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Postman Launches Postman Public Workspaces to Enable Collaborative API Design

Postman, an API design platform provider, has announced the launch of Postman Public Workspaces in an effort to accelerate API development practices through collaboration at a massive scale. This new initiative takes inspiration from the world of massively multiplayer gaming and leverages the platform’s userbase of more than 13 million developers.

Workspaces have been a part of Postman for some time now and have allowed developers to share Postman components with collaborators and organize their API work via these spaces. This functionality was previously limited to team access, but with the addition of Public Workspaces developers will now be able to gain benefit from Postman’s entire userbase. The company believes that this level of collaboration will fundamentally shift the way that APIs are designed. The product announcement noted that:

“Postman’s public workspaces will let a massive community of users engage with APIs or collections organized by API producers, with the ultimate quest of improving every API and the experience of that API’s consumers.”

Additionally, the announcement noted that Public Workspaces are not limited in scope to only APIs or companies. In fact, to kick off the product launch Postman has launched a series of workspaces that include likely offerings such as the Postman public workspace, in addition to less obvious options like the US 2020 Election public workspace.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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Postman’s New Schema Validation Feature Helps Encourage API Spec Literacy

Postman, an API development platform provider, has announced that its API Builder is gaining the ability to validate API schemas in real-time via a new UI pane that is accessible in the tool’s define tab. The addition of this functionality helps to provide developers with real-time feedback and encourage API specification literacy.

At the time of the announcement Postman’s schema validation functionality is only supported for OpenAPI 3.0, although Kin Lane, Postman’s Chief Evangelist noted to ProgrammableWeb that the company intends to “support all of the leading API specifications equally when it comes to autocomplete, validation, and other design-time features.”

While editing OpenAPI definitions in Postman users will now notice a small banner across the bottom of the define panel that either states “Schema validated” or lists the number of errors that were found. This information updates in real-time and users can click on the banner to expand the UI and dive into the specifics of the errors that were found. The feature is speedy, usually updating to display errors within a few seconds and provides useful information for identifying the error made.

The most straightforward benefits of this new tool are obvious, identifying errors in real-time is certain to improve development speed and accuracy on the platform. When ProgrammableWeb asked Lane about other, less obvious benefits provided by this feature he noted that:

“OpenAPI literacy to help educate developers about the finer details of the specification, as well as helping speed up their design processes.” Lane continued by noting that there is additional value in, “Providing a feedback loop around not just the APIs, but how OpenAPI is being applied (or not), gathering data, and feeding back to the OAI to inform the road map for the specification.”

This new Schema Validation functionality is available now in Postman v7.29’s API Builder. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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Postman Adds API Builder and Reporting Features to Enterprise Platform

Postman, an API development platform provider, has bolstered its enterprise platform with two new features. First, API Builder, a feature that allows developers to build APIs directly within Postman, is now generally available. Second, a new reporting feature, currently in beta, provides insight regarding how APIs are used throughout a particular development environment.

“Postman was originally created to help API developers,” Abhinav Asthana, Postman’s co-founder, and CEO commented in a press release. “But as we grew, more and more of those developers were working within large organizations, and they had different needs. So we’ve continued to add capabilities to match those needs, and today is further proof of our commitment to our customers in the enterprise.”

As Asthana mentioned, Postman continues to grow its feature base as its user base expands. API Builder is a good example of meeting the customer base’s needs. Postman hasn’t always provided a tool to build APIs directly within the platform. Now, developers can build APIs as well as test and validate them directly within Postman. The governance features available help administrators leverage the platform across teams of all sizes.

The reports feature gives visibility to developers at both the API level and the team level. Team level overview shows metrics such as new APIs, active APIs, number of team members, and empty spaces. API level reporting shows metrics such as API response times, API requests over time, and failed test runs overtime. To learn more, check out the reports site.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ecarter</a>

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Postman Annual API Report Highlights Continued Concern for API Security

Postman, an API development collaboration platform provider, just released its 2019 State of the API Report. Postman surveys its community each year to better understand who is working with APIs, how they are using them, and where the industry is headed. Key findings from the latest report find that the type of person interacting with APIs is shifting, security continues to be a hot topic, and documentation still needs to improve.

APIs are no longer limited to conversations between developers. More and more, non-developers work with APIs in the ordinary scope of their job. Less than half of those surveyed about their use of APIs identified their role as front-end or back-end developer. Last year, almost 60% of those surveyed identified as one of these two roles.

No one in the API world is surprised to see that API security is a serious concern. API breaches and vulnerabilities continue to make headlines. However, almost 75% of survey respondents suggested their APIs are “very secure” or have “above-average security.”

Despite good marks on the security front, API users continue to want better documentation. According to those surveyed, better documentation includes more and better examples, standardization, and sample code. For an overview of the report, check out the press release.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ecarter</a>

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Postman Adds API Visualizer to Help Contextualize Data

With API design often dictating the provision of machine-readable data, Postman notes the difficulty with visualization of this data in a manner that is easily digestible by humans. With the announcement of Postman Visualizer, a new tool that aims to simplify the process of contextualizing API return data, the company hopes to solve this.

This new tool can be found in the response body of the Postman interface under a new Visualize tab. Developers can use the new pm.visualizer.set() method to build out these visualizations. Once the necessary script is included in a response, the visualizations will automatically be built. In the product announcement the company states that this tool provides “…your canvas to paint an endpoint’s response the way you want; beyond the confines of Pretty, Raw, and Preview response views.”

This new functionality also plays nice in collaborative settings, with Postman noting that “Once you share or publish a collection, those who import it will see the same visualization rendered under the Visualize tab for the response.” This sort of collaboration will also work both ways, allowing the recipient to easily build upon the visualizations already built. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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Review: Postman’s Newly Introduced GraphQL Support

With the most recent release of its namesake product, Postman is now capable of working with GraphQL-based APIs. ProgrammableWeb decided to take a closer look by reviewing the new feature.

Postman is a utility that allows developers to execute HTTP requests against a given URL. Combined with its graphical user interface, this core capability makes it an indispensable tool for making, saving, chaining and replaying ad hoc calls to HTTP (Web) based APIs. Postman was originally released as an extension to the Chrome browser but is now deployed as a standalone application.

GraphQL is an API specification designed and used by Facebook. Implementations of the specification are now available in a number of languages including Java, .Net, Node.js, Python, Ruby and Go.

The latest version of Postman includes a beta feature that allows developers to execute queries and mutations written in GQL, (GraphQL query language), directly against a GraphQL API (for a detailed explanation of what GraphQL is and how it works, be sure to read ProgrammableWeb’ss comprehensive Guide to GraphQL).

In this article I’m going to show you how to execute a simple GraphQL query against a GraphQL API using the new Postman feature. I’m also going to show you how to use Postman to authenticate to a GraphQL API using Postman, to query variables and finally how to execute a mutation against a GraphQL API endpoint.

The code I’m going to use to show examples of running GraphQL queries under Postman is from ProgrammableWeb’s interactive GraphQL tutorial found here. The interactive tutorials have a working instance of a GraphQL API that’s used to demonstrate the basics of the technology. You are welcome to use a running instance of the tutorial code to experiment with using GraphQL under Postman.

Setting Up Postman to Run GraphQL Queries

As mentioned previously, Postman is a standalone utility that allows developers to execute HTTP requests against the various resources and endpoints of an API. You can download Postman by going to its download page here.

Once installed, you’ll be offered a features review dialog. Feel free to review what interests you. Otherwise you’ll be brought to the main Postman GUI. You’ll configure your GraphQL queries and mutations using this GUI. (See Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: Postman’s The query configuration screen

All queries and mutations in GraphQL are executed using HTTP’s POST method (also known as an HTTP “verb”). This is an important fact to remember. Thus, when configuring a GraphQL query using Postman you will need to select POST from HTTP method dropdown shown above in Figure 1 at callout (1). Next you’ll enter the URL of the GraphQL API you’re working with, as shown above at callout (2). You can also use Postman to work with GraphQL APIs that are running on you local machine under localhost.

There are two ways to furnish security credentials to a GraphQL-based API through Postman. The first way is to select the Authorization tab from within the Postman query pane and select an authorization type from the resulting drop down. In the example shown above at callout (3), the selected authorization type is Bearer Token. As a result of selecting Bearer Token, a pane appears into which you enter the authorization token as shown above in Figure 1, callout (4). The authorization token that is entered into the token textbox will be injected into the POST request when the request is executed.

The second way to add authorization credentials to a GraphQL request is to enter the information directly as headers in the HTTP request. If you prefer this approach, select the Headers tab and then add the header key and associated value into that dialog, as shown above in callout (3a).

Executing a Simple Query

Once you have Postman configured to POST a request, you can add a GraphQL query or mutation. The new GraphQL beta feature in Postman allows you to declare queries in GraphQL Query Language (GQL). GQL is similar to JSON, but has some differences. For example, you don’t use commas to delimit fields. The details of GQL are discussed in ProgrammableWeb’s article GraphQL APIs for Everyone: An In-Depth Tutorial on How GraphQL Works and Why It’s Special.

To get Postman to accept a GQL Query, you select the GraphQL option as shown below in Figure 2, callout (1). Then, enter the query into the QUERY pane as shown at callout (2). Finally, click the Send button to execute the query as shown at callout (3).

Figure 2: Postman allows developers to declare GraphQL queries directly in GraphQL Query Language. Viewing Query Results

Figure 2: Postman allows developers to declare GraphQL queries directly in GraphQL Query Language. Viewing Query Results

After you execute a GraphQL query as shown in Figure 3 callout (1) below, the results will appear under the Body tab of response pane at the bottom of the Postman GUI, as shown at callout (2).

Figure 3: The results of a GraphQL Query

Figure 3: The results of a GraphQL Query

Working with GraphQL Query Variables in Postman

GraphQL supports the concept of query variables. Using query variables allows you to define a set of variables that can be used repeatedly over a variety of queries.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">reselbob</a>