Building APIs can be one of the most challenging things that a company faces, with issues such as security, integration with multiple backend legacy systems, support culture or others. While many companies are still learning to deal with it, Bengaluru-based Postman is climbing the popularity chart by being a solution to these challenges and serving as a complete API development environment making things quicker and easier for nearly five million developers and more than 100,000 companies across the globe.
Postman is essentially an elegant, flexible tool used to build connected software via APIs. Founded in 2014, it is headquartered in San Francisco and boast of specialities in API development, API management, Saas, and more. Curious Dose got in touch with Abhinav Asthana, CEO & Co-founder, Postman to understand the use cases ranging from single developer to an enterprise.
What Is Postman?
As the company claims, Postman is the only complete API development environment. The comprehensive set of built-in tools support every stage of the API lifecycle so individuals and teams can easily maintain a single source of truth. “You can design and mock, debug, test, document, monitor, and publish your APIs – all from the same place. Postman allows you to manage your APIs on the Postman native apps for MacOS, Windows, and Linux, with Newman, Postman’s command line tool, and via the cloud using Postman Monitoring,” shares Asthana.
The Postman free app was created as a side project, and first introduced in October 2012. It grew quickly to become one of the most popular apps on the Chrome store and expanded to Mac, Windows, and Linux native apps. Today they have 6 million developers using their apps, worldwide.
How Does It Make Things Easy?
Postman was initially created because Abhinav Asthana, Postman’s CEO and co-founder, noticed that API testing was difficult and inefficient across the board – no matter where he was working. He set out to create a tool that would simplify the API testing process.
“With the goal to make API development better and faster, we have a powerful set of built-in tools that are able to address every stage of API development. Postman’s simple UI allows users to do everything from design and mock to publish APIs, and in addition, includes tools like the Postman API and Newman, Postman’s command line tool, to allow for flexible access to the Postman API development environment,” says Asthana.
Postman Collections are the most common API specification format and are at the core of every tool within Postman. This makes it easy to save and reuse your work throughout each stage of the API life-cycle. Collections also allow you to collaborate with team members on Postman.
How It Works: Postman provides a simple UI that helps developers and teams create collections made up of individual HTTP requests and organise these requests into folders. Creating collections helps the user to stay organised, up-to-date, and allows to attach test scripts to requests, build workflows, build integration tests suites, and pass data between API requests.
How Did It Start?
Asthana shares that during his time at Yahoo, he met Ankit Sobti, now the Co-founder and CTO of Postman. “We were building a front-end architecture of an app and testing APIs was a pain point. There were a lot of communication issues with different teams. We thought of making the problem simpler but being first-time engineers, we didn’t work on the problem then,” he said.
Soon he went ahead to build TeliportMe where he faced similar issues. It was during this time that he created the prototype of the first Postman app. The other co-founder is Abhijit Kane who is the product architect at the company.
“The most common coding protocol is HTTP and within that protocol, you have ‘post’ used as a term. Adding ‘man’ to it, created a dual-meaning name for us – because it was about delivering seamlessly to developers,” says Asthana when asked why the name Postman.
Postman evolved from a side project to a mature product with several integrated features within a short time frame. They are 100-people strong across the offices and are looking to add more in their engineering team in Bengaluru. Postman is used by 6 million developers and more than 200,000 companies to access 130 million APIs every month.
These numbers and a clientele of names such as Atlassian, VMware, PayPal, and DocuSign suggest that they have grown spectacularly over the last few years.
“Postman’s mission is always to solve problems. That’s how the company started. So our growth plan is to continue solving the problems that people find in creating connected services – a growing industry with plenty of challenges to overcome,” said Asthana in the concluding note.