Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers

#15: Developing APIs with OpenAPI and Postman

March 26, 2021 Chad Carlson, Larry Garfield, Lorna Mitchell, Joyce Lin Season 1 Episode 15
Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers
#15: Developing APIs with OpenAPI and Postman
Chapters
Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers
#15: Developing APIs with OpenAPI and Postman
Mar 26, 2021 Season 1 Episode 15
Chad Carlson, Larry Garfield, Lorna Mitchell, Joyce Lin

OpenAPI: Clarity and structure for API development

The OpenAPI specification (formerly known as Swagger) is a blueprint to help develop APIs and to make sure what’s in the API is clear and understandable, before development even starts. Lorna Mitchell, a Senior Development Advocate at Nexmo and one of our guests today, explains it like this, “OpenAPI is an API description standard. It's a way of explaining everything in your APIs. So think of when you would write documentation and the endpoints, the parameters, the responses you should expect, but it's in a machine-readable format. So you can generate documentation, but you can also generate mock servers, clients, feed into Postman and try out the requests. There's a bunch of possibilities.”

OpenAPI, open standard

Because OpenAPI is an open standard, one of those possibilities (and advantages!) is being able to use a variety of tools with it. Lorna continues, “So OpenAPI, because it describes your API in its entirety, gives you a bunch of things that you can do out of the box, it's an open standard. So there's a lot of different tools, providing a lot of different features. When the machines basically read this detailed spec, you can use JSON, you can use YAML. The big advantage is that by sharing the standard, then we can also share the tools.”

Postman, a leader in API testing

As the need for building APIs with a clear structure has risen, so has the need for testing them. This is where Postman comes in. Joyce Lin, a Senior Developer Advocate at Postman, describes Postman as a flexible, extensible API development platform that you can use for testing, deploying, as well as documenting your APIs. Joyce says the two primary use cases for OpenAPI and Postman are:

  • Driving the design and development of your API
  • Automatically generating documentation

She adds, “Postman is like a tool chain. And it’s opinionated, but it's not going to shame you because you've poorly designed your API. What Postman can help you do is interact with it a little bit more.”

She reveals support for OpenAPI in Postman happened because of customer’s requests, “Last year, one of Postman’s most requested features was support for OpenAPI. So we finally launched that, and we've been making some improvements.” Other improvements in Postman’s future include improved JSON schema and Graph SQL support.

Build and test your APIs more easily with OpenAPI and Postman on Platform.sh 

Platform.sh
Learn more about us.
Get started with a free trial.
Have a question? Get in touch!

Platform.sh on social media
Twitter @platformsh
Twitter (France): @platformsh_fr
LinkedIn: Platform.sh
LinkedIn (France): Platform.sh
Facebook: Platform.sh

Watch, listen, and subscribe to the Platform.sh Deploy Friday podcast:
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Apple Podcasts
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Platform.sh is a robust, reliable hosting platform that gives development teams the tools to build and scale applications efficiently. Whether you run one or one thousand websites, you can focus on creating features and functionality with your favorite tech stack and leave managing infrastructure and processes to us.

Show Notes

OpenAPI: Clarity and structure for API development

The OpenAPI specification (formerly known as Swagger) is a blueprint to help develop APIs and to make sure what’s in the API is clear and understandable, before development even starts. Lorna Mitchell, a Senior Development Advocate at Nexmo and one of our guests today, explains it like this, “OpenAPI is an API description standard. It's a way of explaining everything in your APIs. So think of when you would write documentation and the endpoints, the parameters, the responses you should expect, but it's in a machine-readable format. So you can generate documentation, but you can also generate mock servers, clients, feed into Postman and try out the requests. There's a bunch of possibilities.”

OpenAPI, open standard

Because OpenAPI is an open standard, one of those possibilities (and advantages!) is being able to use a variety of tools with it. Lorna continues, “So OpenAPI, because it describes your API in its entirety, gives you a bunch of things that you can do out of the box, it's an open standard. So there's a lot of different tools, providing a lot of different features. When the machines basically read this detailed spec, you can use JSON, you can use YAML. The big advantage is that by sharing the standard, then we can also share the tools.”

Postman, a leader in API testing

As the need for building APIs with a clear structure has risen, so has the need for testing them. This is where Postman comes in. Joyce Lin, a Senior Developer Advocate at Postman, describes Postman as a flexible, extensible API development platform that you can use for testing, deploying, as well as documenting your APIs. Joyce says the two primary use cases for OpenAPI and Postman are:

  • Driving the design and development of your API
  • Automatically generating documentation

She adds, “Postman is like a tool chain. And it’s opinionated, but it's not going to shame you because you've poorly designed your API. What Postman can help you do is interact with it a little bit more.”

She reveals support for OpenAPI in Postman happened because of customer’s requests, “Last year, one of Postman’s most requested features was support for OpenAPI. So we finally launched that, and we've been making some improvements.” Other improvements in Postman’s future include improved JSON schema and Graph SQL support.

Build and test your APIs more easily with OpenAPI and Postman on Platform.sh 

Platform.sh
Learn more about us.
Get started with a free trial.
Have a question? Get in touch!

Platform.sh on social media
Twitter @platformsh
Twitter (France): @platformsh_fr
LinkedIn: Platform.sh
LinkedIn (France): Platform.sh
Facebook: Platform.sh

Watch, listen, and subscribe to the Platform.sh Deploy Friday podcast:
YouTube
Apple Podcasts
Buzzsprout

Platform.sh is a robust, reliable hosting platform that gives development teams the tools to build and scale applications efficiently. Whether you run one or one thousand websites, you can focus on creating features and functionality with your favorite tech stack and leave managing infrastructure and processes to us.