, you will have a long list of test cases and it would be really difficult if you don’t save these use cases somewhere where you can keep testing.
This will be particularly useful when running the full collection all at once.
3. Environments & Variables
One of the greatest features of Postman is by creating environments.
An environment encapsulates variables that can be used across any of the collections within a workspace.
A variable can contain 2 values: Initial value and dynamic value.
You can use the Environment editor or the quick view editor to modify the variables, by adding, updating, deleting the variables or their values.
You can even share the environment with others, Postman will generate a JSON formatted document with all your environment related configurations.
4. Importing and Exporting
You can easily import other postman collections or OpenAPI specification files into your workspace, this can be achieved by either using a postman shared link
or using a previously exported postman collection file in json format, or using cURL command to be imported as raw text
Postman as well allows you to connect to source control from which you can also import your collection, but this is only available when you are working within a workspace (signed in)
Likewise, exporting is pretty simple and straightforward, you can easily export your collection, which Postman will generate a JSON file with all your saved collection of API requests as well as any included examples.
Importing and exporting is also applicable for Postman environments
5. Pre and Post-request Scripts
Did you know that you can write commands to perform certain tasks in Postman using scripts in Postman?
One of the most useful and yet underused features of Postman is the scripts that you can write before or after a request happens.
A pre-request script, as the name implies, can be used to combine 2 or more requests together to build one unit of work where you can take the response from the first request and use it as an input to the second request such as adding a specific header or using it in a request body or a value in a query string in the URL.
There is a lot of scenarios that a pre-request can be used in.
And respectively, a post-request script, shown as Tests, is executed after a request is run, usually this is helpful when you are trying to update environment variables with the response of your request.
In both cases, using the scripts you can access different parts of your workspace components, such as collection variables, environment variables, request and response data, as well as you will be able to write logs into Postman’s console.
There is a complete reference for Postman Scripting usage, you can find the link in the References section at the end of this article.
6. Run a Collection
With this brilliant feature you can simply click on the 3 dots beside a collection and choose run collection:
Postman will then open a new panel in the working area where you can specify some configurations and then press run.
Postman will start executing each of your collection’s requests and show you the full log of the outcome.
7. Console Debugging
At anytime you can see the logs in the console for a request and see how the HTTP request/responses are being transferred between you and the targeting destination URL you are trying to call.
More information about console debugging in Postman can be found in the link in the references section.
8. Formatting of XML and JSON
This is an amazingly handy little tool that you can use to format any XML or JSON you can paste in the the request work area.
Simply copy the XML or JSON string from your designated location, open a new request pane and paste your string in the work area, choose the type whether it is XML or JSON then press on the beautify button:
Then watch how Postman will magically format (beautify) your string into your selected format type.
9. Mock Server
You can easily bootstrap a server alike instance that acts like an actual web server that will allow you to test your APIs as if there is an actual web server, the mock server feature of Postman will accept API requests, and return different HTTP responses.
There are several configurations on the mock server that you can explore to make it suit your testing needs.
10. Code Snippet Generator
You can instantly generate a code snippet from any request you want.
From the request pane open, choose the <> icon on the right side of the postman screen, it will expand a side panel with the required languages to select from:
Even if you don’t want to use any specific language, you can still generate the raw cURL request, which is language agnostic and you can share it with anyone to use it with whatever way is preferred.
You can choose from a wide range of programming or scripting languages to generate the code snippet for you.
The code snippet generator will create a full usage example for the given language.
Note that the generated code snippet might not be always safe to copy/paste directly into your solution, as it will depend on your project’s structure and use cases.
For example, in the above code, you might need to consider creating an instance from IHttpClientFactory instead of creating a new instance of HttpClient, just to avoid the chatty process and the overhead of creating a new Http connection each time.
But anyway, this would be a good starting point.
11. Build APIs using API Builder
Using the API Builder feature of Postman, you can easily create, manage, publish, test, automate and deploy APIs.
API can be built either from scratch by writing an API definition using one of the standardized formats like OpenAPI specifications.
Or you can use an existing collection from your workspace to manage and perform all the API builder features on.
Or even you can connect with your git-based source control and sync with your API code.
Many features here, you can try them out.
12. Instant Access to Worldwide Public APIs
With its strong search features, Postman allows you to explore all the public APIs over the web with the ability to instantly import them into your workspace and start navigating and consuming them.
You will find a great number of public APIs all available right inside your Postman API explorer view, with APIs ranging from Payment, Ecommerce, Maps, tracking,
You can easily perform all the tasks you can do with a collection using the powerful Postman CLI.
The Postman CLI is a separate downloadable component that can be installed into different operating systems, including Windows, Mac and Linux.
It features a set of different capabilities like supporting sign in and sign-out to postman account, checking API definition against API security rules and many others.
You can have a full CLI details knowledgebase in the References section
This is a great way to graphically represent the flow of your APIs.
Using this feature, you can easily building your product starting with your APIs, it allows you to integrate between 2 API-enabled products with chaining requests and reading data from one API to another.
Read more about Postman Flows
I personally use Postman every single day. It is a unique tool that has a long list of great features that helps skyrocket your API development and testing. In this article we learned about 12 amazing features in Postman.
Note: This isn’t a paid or sponsored post, I wanted to share my personal and professional experience with Postman as a fascinating productivity tool.
Please go ahead and try it yourself.
Start here: Postman
Enjoy this magnificent Piano Sonata by Mozart while building and testing your APIs using Postman.