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Postman vs Retrofit: What are the differences?

Introduction

In this comparison, we will discuss the key differences between Postman and Retrofit.

  1. Code Generation: Postman allows users to generate code snippets in various programming languages for making API requests, while Retrofit is a type-safe HTTP client library for Android and Java that generates the necessary boilerplate code for making API calls using annotations.

  2. Platform & Language Support: Postman is a web-based tool that can be used on any platform (Windows, macOS, Linux) with support for multiple programming languages. On the other hand, Retrofit is primarily focused on providing support for Android and Java applications.

  3. User Interface: Postman provides a graphical user interface (GUI) with an intuitive design that allows users to easily create, save, and organize API requests. Retrofit, being a library, does not have a GUI and is integrated into the codebase of an application.

  4. Testing and Automation: Postman provides extensive testing capabilities, allowing users to create and run automated tests for APIs. It offers features such as assertions, scripts, and test runner. Retrofit, being a library, does not provide built-in testing capabilities, but it can be integrated with testing frameworks and tools.

  5. Authentication and Authorization: Postman offers various authentication methods and allows users to easily configure and manage authentication headers and tokens for API requests. Retrofit, being a library, requires developers to manually handle authentication and authorization logic within the codebase.

  6. Flexibility and Customization: Postman provides a wide range of features and customization options, such as request chaining, environment variables, pre-request scripts, and response manipulation. Retrofit, being a library, offers less flexibility and customization options as it primarily focuses on making API calls efficiently.

In Summary, Postman is a web-based tool that offers code generation, extensive testing capabilities, and a user-friendly GUI, while Retrofit is a library primarily focused on providing a type-safe HTTP client for Android and Java applications with less flexibility and customization options.

Advice on Postman and Retrofit
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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 README.md 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 ucreate.it | 8 upvotes 路 383.3K 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
Recommends
on
PostmanPostman

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 Postman and Retrofit
Stephen Fox
Artificial Intelligence Fellow | 1 upvote 路 338.7K 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 Postman
Pros of Retrofit
  • 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
    Collections
  • 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
    Documentation
  • 5
    Simple
  • 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
    API-network
  • 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
    Runner
  • 2
    Graph
  • 1
    <a href="http://fixbit.com/">useful tool</a>
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    Cons of Postman
    Cons of Retrofit
    • 10
      Stores credentials in HTTP
    • 9
      Bloated features and UI
    • 8
      Cumbersome to switch authentication tokens
    • 7
      Poor GraphQL support
    • 5
      Expensive
    • 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 Postman?

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

      What is Retrofit?

      Retrofit turns your HTTP API into a Java interface

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

      What companies use Postman?
      What companies use Retrofit?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Postman or Retrofit.
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      What tools integrate with Postman?
      What tools integrate with Retrofit?

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      What are some alternatives to Postman and Retrofit?
      Swagger UI
      Swagger UI is a dependency-free collection of HTML, Javascript, and CSS assets that dynamically generate beautiful documentation and sandbox from a Swagger-compliant API
      Insomnia REST Client
      Insomnia is a powerful REST API Client with cookie management, environment variables, code generation, and authentication for Mac, Window, and Linux.
      Paw
      Paw is a full-featured and beautifully designed Mac app that makes interaction with REST services delightful. Either you are an API maker or consumer, Paw helps you build HTTP requests, inspect the server's response and even generate client code.
      Apigee
      API management, design, analytics, and security are at the heart of modern digital architecture. The Apigee intelligent API platform is a complete solution for moving business to the digital world.
      cURL
      Used in command lines or scripts to transfer data. It is also used in cars, television sets, routers, printers, audio equipment, mobile phones, tablets, and is the internet transfer backbone for thousands of software applications affecting billions of humans daily.
      See all alternatives