Postman alternatives for API testing and monitoring
March 6, 2024

Postman Alternatives for API Testing and Monitoring

API Testing

Modern applications rely on hundreds of APIs. When an API fails, the applications that are built on that API fail as well. This can impact users, resulting in lost revenue and tarnished brand reputation. Internally, when this happens your DevOps are scrambling to find the root cause and remediate it instead of focusing on scaling and meeting SLAs. This makes testing and monitoring APIs an important process for organizations.

Some engineers turn to Postman for API testing and monitoring needs. However, Postman is a costly and limited solution. QA, DevOps and other engineers may find it lacks capabilities that can answer their needs. In this blog post, we provide 12 Postman alternatives built for the enterprise.

What is Postman?

Postman is a popular API testing and development tool. Postman works by acting as a client for sending HTTP requests to a server. This allows developers and testers to set up HTTP requests for testing their APIs and for monitoring downtime and performance issues.

Postman Challenges

While Postman is a popular tool with its own advantages, there are also numerous challenges that come when using Postman for API development and testing. These include:

  • Complexity - Postman's wide array of features and functionalities can be overwhelming. This makes daily use complex and requires a steep learning curve.
  • Performance Issues - When working with large data sets or numerous requests, Postman can sometimes become slow or less responsive. This can impact efficiency.
  • Testing Limitations - Postman is limited to API testing, whereas enterprises have comprehensive testing needs, from performance to functional, and more.
  • Pricing - Postman’s pricing is confusing, resulting in confusion among teams regarding the capabilities available in their plans.
  • Scripting Limitations - While Postman allows for test scripts and pre-request scripts, the scripting environment has its limitations in terms of debugging capabilities and advanced programming features.
  • API Versioning and Management - Keeping track of changes and ensuring that all team members are working on the correct version requires meticulous management.
  • Integrations - Attempting to integrate Postman into complex development ecosystems and other tools in the testing and development stack is not always straightforward and can result in silos.
  • Collaboration Limitations - While Postman offers collaboration features, the free version has limitations in terms of how many people can collaborate and the extent of shared resources. Teams might need to invest in paid plans for more comprehensive collaboration features.
  • Dependence on GUI - Postman is predominantly a GUI tool. This dependency can sometimes be limiting for those who prefer or require a command-line interface for integration into automated workflows or CI/CD pipelines.

Postman Alternatives

Many organizations are looking for Postman alternatives, i.e solutions for API testing and monitoring that overcome the challenges posed by Postman. Here are a few to consider, many of which are open source:

1. Insomnia

Insomnia is a user-friendly tool for API development and testing. Insomnia allows creating and sending HTTP and REST requests, like GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and more. Users can view API responses, including status codes, headers, and body. This enables understanding how the application handles different response scenarios, for efficient debugging.

The tool also offers the ability to set up different environments, allowing users to define environment-specific variables like API keys or base URLs. This makes it easier to switch contexts without changing the code.

2. SoapUI

SoapUI is a popular open-source and commercial API testing tool (the commercial is called ReadyAPI), due to its powerful capabilities, flexibility and user-friendly platform. It’s particularly effective for testing SOAP, REST and GraphQL APIs. SoapUI allows inputting the WSDL or endpoint URL, configuring the requests with headers, parameters, or body content and sending the requests for testing purposes. The tool also supports capabilities like automation, mock services, variables, and more.

3. SwaggerUI

Swagger UI is a commonly used interactive visualization tool for RESTful web services, used for documenting, designing, and testing APIs. Swagger UI reads the OpenAPI specification document and generates an interactive documentation website. This web-based UI allows users to visualize and interact with the API’s resources without having any of the implementation logic in place. Visualized resources include the API endpoints, their request methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.), and the structure of request and response payloads. As a result, users can send actual requests directly to the API and understand the API's behavior in real-time.

4. JMeter

Apache JMeter is a popular open-source testing software, designed for load testing user behavior and measuring performance. Initially created for testing web applications, it has since expanded to other test functions.

For API testing, JMeter allows configuring API endpoint details into the test plan. For example, the URL, method (GET, POST, etc.), parameters, headers, and body data if needed. When the test is executed, JMeter sends requests to the API and captures the response. Users can monitor this in real-time and analyze the results.

JMeter also has a rich plugin ecosystem, allowing for advanced capabilities like better reporting or support for different types of APIs. BlazeMeter also seamlessly runs JMeter tests, allowing for scalability, better reporting, test data, mocking, and more.

5. TestSigma

TestSigma is a test automation platform that allows users to write tests in simple, natural language. This makes it accessible to a wider range of users, not just those with coding skills. CI/CD integration allows for continuous testing and collaboration. For API testing, TestSigma allows for real-time API validation across a wide range of API testing types, like functional and load.

6. HTTPie

HTTPie is a command-line HTTP client, widely appreciated for its user-friendly and human-readable syntax. It's designed as a modern alternative to curl and wget, offering a more intuitive way to interact with HTTP servers, web services, and RESTful APIs.

7. Karate Labs

Karate Labs is a tool known for its versatility in test automation, particularly for APIs, web services, and UI testing. It stands out for its simplicity in writing tests, even for non-programmers, due to its Gherkin-based DSL. For API testing, Karate Labs allows users to test both SOAP and REST APIs. It can send requests, receive responses, and validate the response data.

8. Hoppscotch (formerly Postwoman)

Hoppscotch, previously known as Postwoman, is an open-source API request builder. This tool is highly valued by developers for its user-friendliness and versatility for handling various API requests. These include REST, GraphQL, and WebSocket. One of its standout features is the ability to test APIs directly in the browser, eliminating the need for additional software or extensive setup. Hoppscotch also supports sharing API requests.

9. Tricentis

Tricentis offers robust API testing and monitoring capabilities, designed to validate the functionality, reliability, performance, and security of APIs. Tricentis covers both SOAP and REST protocols and allows developers and testers to automate their API tests, run them at scale, and integrate them into their end-to-end testing strategies. Tricentis is considered a solution that is easy to master, for both technical and non-technical team members.

10. SmartBear

SmartBear allows for automated API testing and monitoring capabilities through ReadyAPI and alertsite. The tool supports complex testing scenarios, including load and security testing and automation, and integrates with CI/CD tools. For monitoring, SmartBear provides real-time insights into API performance and availability.

11. IBM API Connect

IBM API Connect enables companies to create, secure, and manage APIs. Users can test both REST and SOAP APIs, by simulating API behavior in various scenarios, ensuring that they function correctly under different conditions. For monitoring, IBM API Connect provides real-time analytics and operational monitoring tools, extending to security capabilities as well.

12. BlazeMeter

BlazeMeter is a comprehensive testing platform, providing a wide range of capabilities. These include API, functional, and performance testing, along with test data management and mock services. 

BlazeMeter’s API tests are comprehensive and high-quality, ranging from initial API quality checks to end-to-end testing. API tests are validated under varied real-world scenarios and complex workflows using diverse data inputs, thanks to BlazeMeter’s data-driven approach. This functionality includes checking for specific status codes, HTTP headers, and JSON or XML properties, or creating custom validation rules using a built-in JavaScript script engine​​.

For analysis, BlazeMeter allows for real-time monitoring. In addition, BlazeMeter integrates with open-source and third-party tools like Jenkins, PagerDuty, and Slack to provide timely notifications about API issues​​.

Tests from tools like Postman, Newman, Smartbear, Swagger and others can be easily transitioned and integrated into BlazeMeter, to help with vendor locking issues. Professional services are also available for migration support.

BlazeMeter is easy to use, supports scaling and automation tests and is designed for enterprise security requirements. Finally, BlazeMeter also provides a straightforward pricing model that does not charge per user or seat, allowing for significant cost savings.

Learn everything there is to know about leveraging BlazeMeter API testing and monitoring by registering for the Master BlazeMeter API Monitoring course from BlazeMeter University!


How to Get Started with API Testing and Monitoring

When choosing an API testing and monitoring solution, ask vendors the following questions:

  • How does the tool integrate into CI/CD systems? Can it improve workflows without causing disruption?
  • Can the solution handle complex, high-load scenarios?
  • Which testing requirements can the platform accommodate? Can it answer all my team’s testing needs?
  • What’s the pricing model? Will there be any end of month surprises?
  • Does the solution meet my compliance and security standards?
  • How does the tool enhance collaboration rather than building silos?
  • Will I get the support I need?

If you do not get the answer you desire to even one of those questions, it is worth questioning whether that vendor is the right one for you. Luckily, BlazeMeter can assuredly answer in the positive for each. BlazeMeter's robust API testing and monitoring capabilities are unrivaled on the market and can suit each of your unique needs — no matter the size and scale.

See for yourself how BlazeMeter answers these questions and can become your trusted API testing and monitoring partner by getting started for FREE today!

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