# req8 — Postman alternative

Postman have been in my chest-tool for many years now, but I can't say I like it much; actually, at all. I tested many alternatives, terminal CLI tools and UI applications, but none have met the basic requirements I had:

  1. Fast reproducible HTTP requests.
  2. Version-controlled, consumable, request libraries, per-project.

# Library Mess

My Postman libraries are a mess. I have multiple computers, so each instance of Postman has its own convoluted state of libraries.

I often share libraries with coworkers and friends by importing and exporting. This creates another layer of duplication because backup/restore != synchronization.

How come I need to keep Postman's state? I want projects to do it.

coworkers synchronizing results in duplicates.

# Cloud Synchronization (No thanks)

Each computer of mine has a different state in Postman. I do not have the “Syncing” feature enabled, I choose not to use their cloud service because all I really want is a way to commit these request libraries into a version-control like Git.

# Cumbersome Presets

It's a wonderful feature to pre-set and parameterize headers, URLs and other values within Postman. But managing them is a cumbersome chore which can be much easier if there was a simple way to edit all of them at once.

# Bloat

I don't like the bloat Postman adds each time I open it. Recently due to Google deprecating Chrome apps, I caught a glimpse of its size, ~250mb.

# Enter req8…

req8 (opens new window) is a tiny Python CLI utility, in less than 300 LoC it allows the user to reproduce pre-made HTTP requests from libraries you define with YAML. It also features visual selections if you're too lazy to pass CLI arguments.

It supports presets such as environment and headers, and easy parameterization of everything you define.

# Environments

Editing presets in a single YAML file makes management clear and concise.

Easy environment management

# Headers

With header presets, you can define wide scoped headers templated with parameters.

Custom authentication example via headers

# Resources

Resource are simply defined as keys to resources and headers are set as a resource-wide scope. url can be templated with parameters. body can include intricate JSON structures.

Simple GET request and POST JSON request

# Demo

Reproduce HTTP requests with “req8”

# Closing Notes

While Postman eases development for many, it doesn't adhere to principles I'm looking in utilities I use: Version-controlled and plain-text configuration. req8 (opens new window) fulfills these priorities, and offer much more. Try it (opens new window) out!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy this tool as much as I do.

Last Updated: 12/26/2018, 11:15:30 PM