The SIIA is delighted to introduce one of the newest members to join SIIA’s Software & Services Division, Postdot Technologies. I had a chance to sit down with CEO & Co-Founder, Abhinav Asthana, to learn a little more about API development. Please find my interview below.
Rhianna: Tell us about Postman and what makes you unique.
Abhinav: Postman is the most popular API toolchain available, helping to make API development faster, easier, and better. With our main focus on making developers’ lives easier, Postman was designed to support every API developer, including individuals and teams working with Mac, Windows, Linux, or Chrome Apps.
APIs are critical in today’s software environment, and growing more important every day. APIs – both public and private – are exploding, as software and devices become more and more connected. We are entering an era of API-first development, with the need to scale quickly.
Postman is the complete toolchain for API developers, allowing them to keep up with this ever-increasing interconnectedness. We offer the free Postman app for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome users, and recently launched Postman Pro, a paid product for developers and developer teams. Our product can support every stage of API development, from design, debug, test, document, and monitor, and integrates with many other API tools for flexibility and customization.
Rhianna: What are the different stages in API development? What’s important about each stage?
Abhinav: We describe the API development cycle as:
Designing is a very individual activity. Most API designers have their favorite design spec. The important thing from our perspective is to enable those design preferences. As a result, we allow the import of multiple formats into Postman, and support integrations with our tool to extend that capability.
Debug & Test are where Postman started - in fact, most developers familiar with Postman will describe it as a REST API test tool. I first created Postman because I *hated* using cURL, the command line tool for working with APIs. I just figured there had to be a better way to test APIs he needed to work with, so I created the first Postman app. Since then, we’ve added many features to support debugging and testing APIs - variables, scripts, code snippets, environments, etc. - because a powerful testing tool is critical to API developers.
Documentation is often overlooked in development, but is particularly critical with APIs, as they are intended for use and reuse by multiple developers, usually outside the team and company. Easy-to-create and easy-to-consume documentation is an asset to any API. Finally, monitoring an API regularly is essential to ensuring ongoing success of your development. Postman allows for monitoring for uptime & responsiveness - common metrics - but also for correctness, as defined by the developer using the API.
We emphasize flexibility for the developer all along their API development cycle.
Rhianna: With software applications relying on APIs in order to function properly on an operating system, what types of implications can developers and users face when there are no longer support or updates for either the operating system or the software application?
Abhinav: An API developer’s work is generally not OS-centric. They need to focus on topics like accessibility, scalability, flexibility, security and ultimately about how application performance is experienced online by service providers and customers. It is why having a robust toolkit to assure APIs can be created, tested and deployed rapidly and work without friction and flawlessly is “mission-critical.”
Postman, as a robust and easy-to-use “cloud-first” development and testing solution, is at its core a REST client and sits on top of the consistent architectural standard for interoperability on the internet. API developers focus on creating OS-agnostic services that can work with diverse systems and produce predictable and consistent outcomes. In short, the developers’ world is open to virtually any web service opportunity. They are not OS-constrained, and portability is a key benefit of working with RESTful APIs.
Rhianna: With a lot of API development and collaboration happening over the cloud what types of security measures do developers need to take in order to protect their product and brand?
Abhinav: With so much moving to the Cloud, security can be a concern, but is a fact of the developer’s life. In many ways, the cloud is more secure than some legacy on-premise systems and services. The proof is in the extraordinary momentum of enterprises moving more and more of their business processes and services to the cloud.
That said, at Postman we take security extremely seriously, because we are a trusted vendor for our customers. All tech companies need to have a software stack that is a safe and secure environment, and creates a balance that enables work to flow efficiently and effectively. Postman allows developers to iterate as fast as possible, without sacrificing on protecting digital assets and IP to the greatest extent possible.