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By: Busthana Shirin

What Are the Top 6 Advanced Features of Postman?

Technical

Postman is a well-known testing app for APIs, this tool is used to maintain, execute, debug, and test any type of API calls. We can easily group the collections and workspaces. In this article, we are going to explore more advanced features of Postman, which will help you to be more productive.

1. Postman Visualizer

Postman's Visualizer allows you to enhance the presentation of your API response data using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You can create custom visualizations, and add charts, tables, or any other elements to make the response data more readable and understandable.
To use the visualizer in Postman, you can follow these steps:
1. Create a new request or open an existing one in Postman.
2. Send the request to get the API response.
3. In the response panel, click on the "Visualize" button located at the top right corner.
4. This will open the Visualizer editor, where you can write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to customize the visualization of the response data.
5. Use the available data variables(e.g., responseBody, responseHeaders, etc.) to access the response data within your code.
6. Write your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to create the desired visualization.
7. Preview the visualization by clicking the "Preview" button.
8. Save the changes and close the Visualizer editor.
You can import popular charting libraries like D3.js, Chart.js, or any other JavaScript libraries into the Visualizer to create more advanced and customized visualizations.
Note that the Visualizer feature is available in the Postman desktop application and the Postman web version.

2. Built-in Libraries

Postman provides a range of external libraries that you can utilize in the Pre-request Script and Test Script tabs. These libraries offer additional functionalities that may not be inherent to JavaScript. Here are some of the commonly used libraries in Postman:
1. Moment.js: Moment.js is a popular JavaScript library for parsing, manipulating, and formatting dates and times. It provides a simple and intuitive API for working with dates, time zones, durations, and more. You can use Moment.js in Postman to handle date-related operations conveniently.
2. Lodash: Lodash is a utility library that provides a collection of helper functions to simplify common programming tasks in JavaScript. It offers a wide range of functions for array manipulation, object manipulation, string manipulation, and more. Lodash can be useful in Postman for data manipulation and transformation tasks.
3. Faker.js: Faker.js is a library for generating realistic dummy data. It provides a wide range of methods to generate random names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and various other types of data. Faker.js can be handy in Postman for creating mock data or populating request payloads with realistic test data.

3. Workflow Control

Postman, the postman.setNextRequest method allows you to control the order in which requests are executed within a collection run. By using conditional logic in the Pre-request Script or Tests tab, you can dynamically set the next request to be executed based on specific conditions or criteria.
Here's how you can use Postman.setNextRequest to control the request flow:
1. Open your Postman collection and navigate to the desired request.
In the Pre-request Script or Tests tab, write the necessary conditional logic using JavaScript.
2. Use the postman.setNextRequest method to specify the next request to be executed based on the conditions.
3. For example, you can use postman.setNextRequest('Request 2') to set the next request to be "Request 2".
4. You can also set it to null to end the collection run or use variables to determine the next request dynamically.
5. Save the changes to the request.
With this approach, you can create complex workflows and conditional scenarios within your collection runs. You can control the execution order, skip certain requests, or repeat specific requests based on the conditions you define in the scripts.
The postman.setNextRequest method is a powerful tool to create dynamic and flexible collections that adapt to different scenarios and conditions during runtime.

4. Built-in GraphQL Support

Postman provides robust support for GraphQL, making it easier for developers to work with GraphQL APIs. Here are some key features and functionalities that Postman offers for GraphQL:
1. GraphQL Variables: Postman allows you to define and use GraphQL variables in your requests. You can specify variables in the request body and dynamically assign values to them. This helps in parameterizing your GraphQL queries and mutations, making them more flexible and reusable.
2. GraphQL Request Body: You can send GraphQL queries and mutations as POST requests in the request body. Postman provides a dedicated GraphQL editor where you can write your GraphQL code and take advantage of features like syntax highlighting, autocompletion, and error checking.
3. GraphQL Autocompletion: Postman's GraphQL editor supports autocompletion, which enhances the developer experience by suggesting fields, types, and arguments as you type. Additionally, if you have a user-defined GraphQL schema, Postman can use it to provide accurate autocompletion suggestions based on your specific API.
4. User-Defined GraphQL Schemas: You can import and use your own GraphQL schema in Postman. By importing the schema, Postman gains knowledge about your API's types, fields, and relationships. This enables accurate autocompletion and validation of your GraphQL queries, reducing errors and enhancing productivity.
5. GraphQL Query History: Postman keeps track of your GraphQL query history, making it easy to revisit and reuse previously executed queries. You can access the query history from the Postman interface and quickly execute or modify the queries as needed.
With these features, Postman provides a comprehensive environment for working with GraphQL APIs. It supports common GraphQL practices, helps you write and execute queries efficiently, and enhances the overall development experience.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced GraphQL developer, Postman's GraphQL support can streamline your API testing and development workflows.

5. Collections

Postman is a popular API development and testing tool that provides a feature called "Collections" to help you organize your API requests. With collections, you can group related requests together, making it more convenient to manage and execute multiple requests as a cohesive unit.
Collections in Postman typically include a set of API endpoints, along with the associated headers, parameters, and authentication details required to interact with those endpoints. You can create collections from scratch or import existing ones, and then add requests to them.
Here are some key features and benefits of using collections in Postman:
1. Organization: Collections allow you to structure your API requests in a hierarchical manner. You can create folders within collections to further categorize and group related requests based on functionality, endpoints, or any other criteria that suits your project.
2. Execution: Once you've created a collection, you can easily execute all the requests within it with a single click. This is especially useful when you have a series of requests that need to be executed in a specific order or as part of a workflow.
3. Variables and Environments: Postman collections support the use of variables, allowing you to define and reuse values across requests. You can also set up environments to manage different sets of variable values, such as for different development or testing environments.
4. Sharing and Collaboration: Collections can be shared with team members, enabling collaboration on API workflows. You can invite others to collaborate on a collection, allowing them to view, edit, and execute requests. This promotes teamwork and simplifies sharing of API-related knowledge.
5. Documentation: Postman also provides options to generate documentation for your collections. This documentation includes details about the requests, endpoints, parameters, and examples, making it easier for others to understand and consume your APIs.
Overall, Postman collections are a powerful tool for organizing, executing, and collaborating on API requests. They help streamline the development and testing process, making it more efficient and manageable, particularly when working with complex API workflows.

6. Tests and Assertions

Postman is a popular API development and testing tool that includes a robust testing framework. With Postman, you can write tests using JavaScript to validate various aspects of your API responses.
Assertions play a crucial role in Postman tests. They allow you to define expected behaviors and verify that your API is functioning correctly. Here are some common assertions you can use in Postman tests:
1. Status code assertion: You can verify that the response status code matches the expected value. For example:
pm.test("Status code is 200", function () {
    pm.response.to.have.status(200);
});
2. Response body assertion: You can check the response body for specific data or patterns. Here's an example of verifying the presence of a certain key in the JSON response:
pm.test("Response body contains key 'username'", function () {
    pm.response.to.have.jsonBody('username');
});
3. Header assertion: You can validate the presence and value of specific headers in the response. For instance:
pm.test("Content-Type header is present and set to JSON", function () {
    pm.response.to.have.header("Content-Type", "application/json");
});
4. Response time assertion: You can ensure that the response time is within an acceptable range. Here's an example of verifying that the response time is less than 500 milliseconds:
pm.test("Response time is within acceptable range", function () {
    pm.expect(pm.response.responseTime).to.be.below(500);
});
These are just a few examples of the assertions you can use in Postman tests. By combining these assertions with JavaScript logic, you can create comprehensive tests to validate the behavior of your APIs.


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