My Favorite SharePoint Development Utility: Postman (Chrome Extension)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 5:30 AM

A few months back I switched over to using Chrome as my primary development browser of choice. There are two characteristics that make it stand out from all the others that I really like as a browser development platform:

  • Login & sync of my settings, extensions & bookmarks - I created a development profile and use it on all my development environments (virtual machines mostly).
  • Chrome Extensions - basically add-ins for Chrome.

It’s the latter I want to focus on here. When doing SharePoint 2013 development, I favor the REST API over the CSOM API for many reasons, all of which I went into detail in this post a few months ago. When exploring the REST API, I used a combination of the browser & Fiddler to watch the traffic go back and forth and modify the HTTP headers to tweak the response type as well as other things. Recently I stumbled across the extension Chrome Postman - REST Client. This thing is awesome. Open a new tab in Chrome and it shows up as an app. It’s a killer power-tool for creating and tweaking REST queries for testing.

When you start it up, you plug the URL (#1 in the figure below) in and press send, it will run the query and display the results (#2 in the figure below). It even gives you some status and performance information (#3 in the figure below). As you run through these queries, it adds them to the history pane (#4 in the figure below) so you can quickly jump back.

Need to focus on the results, press the full screen button (#5 in the figure above) and the arrow to hide the history (#6 in the figure above) and you get a nice full browser-window view of the response as you see below. In addition, you can customize the HTTP header values… even setting some preferences for things you always use (like the ACCEPT header to switch it over to JSON). I also really like how you can add links to a collection for later viewing. Building off this, you can create pre-configured environments to set authentication and other header values you always use. Very slick!

Finally, you can also explore the list of all the HTTP headers in the response.

I’m a big fan of this guy and it enables me to stay in the browser without having to switch over to Fiddler or another tool.

comments powered by Disqus