Meet Aspen: Speedier & Smarter API Testing, Outshining Postman and Insomnia
Published on by Steve McDougall
When you are building an API, or integrating with an API you typically reach for a desktop application that will allow you to create and send a request using a graphical interface so that you can visualize the request in. For me, it started with Postman. Postman was great, then everything became cloud focused and suddenly everything was hidden behind a login or paywall. So, I looked for new alternative. Luckily, Taylor used a tool in one of his demos called Insomnia which was exactly what I needed. Then, low and behold the same thing happened. Insomnia which is owned by Kong, started going downhill. So I was back to square one.
Today Treblle launched their latest developer tool for APIs, Aspen. So, what is it? Aspen is a lightweight Mac app that is an alternative to Postman or Insomnia. It focuses on privacy first, so any requests you make through the application will not be synced in the background anywhere, just stored locally so that you can revisit those API requests. Not just the requests, but the responses too.
One thing that always bugged me with Postman and Insomnia was that the response data was lost after a period of time. So, I had to try and get everything done without closing the tab otherwise I had to make another request and start again. Aspen, doesn’t lost this information. It keeps it locally for you, so that you can revisit it hours, days, or even weeks later if you need to.
So, why use it? What makes it different? Aspen is 10 times faster than Postman at making HTTP requests, and 7 times faster than Insomnia. How? Both Postman and Insomnia aren’t built natively for Mac, but also they had additional functionality that focuses around the business goals of the companies. Pushing signups, and understanding how you are interacting with APIs. Aspen, is a free tool that Treblle created for the API community, that doesn’t push a login, and doesn’t want to know about your API requests.
All requests you make are both lightning fast, but also 100% private. At Treblle, your data is your data unless you chose to share it. The way it should be.
How can you use it in your API workflow? Well, Aspen comes with an AI integration that means that you can enhance your experience of building APIs and API integrations. Let’s walk through a potential use case for you.
You are working with, let’s say the Acme Corps CRM API. You read their documentation, understand how to make and send a request. So, you open Aspen and scaffold out your requests just like you would in any other HTTP client. The request gets sent, and you receive your JSON response allowing you to look through it and start building your integration code. The problem with the JSON response is, well let’s be honest. It is quite a boring task right? Go from property to property, building up DTOs and Value Objects, type matching, adding validation rules. It isn’t terrible, it is part of the job. But, what if it didn’t have to be like that? Aspens AI integration will understand the context of the request that you are working with, and you can auto-generate the integration code and test code all without leaving Aspen itself.
Why should we care? Well, let’s be honest. If we can use AI to stop having to do all the boring work, it is a great use case! AI allows us to pass these tasks off to it, while we focus on the bigger picture. No more digging in the weeds of the boring tasks that can be automated with AI, instead focus on good architecture and good testing, while the simpler stuff can be done for you - and all you have to do is sanity check it.
Aspen is our in beta now, as a free to use Mac application that requires no sign up and won’t track what APIs you are talking to. If you, like me, like to work with APIs and are always looking for a way to make your API workflow better give it a try! As time goes on there are new features on the roadmap that will help you take your API game to that next level, for no cost financially or cost of privacy.