Top Tips For Using The Most Popular API Testing Tool – Postman;

By Dragan Pazin, Test Lead – Voyego.

Software testing is a challenging area – from the multitude of problems that can arise with any given solution and lacking the requirements documentation to dealing with an unstable environment and communication issues – but there are ways of helping to streamline this crucial stage of the development process.

One such way is using an API (Application Programming Interface) testing tool, which allows users to test the functionality of an API by constructing requests, reading responses and building collections tailored for their specific project.

This makes testing more efficient and reduces the time taken to get the project to the point of automated regression tests (which are necessary during the production of a real-world solution). Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, read on to find out our top tips for using what is the most popular API testing tool, Postman.

 

Get to grips with variables:

Users of Postman need to be aware that variables exist in different scopes and there are five scopes in total – global, collection, environment, data and temporary. So, if a variable with the same name exists in different scopes, the one with the highest preference will be considered by the system. Therefore, users need to ensure they are using variables and scopes correctly. Something else to note in terms of temporary variables is that they are only live when the request is running; they do not exist when the request is finished.

Sharing is caring & saving is crucial:

When working as part of a team, it is natural that you will share your collections with others. In Postman Pro, you can do this through the workspace, whereas the free version allows sharing through the import/export option. When sharing, you need to be aware of the concept of the initial and current value for variables as, when sharing collections through workspace, the recipients will only see the initial value. Meanwhile, the current value is visible to the sender which allows them to experiment with that value without impacting those with whom they have shared the collection. Also, it is crucial to save your requests before sharing, otherwise you could lose precious work and time.

Embrace automation:

Automation can give you extra powers and capabilities when testing. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to apply full-blown automation. Even small simple scripts can make your collections more powerful and enable you to detect problems more easily and within a shorter time frame. Postman has the functionality to add elements of automation through JavaScript which can be helpful for transferring data between steps and automating the checking process.

Play around with the platform:

As with everything, it will take time to get to grips with Postman and there are some limitations to it. For example, it has no bult-in option for sharing common collections and debugging scripts. This can be a major issue when developing complex scripts or working within a large team. But with advanced techniques, it is possible to work around this obstacle and you could end up benefiting from using the same scripts for exploratory functional everyday testing and full-blown regression suites.

Whether it is exploratory or regression testing that you are performing on an API, utilizing a tool such as Postman can deliver many advantages, helping to both streamline and strengthen the testing process – as long as it is being deployed carefully and correctly.

 

 

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