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OpenAPI vs Postman: What are the differences?

Key Differences Between OpenAPI and Postman

OpenAPI and Postman are both tools commonly used in the field of API development and testing. While they share some similarities, they also have key differences that set them apart.

1. OpenAPI: Definition-Driven Approach, Postman: Request-Based Approach OpenAPI follows a definition-driven approach where the API design is based on a structured specification file (usually in YAML or JSON format). Developers use this file to specify the API endpoints, request and response formats, and other details. On the other hand, Postman takes a request-based approach, allowing developers to manually create and configure HTTP requests.

2. OpenAPI: API Documentation, Postman: API Testing OpenAPI focuses on providing comprehensive documentation for the APIs. It offers a standard way to describe and document the endpoints, request/response models, and other details of the API. Postman, on the other hand, is primarily a tool for API testing. It allows developers to send requests, test different scenarios, and analyze response data.

3. OpenAPI: Supports Multiple Languages/Frameworks, Postman: Language-agnostic OpenAPI provides support for multiple programming languages and frameworks. Developers can use the generated OpenAPI code snippets to quickly integrate the API into their preferred language or framework. Postman, on the other hand, is language-agnostic and can be used with any programming language or framework.

4. OpenAPI: Collaborative Development, Postman: Individual Development OpenAPI promotes collaborative development by allowing multiple developers to work on the API documentation and share their changes using version control systems. It encourages teamwork and helps maintain consistency across the API development process. Postman, on the other hand, is more focused on individual development and provides features like collections and workspaces to organize API-related work individually.

5. OpenAPI: Standardization, Postman: Flexibility OpenAPI follows a standardized approach to API documentation and design. It uses the OpenAPI specification, which is widely adopted and supported by various API-related tools and platforms. This standardization ensures consistency and interoperability. Postman, on the other hand, offers more flexibility in terms of request customization and testing scenarios. It allows developers to manually modify requests, pre-process response data, and iterate quickly during the testing phase.

6. OpenAPI: Pre-production Phase, Postman: Production Phase OpenAPI is typically used in the pre-production phase of API development. It helps in designing the API, documenting its specifications, and generating code snippets for integration. It is often used in conjunction with other tools like API gateways to implement the actual API. Postman, on the other hand, is commonly used during the production phase to test and validate the API. It helps in identifying and fixing issues before the API is exposed to the end-users.

In summary, OpenAPI focuses on a definition-driven approach and comprehensive API documentation, with support for multiple languages and collaborative development. Postman, on the other hand, is more focused on request-based testing, providing flexibility and ease of use during the production phase of API development.

Advice on OpenAPI and Postman
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Swagger UISwagger UI

From a StackShare Community member: "I just started working for a start-up and we are in desperate need of better documentation for our API. Currently our API docs is in a file. We are evaluating Postman and Swagger UI. Since there are many options and I was wondering what other StackSharers would recommend?"

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Replies (3)
Jagdeep Singh
Tech Lead at | 8 upvotes 路 378K views

I use Postman because of the ease of team-management, using workspaces and teams, runner, collections, environment variables, test-scripts (post execution), variable management (pre and post execution), folders (inside collections, for better management of APIs), newman, easy-ci-integration (and probably a few more things that I am not able to recall right now).

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I use Swagger UI because it's an easy tool for end-consumers to visualize and test our APIs. It focuses on that ! And it's directly embedded and delivered with the APIs. Postman's built-in tools aren't bad, but their main focus isn't the documentation and also, they are hosted outside the project.

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Sadik Ay

I recommend Postman because it's easy to use with history option. Also, it has very great features like runner, collections, test scripts runners, defining environment variables and simple exporting and importing data.

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Decisions about OpenAPI and Postman
Stephen Fox
Artificial Intelligence Fellow | 1 upvote 路 334.3K views

Postman supports automation and organization in a way that Insomnia just doesn't. Admittedly, Insomnia makes it slightly easy to query the data that you get back (in a very MongoDB-esque query language) but Postman sets you up to develop the code that you would use in development/testing right in the editor.

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Pros of OpenAPI
Pros of Postman
  • 1
    Easy to read the template generated
  • 1
    The most popular api spec
  • 1
    Easy to learn
  • 1
    Supports versioning
  • 1
    Supports authentication
  • 1
    Supports caching
  • 490
    Easy to use
  • 369
    Great tool
  • 276
    Makes developing rest api's easy peasy
  • 156
    Easy setup, looks good
  • 144
    The best api workflow out there
  • 53
    It's the best
  • 53
    History feature
  • 44
    Adds real value to my workflow
  • 43
    Great interface that magically predicts your needs
  • 35
    The best in class app
  • 12
    Can save and share script
  • 10
    Fully featured without looking cluttered
  • 8
  • 8
    Option to run scrips
  • 8
    Global/Environment Variables
  • 7
    Shareable Collections
  • 7
    Dead simple and useful. Excellent
  • 7
    Dark theme easy on the eyes
  • 6
    Awesome customer support
  • 6
    Great integration with newman
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
    The test script is useful
  • 4
    Saves responses
  • 4
    This has simplified my testing significantly
  • 4
    Makes testing API's as easy as 1,2,3
  • 4
    Easy as pie
  • 3
  • 3
    I'd recommend it to everyone who works with apis
  • 3
    Mocking API calls with predefined response
  • 2
    Now supports GraphQL
  • 2
    Postman Runner CI Integration
  • 2
    Easy to setup, test and provides test storage
  • 2
    Continuous integration using newman
  • 2
    Pre-request Script and Test attributes are invaluable
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
    <a href="">useful tool</a>

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Cons of OpenAPI
Cons of Postman
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 10
      Stores credentials in HTTP
    • 9
      Bloated features and UI
    • 8
      Cumbersome to switch authentication tokens
    • 7
      Poor GraphQL support
    • 5
    • 3
      Not free after 5 users
    • 3
      Can't prompt for per-request variables
    • 1
      Import swagger
    • 1
      Support websocket
    • 1
      Import curl

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is OpenAPI?

    It is a publicly available application programming interface that provides developers with programmatic access to a proprietary software application or web service.

    What is Postman?

    It is the only complete API development environment, used by nearly five million developers and more than 100,000 companies worldwide.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use OpenAPI?
    What companies use Postman?
    See which teams inside your own company are using OpenAPI or Postman.
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