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Alternatives to Sandbox

Docker, Postman, Amazon API Gateway, Insomnia REST Client, and Paw are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Sandbox.
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What is Sandbox and what are its top alternatives?

Quickly mock RESTful API or SOAP web-services with simple or dynamic responses, and fault injection to simulate real application behaviour.
Sandbox is a tool in the API Tools category of a tech stack.

Top Alternatives of Sandbox

Sandbox alternatives & related posts

related Docker posts

Simon Reymann
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 23 upvotes · 234.8K views

Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:

  • GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
  • Respectively Git as revision control system
  • SourceTree as Git GUI
  • Visual Studio Code as IDE
  • CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
  • Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
  • SonarQube as quality gate
  • Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
  • VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
  • Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
  • Heroku for deploying in test environments
  • nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
  • SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
  • Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
  • PostgreSQL as preferred database system
  • Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)

The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:

  • Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
  • Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
  • Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
  • Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
  • Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
  • Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
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Tymoteusz Paul
Tymoteusz Paul
Devops guy at X20X Development LTD · | 21 upvotes · 2.3M views

Often enough I have to explain my way of going about setting up a CI/CD pipeline with multiple deployment platforms. Since I am a bit tired of yapping the same every single time, I've decided to write it up and share with the world this way, and send people to read it instead ;). I will explain it on "live-example" of how the Rome got built, basing that current methodology exists only of readme.md and wishes of good luck (as it usually is ;)).

It always starts with an app, whatever it may be and reading the readmes available while Vagrant and VirtualBox is installing and updating. Following that is the first hurdle to go over - convert all the instruction/scripts into Ansible playbook(s), and only stopping when doing a clear vagrant up or vagrant reload we will have a fully working environment. As our Vagrant environment is now functional, it's time to break it! This is the moment to look for how things can be done better (too rigid/too lose versioning? Sloppy environment setup?) and replace them with the right way to do stuff, one that won't bite us in the backside. This is the point, and the best opportunity, to upcycle the existing way of doing dev environment to produce a proper, production-grade product.

I should probably digress here for a moment and explain why. I firmly believe that the way you deploy production is the same way you should deploy develop, shy of few debugging-friendly setting. This way you avoid the discrepancy between how production work vs how development works, which almost always causes major pains in the back of the neck, and with use of proper tools should mean no more work for the developers. That's why we start with Vagrant as developer boxes should be as easy as vagrant up, but the meat of our product lies in Ansible which will do meat of the work and can be applied to almost anything: AWS, bare metal, docker, LXC, in open net, behind vpn - you name it.

We must also give proper consideration to monitoring and logging hoovering at this point. My generic answer here is to grab Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash. While for different use cases there may be better solutions, this one is well battle-tested, performs reasonably and is very easy to scale both vertically (within some limits) and horizontally. Logstash rules are easy to write and are well supported in maintenance through Ansible, which as I've mentioned earlier, are at the very core of things, and creating triggers/reports and alerts based on Elastic and Kibana is generally a breeze, including some quite complex aggregations.

If we are happy with the state of the Ansible it's time to move on and put all those roles and playbooks to work. Namely, we need something to manage our CI/CD pipelines. For me, the choice is obvious: TeamCity. It's modern, robust and unlike most of the light-weight alternatives, it's transparent. What I mean by that is that it doesn't tell you how to do things, doesn't limit your ways to deploy, or test, or package for that matter. Instead, it provides a developer-friendly and rich playground for your pipelines. You can do most the same with Jenkins, but it has a quite dated look and feel to it, while also missing some key functionality that must be brought in via plugins (like quality REST API which comes built-in with TeamCity). It also comes with all the common-handy plugins like Slack or Apache Maven integration.

The exact flow between CI and CD varies too greatly from one application to another to describe, so I will outline a few rules that guide me in it: 1. Make build steps as small as possible. This way when something breaks, we know exactly where, without needing to dig and root around. 2. All security credentials besides development environment must be sources from individual Vault instances. Keys to those containers should exist only on the CI/CD box and accessible by a few people (the less the better). This is pretty self-explanatory, as anything besides dev may contain sensitive data and, at times, be public-facing. Because of that appropriate security must be present. TeamCity shines in this department with excellent secrets-management. 3. Every part of the build chain shall consume and produce artifacts. If it creates nothing, it likely shouldn't be its own build. This way if any issue shows up with any environment or version, all developer has to do it is grab appropriate artifacts to reproduce the issue locally. 4. Deployment builds should be directly tied to specific Git branches/tags. This enables much easier tracking of what caused an issue, including automated identifying and tagging the author (nothing like automated regression testing!).

Speaking of deployments, I generally try to keep it simple but also with a close eye on the wallet. Because of that, I am more than happy with AWS or another cloud provider, but also constantly peeking at the loads and do we get the value of what we are paying for. Often enough the pattern of use is not constantly erratic, but rather has a firm baseline which could be migrated away from the cloud and into bare metal boxes. That is another part where this approach strongly triumphs over the common Docker and CircleCI setup, where you are very much tied in to use cloud providers and getting out is expensive. Here to embrace bare-metal hosting all you need is a help of some container-based self-hosting software, my personal preference is with Proxmox and LXC. Following that all you must write are ansible scripts to manage hardware of Proxmox, similar way as you do for Amazon EC2 (ansible supports both greatly) and you are good to go. One does not exclude another, quite the opposite, as they can live in great synergy and cut your costs dramatically (the heavier your base load, the bigger the savings) while providing production-grade resiliency.

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related Postman posts

Noah Zoschke
Noah Zoschke
Engineering Manager at Segment · | 29 upvotes · 1M views

We just launched the Segment Config API (try it out for yourself here) ‚ÄĒ a set of public REST APIs that enable you to manage your Segment configuration. A public API is only as good as its #documentation. For the API reference doc we are using Postman.

Postman is an ‚ÄúAPI development environment‚ÄĚ. You download the desktop app, and build API requests by URL and payload. Over time you can build up a set of requests and organize them into a ‚ÄúPostman Collection‚ÄĚ. You can generalize a collection with ‚Äúcollection variables‚ÄĚ. This allows you to parameterize things like username, password and workspace_name so a user can fill their own values in before making an API call. This makes it possible to use Postman for one-off API tasks instead of writing code.

Then you can add Markdown content to the entire collection, a folder of related methods, and/or every API method to explain how the APIs work. You can publish a collection and easily share it with a URL.

This turns Postman from a personal #API utility to full-blown public interactive API documentation. The result is a great looking web page with all the API calls, docs and sample requests and responses in one place. Check out the results here.

Postman‚Äôs powers don‚Äôt end here. You can automate Postman with ‚Äútest scripts‚ÄĚ and have it periodically run a collection scripts as ‚Äúmonitors‚ÄĚ. We now have #QA around all the APIs in public docs to make sure they are always correct

Along the way we tried other techniques for documenting APIs like ReadMe.io or Swagger UI. These required a lot of effort to customize.

Writing and maintaining a Postman collection takes some work, but the resulting documentation site, interactivity and API testing tools are well worth it.

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Simon Reymann
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 22 upvotes · 267.4K views

Our whole Node.js backend stack consists of the following tools:

  • Lerna as a tool for multi package and multi repository management
  • npm as package manager
  • NestJS as Node.js framework
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • ExpressJS as web server
  • Swagger UI for visualizing and interacting with the API‚Äôs resources
  • Postman as a tool for API development
  • TypeORM as object relational mapping layer
  • JSON Web Token for access token management

The main reason we have chosen Node.js over PHP is related to the following artifacts:

  • Made for the web and widely in use: Node.js is a software platform for developing server-side network services. Well-known projects that rely on Node.js include the blogging software Ghost, the project management tool Trello and the operating system WebOS. Node.js requires the JavaScript runtime environment V8, which was specially developed by Google for the popular Chrome browser. This guarantees a very resource-saving architecture, which qualifies Node.js especially for the operation of a web server. Ryan Dahl, the developer of Node.js, released the first stable version on May 27, 2009. He developed Node.js out of dissatisfaction with the possibilities that JavaScript offered at the time. The basic functionality of Node.js has been mapped with JavaScript since the first version, which can be expanded with a large number of different modules. The current package managers (npm or Yarn) for Node.js know more than 1,000,000 of these modules.
  • Fast server-side solutions: Node.js adopts the JavaScript "event-loop" to create non-blocking I/O applications that conveniently serve simultaneous events. With the standard available asynchronous processing within JavaScript/TypeScript, highly scalable, server-side solutions can be realized. The efficient use of the CPU and the RAM is maximized and more simultaneous requests can be processed than with conventional multi-thread servers.
  • A language along the entire stack: Widely used frameworks such as React or AngularJS or Vue.js, which we prefer, are written in JavaScript/TypeScript. If Node.js is now used on the server side, you can use all the advantages of a uniform script language throughout the entire application development. The same language in the back- and frontend simplifies the maintenance of the application and also the coordination within the development team.
  • Flexibility: Node.js sets very few strict dependencies, rules and guidelines and thus grants a high degree of flexibility in application development. There are no strict conventions so that the appropriate architecture, design structures, modules and features can be freely selected for the development.
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Amazon API Gateway

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Create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale
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related Insomnia REST Client posts

Jason Barry
Jason Barry
Cofounder at FeaturePeek · | 4 upvotes · 495.8K views

We've tried a couple REST clients over the years, and Insomnia REST Client has won us over the most. Here's what we like about it compared to other contenders in this category:

  • Uncluttered UI. Things are only in your face when you need them, and the app is visually organized in an intuitive manner.
  • Native Mac app. We wanted the look and feel to be on par with other apps in our OS rather than a web app / Electron app (cough Postman).
  • Easy team sync. Other apps have this too, but Insomnia's model best sets the "set and forget" mentality. Syncs are near instant and I'm always assured that I'm working on the latest version of API endpoints. Apps like Paw use a git-based approach to revision history, but I think this actually over-complicates the sync feature. For ensuring I'm always working on the latest version of something, I'd rather have the sync model be closer to Dropbox's than git's, and Insomnia is closer to Dropbox in that regard.

Some features like automatic public-facing documentation aren't supported, but we currently don't have any public APIs, so this didn't matter to us.

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related Paw posts

Jason Barry
Jason Barry
Cofounder at FeaturePeek · | 4 upvotes · 495.8K views

We've tried a couple REST clients over the years, and Insomnia REST Client has won us over the most. Here's what we like about it compared to other contenders in this category:

  • Uncluttered UI. Things are only in your face when you need them, and the app is visually organized in an intuitive manner.
  • Native Mac app. We wanted the look and feel to be on par with other apps in our OS rather than a web app / Electron app (cough Postman).
  • Easy team sync. Other apps have this too, but Insomnia's model best sets the "set and forget" mentality. Syncs are near instant and I'm always assured that I'm working on the latest version of API endpoints. Apps like Paw use a git-based approach to revision history, but I think this actually over-complicates the sync feature. For ensuring I'm always working on the latest version of something, I'd rather have the sync model be closer to Dropbox's than git's, and Insomnia is closer to Dropbox in that regard.

Some features like automatic public-facing documentation aren't supported, but we currently don't have any public APIs, so this didn't matter to us.

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OpenAPI

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    related OpenAPI posts

    Joshua Dean K√ľpper
    Joshua Dean K√ľpper
    CEO at Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) · | 4 upvotes · 26.1K views

    We use Swagger Inspector in conjunction with our universal REST-API "Charon". Swagger Inspector makes testing edge-cases hassle-free and lets testing look easy. Swagger Inspector was also a great help to explore the Mojang-API, that we are dependent on, because it is the central repository for minecraft-account-data.

    We previously used Postman but decided to switch over to Swagger Inspector because it also integrated seamlessly into Swagger UI, which we use for displaying our OpenAPI specification of said REST-API.

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