BigCommerce Uses Postman Before a Single Line of Code is Written


BigCommerce is a leading SaaS provider for merchants running online businesses.  Each month, thousands of merchants set up shop on BigCommerce, and more than 1,000 partners offer their software and services on the BigCommerce Marketplace.

Since its start in 2009, BigCommerce has grown to 100 engineers across offices in Sydney, San Francisco, and Austin.  The team currently maintains 17 mission critical endpoints, processing more than $9 billion in sales through its platform.  Their core application is in PHP, but the team has adopted a host of auxiliary tools and services to handle their specific engineering challenges.

Postman Collections for onboarding and team collaboration

Today, BigCommerce engineers work in durable teams collaborating among respective domain areas.  Product and QA engineers use Postman extensively.  It begins with onboarding new engineering hires, and when seasoned engineers start to work on new services, sharing Collections makes it easier for them to get started.

While endpoints are being built and before the UI is ready, QA engineers use Postman to identify API deficiencies early in the development process.

Postman for partner collaboration

The BigCommerce omnichannel team works on integrations to eBay and Amazon.  For every API implementation, engineers use Postman to create Agile spike tickets.

Before writing a single line of code, the team investigates all of the APIs they’re planning to use, and identify any gotchas that will require some additional discussion.  This gives them time to make corrections or deal with their partners.

Postman code snippets for documentation

As the endpoints are being finalized, the engineers responsible for the API documentation use Postman heavily. Postman documentation allows the developer to generate code in multiple programming languages. This saves time and effort when using unfamiliar programming languages.

“Our public Postman collection detailing our API endpoints has been huge for helping developers onboard to our software,” says Nathan Booker, a Product Manager working on API development at BigCommerce.

Not just developers using Postman

It’s not just Product and QA engineers using Postman at BigCommerce.  Product managers and strategic business development get in on the Postman action too. BigCommerce has created Postman Collections to support the workflow of non-developers.

Through these shared Collections and environments, users  can access  customer databases not normally available. For example, product managers can query production stores to answer fulfillment questions – data not otherwise available in store logs.   The client success teams use Postman as a diagnostic tool to help them understand why things happen and to troubleshoot API-related issues.

Postman has been essential to us in rapidly developing new APIs – internally we use it to debug and share particular contexts easily across our environments.

Working with external partners and developers, it’s been the easiest way to share knowledge about particular API endpoints and data structures.

Nathan Booker, API Product Manager