These days APIs are all the rage when it comes to interacting with devices, infrastructure, software, etc. Most vendors and software are providing APIs that allow you to interact, configure, and query software and hardware. This is powerful when it comes to being able to automate your infrastructure environment. This is often where we start hearing the word “Dev Ops”. If you haven’t had a chance to get your feet wet with working with APIs, you may wonder how can I get start interacting with APIs? What is the best Rest API client download you can use to start querying APIs and learning how to work with them?
Best Rest API Client Download
There are a lot of really good clients out there, however, in my humble opinion, the best Rest API client download is Postman from Google. Postman is an extremely intuitive and easy to use Rest API client that allows you to make calls to APIs to perform various tasks. It is also a great way to get your fee wet using API calls to learn how they work, what you can do with them, etc. This is an extremely versatile and multiple platform utility as well spanning, Mac, Windows, Linux, as well as a Chrome browser app that simply utilizes your Chrome browser.
Since I had used the Chrome extension before, I wanted to see what the Windows app looked like and how it performed. Surprisingly it is just as quick and snappy as the browser plugin. Also, the install was so quick, an uneventful, I really didn’t have any screens to capture there to show you that process. When the app launches there are some pretty entertaining messages that come across the dashboard.
The first time you launch Postman, it will ask you to login. The benefits of logging in are you can share and manage your collections (will talk about this below), sync your data, and backup your data. Notice however, at the bottom, we can just select “take me straight to the app”.
The Postman interface is very nicely laid out and intuitive. You have a simple drop down menu to select GET, POST, and other actions. The Authentication settings are handy as well.
Below, I am using Postman to interact with VMware NSX Manager make a simple query to show the SSO config. As you can see we simply run a GET on the correct API string and this is returned back to us. We see the Status 200 OK which tells us it was successful.
With Postman collections, we can group individual requests together. These can be organized into folders as well for even more powerful API runs and automation.
Free vs Pay
For most the free version of Postman that is readily available is powerful enough for most. However, there are two other pay versions of Postman – Pro and Enterprise.
Postman Pro – includes Team Library of collections, monitoring features that allow you check for the performance, uptime and correctness of your API. Also, included is postman pro documenter, allowing you to share public or private documentation via a web page interface. Also, includes additional integrations.
Enterprise – offers phone and extended support, additional billing options, enterprise level security, encryption, and more.
Check out a more detailed listing of features here.
In today’s highly automated world of Dev Ops having a tool to interact with APIs is essential. Google’s Postman is an excellent tool to get started in the world of APIs. In our opinion here, Postman is the Best Rest API Client Download to use. Many might be scared off my APIs and this more developer approach to automation and Dev Ops, however, once you get your hands on a tool like Postman, it becomes quickly obvious that using APIs are not difficult and anyone can leverage them in their environment.