Call for Beta Testers

tl;dr I’m building a Chrome app (currently called Bodybuilder) for managing API calls, similar to Postman. If you want to join the beta, submit a request and I’ll add you.

Bodybuilder REST Client

Motivations for Bodybuilder

A few months ago, a friend introduced me to Postman. Postman is a Chrome app that makes testing REST APIs super easy. As an engineer at sendwithus, I interact with HTTP-based APIs constantly. Whether I’m working on a new feature, debugging, or simply using the product, having the ability to interact with the API in an efficient way is a basic need.

Before Postman, my workflow consisted of copying cURL commands from a text file into my command line. This got the job done, but it wasn’t elegant or efficient. Postman allowed me to save all API calls in a single place and access them in one click. It was great.

There were problems though. The more I used Postman the more frustrated I became. The create/save workflow was confusing, the fact that I couldn’t tie environments to collections annoyed me, the amount of scrolling required to edit/view request/response bodies was frustrating, and the overall UI was cluttered and unintuitive. The developer in me wanted to fix these things.

Introducing Bodybuilder

Part of Postman’s problem is that it has a lot of features – over 80. It’s hard to keep a simple and cohesive user experience with that many features. While designing Bodybuilder, I wanted to prioritize user experience over features. I wanted to focus on the core problem I was trying to solve, which was to move from my text file of cURL requests to something better. So far I think I’ve done that.

Here are the features I want to be in Bodybuilder at launch:

  • [x] create/edit/delete request groups
  • [x] create/edit/delete requests
  • [x] syntax highlighting/validation of JSON request bodies
  • [ ] syntax highlighting/validation of formencoded data
  • [x] import/export of data
  • [x] no scrolling, unless absolutely needed
  • [x] custom request headers
  • [x] basic auth generator
  • [x] basic request info: timing, error handling, etc
  • [x] basic request info: timing, error handling, etc
  • [x] basic templating for common {% raw %}{{ variables }}{% endraw %}

These might make it in, depending how ambitious I feel:

  • [ ] basic helpers
    • [ ] form encoding/decoding text
    • [ ] base64 encoding/decoding text
    • [ ] timestamp generator

Wrap Up

As mentioned above, if you want to be apart of the beta test group, you can submit a request and I’ll add you.

Also, if you have any suggestions or comments, let me know.

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