I’ve been a long-time user of Postman, and I’ve seen it grow throughout the years. All I need from Postman is a REST client to check my API endpoints. Recently though, as I opened Postman and had to click through three offers for services I will never use, I started thinking that I should take a survey of alternatives with less bloat and take them for a test drive.
Below are the services I found that serve the purpose of simply sending requests to an API among a few the other features that went into consideration were:
- Request History
- The ability to recall previous requests was second only to sending requests in my priority list while evaluating clients.
- Post Response Testing
- To go hand-in-hand with post-response testing, collections are a great way to organize requests if you’re working with multiple APIs, such as I do as a consultant. In previous lives, I worked with only API, so in those cases collections become less important.
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I was turned onto Insomnia by a colleague and as an insomniac myself, I felt I had to give this client a try! Insomnia is one of the more robust clients I test drove. It sits at the cusp of usability and bloat, in my opinion. Insomnia offers a full-featured experience, included my top three priorities: history, collections, and testing. I was quite impressed with Insomnia’s testing feature. Using the Chai API for assertions, I was able to assemble simple tests within seconds. Even given my zero previous experience with Chai, I was able confirm various pieces of the returned data without having to curse once! Any developer that works primarily in the backend, knows exactly what a blissful experience it is not having to curse at your JavaScipt to get it to work can be.
I digress, Insomnia’s testing capabilities extend beyond individual tests and allow you to run an entire suite of tests at once. This feature makes for fantastic regression testing, as you can fire off multiple requests to different endpoints, each getting their own response to run the test script against. If you’re willing to put in the work, Insomnia can even chain requests for testing, taking values for the previous request and supplying them to the next. Insomnia, despite beginning to get into the territory of “features I’ll never use”, is the best well-rounded Postman alternative I encountered during this venture. 9/10
|Clean, simple, powerful
|Sweet testing suite!
Thunder Client is another tool in the Swiss Army knife of development that is VS Code. I love VS Code, I’m always on the lookout for ways to get more use out of it. So, Thunder Client fits right into my daily use. Thunder Client lacks some of the features that I’ve taken for granted in the previous two clients. It lacks the ability to bulk edit query parameters and does not provide easy GraphQL queries. If those are important to you, maybe Hoppscotch or Insomnia are a better fit for you. That out of the way, Thunder Client supports all my big three wants in a client. Thunder Client’s testing is a simple dropdown query builder. With a few selections, given limited functions, you’re able to quickly put together tests to examine components of the response.
|Thunder Client in all its glory
|Simple test generation!