API documentation tools are essential in the development and maintenance of APIs. They enable developers to design, test, and monitor APIs. The most popular tools in the market today are Postman and Swagger.
Apidog, on the other hand, is the latest tool catching the attention of developers with its focus on documentation and collaboration. In this blog, we will compare Postman, Swagger, and Apidog to establish which is the best API documentation tool.
Postman Overview: What is Postman
Postman is an API tool that allows developers to design and test APIs. It is known for its user-friendly interface and flexibility to perform a wide range of tasks. Postman is compatible with both, REST and SOAP APIs.
The Key Features of Postman
● Supports automated testing through a limited built-in test runner
● Offers a partnership program to integrate with other third-party tools
● Ability to mock APIs for testing
● Presents a report on API usage, failures, and errors called “Collection Runner”
● Gives access to API monitoring and analytics
● Has a feature of scheduling API requests and executing them at specific intervals.
Pros and Cons of Postman
|User-friendly and intuitive interface||Limited focus on documentation and design frameworks|
|Offers an extensive range of features||Difficulty in collaboration with team workflows|
|Great support for both REST and SOAP APIs||Steep learning curve for beginners|
|A thriving community of users||Issues with maintaining and updating API documentation|
|Free version available|
Swagger Overview: What is Swagger
Swagger is open-source software that lets users design, build, document, and test REST APIs. It is known for its intuitive design framework and constant efforts to bring automation into API documentation.
Main Features of Swagger
● A user-friendly interface for the design and documentation of REST APIs
● Offers machine-readable definitions of APIs
● Supports automated documentation and integration with other tools
● Swagger Editor helps in designing, testing, and documenting APIs
● Swagger Codegen offers the generation of documentation in various formats such as HTML, PDF, and Markdown.
Pros and Cons of Swagger
|Seamless integration with development frameworks||Not beginner-friendly, requires a learning curve|
|Great automation features, especially in documentation||Limited support for SOAP APIs|
|Large community of users||Issues with maintaining and updating API documentation|
|Supports almost all programming languages|
What is the Difference between Postman and Swagger?
The key differences between Postman and Swagger like below:
|Installation ease||Easy from an admin's point of view||Difficult from an admin's point of view|
|Environment setup ease||Very easy||Very difficult|
|Environment usage ease||Very easy||Very difficult|
|Development request||Most of the development requests are fulfilled||Most of the development requests are missing|
|Product development focus||Heading in the correct and fast right direction||Moving in the right direction|
|Support quality||Good||Not good|
|Business suitability||Easy, not facing complex challenges||Difficult, facing complex challenges|
|API testing||Not that good||Very good|
|Design management||Not that good||Very good|
|Access control||Not that good|
Overall, Postman is considered easier to install and use, whereas Swagger is more reliable in terms of scalability. Postman is better for API testing and has good data security features, while Swagger is better for API documentation and design management. When it comes to access control and visibility, Swagger is the better option.
Limitations of Postman and Swagger
Despite the availability of Postman and Swagger as popular API documentation tools, there exist limitations to their usage.
|Documentation||Postman is not as good as Swagger in terms of API documentation.||Swagger is not as good as Postman in terms of API testing.|
|Load Testing||Postman does not offer sophisticated load testing capabilities.||Swagger has some load testing capabilities, but they are not as comprehensive as those offered by dedicated load testing tools.|
|Collaboration||While Postman has collaboration features, they are not as advanced as those in Swagger.||Swagger has more advanced collaboration features, but they can be complex and difficult to use.|
|Integration||While Postman can integrate with a wide range of tools, its integration capabilities are not as comprehensive as those in Swagger.||Swagger can integrate with a large number of third-party tools and services.|
|Learning Curve||Postman is easy to learn and use, but has some limitations in terms of advanced features.||Swagger has a steeper learning curve and may be overwhelming for beginners.|
|Cost||Postman has a free version with basic features, but the advanced features are only available in paid versions.||Swagger has a free and open-source version, as well as a paid version with advanced features.|
Apidog is a relatively new API documentation tool that addresses the limitations of Postman and Swagger. It offers a solution that focuses on documentation and design frameworks while enhancing collaboration and integration with team workflows.
Apidog is a tool that allows developers to design, document, and test APIs. The platform offers an intuitive interface and robust automation features to aid in the maintenance of API documentation.
The Highlight Features of Apidog
● Offers a complete documentation framework with a user-friendly interface
● Supports design and documentation of both, REST and SOAP APIs
● Supports all programming languages
● Offers automated API testing
● A central hub for collaboration with team workflows
● Comes with version control to track changes and monitor revisions
Comparison with Postman and Swagger
Compared to Postman and Swagger, Apidog offers a more comprehensive focus on design and documentation frameworks. While Postman focuses more on testing and Swagger on automation, Apidog combines testing, automation, and documentation. Furthermore, Apidog offers an enhanced collaboration and integration feature, making it more appealing to large teams. It offers a feature-rich free plan with no limited time.
|Supports REST API||⭐️||⭐️||⭐️|
|Supports SOAP API||⭐️||❌||⭐️|
|Seamlessly integrates with team workflows||❌||❌||⭐️|
|Focus on documentation||❌||⭐️||⭐️|
|Ease of use||⭐️||❌||⭐️|
|Support for programming languages||-||-||⭐️|
In conclusion, Postman and Swagger have been the most popular API documentation tools in the market. However, with its focus on documentation, design frameworks, and collaboration, Apidog presents a more comprehensive solution. When considering which API documentation tool to use, Apidog should be the best Postman and Swagger alternative as it offers a holistic approach to API development and maintenance.