"APIs 101"

If you’re completely new to APIs, this webinar is for you. In this session, Developer Educator Sue Smith talks about API basics with a practical walkthrough inside the Postman app. Agenda includes:

  • Intro to APIs
  • The basic components of an API request
  • Building and sending API requests
  • Understanding API responses
  • Further learning in Postman
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Aired: Thursday, August 6, 2020

Postman Version: 7.30.1

Sue Smith. Developer Educator at Postman.

Sue Smith

Developer Educator

Postman for Enterprises

Develop APIs for the enterprise with the broad capabilities of the Postman API Platform.

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What exactly is a REST API?

A REST (representational state transfer) API is an interface for accessing and manipulating data. Client apps, such as websites and mobile apps, make requests to REST APIs to carry out data operations. Some examples of data operations are retrieving, adding, and updating data.

How do I add a URL variable?

You can add a URL as a variable at the collection or environment level in Postman. Here’s how: Add the variable, set the URL as its value, and then reference it in your requests using double curly braces. Check out these Postman documentation pages for details:

Adding environment variables

Using variables

Is it possible to automate requests or do I have to do that manually?

You can automate running requests in Postman using the Collection Runner. Check out our page on reusing the Collection Runner.

How can I integrate Postman Collections in my code repository?

You can integrate your Postman Collection with GitHub and GitLab. Check out these Postman documentation pages for details:

GitHub integration

Gitlab integration

How can I send a request via a script or browser?

You can send some API requests just by entering the URL into your browser address bar. You can also use Postman on the Web (currently in beta).

If you want to control the execution of requests using scripts in Postman, you can do that by using the Collection Runner.

Is there a way to auto-format the JSON body that I created in Postman?

Yes. You can beautify JSON in Postman using the button at the top right of the body editor area. Your JSON response data should be automatically formatted if the request headers are correctly configured; however, you can also choose JSON from the drop-down list in the response body display.

Does Postman Visualizer only work in light mode? I have my settings in dark mode, and the text remains black on the dark background.

Postman Visualizer should work on both dark and light mode, but you may need to add some styling to render the background dark and the text white. Switching to the light theme first might help.