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Postman announced the launch of Postman for the web, a new browser interface for Postman that offers users simplified access and superior collaboration. The move marks somewhat of a return to Postman’s original roots.
“Postman started off as a Chrome plug-in on the web, and then switched to a desktop application with amazing adoption,” said Postman CEO and Co-founder Abhinav Asthana. “We’re now returning to the web to harness the full power of the internet, and make API development faster, more collaborative, and more scalable.”
Since launching in 2015, Postman has seen huge growth in the number of API requests and collections. Postman has now powered more than 1 billion API requests and has also seen a massive increase in the number of API collections, with more than 48 million API collections now running on Postman.
This staggering growth, and the accompanying increase in demand for high-scale and performant API development tools, is what led to the creation of the new web version of Postman.
“Companies building APIs are now looking to scale up the speed and scope of their API development processes in ways that simply weren't possible five years ago. Postman on the web is an ideal solution for these demands,” said Asthana.
Until today, Postman users have accessed Postman through a desktop application. Accessing Postman through the browser has been one of the most-requested features from users; they say that downloading a desktop app can slow down onboarding, and can also make it challenging to stay on the latest version. Plus, the browser approach allows certain collaboration capabilities that aren’t possible within the app.
The web version of Postman solves all of these issues by providing the following:
- Simplified user access and onboarding: Users get instant access via browser with no app installation required, automatic updates, and faster user onboarding (i.e., just paste in the URL and go).
- Optimized collaboration through deep linking: Now that Postman is on the web, everything in Postman has a URL, so users can easily share URLs to granular API elements for superior collaboration.
- The ability to send requests at scale from the browser: A unique agent architecture, developed exclusively by Postman engineers (see details below), facilitates scalable sending of API requests from the browser.
Tightly connected to the Postman for the web client launch is the Postman agent. The agent was specifically designed to overcome the cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) limitations of browsers to allow for API requests to be scalably sent from a browser interface. By creating a proxy micro-application to facilitate API request-sending at scale, the agent conquers this browser challenge in a way that’s never been done before.
“One of the fundamental limitations that Postman faced in building a great browser experience was the CORS limitation, which made it impossible to send API requests at scale from the browser; this constraint was ultimately why Postman decided to build a desktop app in the first place,” said Postman Chief Evangelist Kin Lane. “The Postman agent is a big technical breakthrough for the company that overcomes a fundamental limitation in browser-based applications that need to connect to APIs at scale.”