As a mobile QA analyst, there are many variables to consider when testing an application. Whether it’s design elements interacting with various sized devices or how apps function with different versions of software available; thoroughly testing an app for scalability is of the utmost importance.
Many times I feel that QA overlooks testing the very backbone of the application itself, the API supplying it with the information that allows the app to function correctly. I have recently employed the use of Postman for this very reason. Postman is a lightweight yet robust tool that allows you to test all the endpoints associated with the API you’re working on. I’ve highlighted here three powerful features of Postman that will make QA testing easier and more thorough.
Postman variables allow you to store and reference values for use in multiple places within your API testing. For example, if you are required to supply a token in order to access the various endpoints within your API, instead of having to copy and paste the token into each of the calls you can simply set a variable that references your token on each call. These variables can be applied to either a global (will affect all tests regardless of environment) or an environmental (only affects the current environment you are referencing). Setting variables drastically cuts down on the time it takes to perform your API tests and makes my second reason for using Postman in testing possible.
2. Collection Runner
In Postman you can set up folders containing all of the endpoints you need for testing each app. These folders are called ‘collections,’ and by using both the collections you have constructed along with the variables you have previously set; you can use a collection runner. The collection runner will automatically run through each call in your chosen collection and show the status of each one. I have found this invaluable as an extremely efficient way to gauge the overall health of an API, even more so when we start layering in my third reason for using Postman.
Postman gives you the ability to add tests to each call you perform. These test range from the ability to ensure that your call executed successfully (e.g. the status of the call was 200) to checking to make sure that the responses are delivering as expected. By including tests in the calls in each of your collections and then running those calls through the collection runner, you can be sure that all of your endpoints are functioning correctly and returning the information you would expect with a simple click of a button.
As you can see Postman’s features are logical and no-frills, but make QA testing both streamlined and thorough when used properly.
Mark is a mobile quality assurance analyst for Shockoe. He attended VCU and has lived in the Richmond area for the past 15 years. After spending the last 5 years as a manager at a screen printing business, Mark made the jump into the world of QA. His methodical and detail driven approach to application testing ensures that every app delivered to a client is of the utmost quality.