A free tool for kickin’ them tires of your mobile app’s API

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Lightning Tip

Lightning Tips are  small posts that provide an easy and to-the-point solution for common problems that cross-platform mobile app developers face.

Most mobile developers build apps that interact with a backend via an API. And since the arrival of REST and other standardized protocols interacting with those API’s became way easier. But how can one test the input and output of API functions fast and easy?

Challenge

Sometimes, it can still be tricky to work with an API.
When you’re implementing your API on another platform for the first time, for example, getting the hang of the specifics that make up their function naming and result sets can take some time.
When using complex or badly documented third-party API’s, interacting with the API and checking out the actual input and output is often the best way to learn the ins and outs fast and efficiënt.

Want to learn what tool makes this experience way better? Check it out after the break.

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Solution

I’ve used quite some tooling in the past years, but lately I’ve stumbled upon a really cool (FREE!) Mac OS application: Postman

Postman

Not only Mac

But what about Windows? I hear you people, and so did the developer of Postman. You can use this cool application on Windows also because it is available as a Google Chrome App too!

All the stuff you can do with Postman

It not only helps you define API calls that POST, GET, PUT, etc. It also lets you save, duplicate and categorize API calls in folders so you can create a nice set of API calls. You can even sync these saved sets of API calls in a cloud based solution to work along with team members on the same set, updated in realtime.

Postman enables API testing
Postman even has the ability to create tests that you can run to test if the API still runs like clockwork and returns the awaited result.

Just the kind of tool that one needs to kick the tires of their API functionality. I DID mention it is free to download and that most services are free to use for single developers didn’t I?

Now, be coding and integrating with your API!

ps: I am in no way affiliated or otherwise involved with Postman other than that I’m a happy user of the app. 

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