Postman Classroom Program: NITK students build cutting-edge software with an API-first approach


Postman recently completed its first year of partnership with the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), and we’re so proud of all we’ve accomplished together. Our collaboration has supported numerous API cohorts and hackathons—and certified thousands of Postman Student Experts within NITK and across other institutes in India.

To celebrate, we interviewed Dr. Mohit P. Tahillani, esteemed professor and faculty advisor at NITK, about the success story of IRIS (Integrated Information and Resources Sharing), an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software developed by the talented students at NITK. IRIS revolutionized the institute’s day-to-day operations by providing a comprehensive platform that seamlessly manages various tasks for students, faculties, administrative staff, and alumni. The ERP software is built on Ruby on Rails and relies on a set of robust REST APIs that were developed, tested, and documented with Postman.

Let’s dive in.

Postman: What is IRIS, and how does it work?

Dr. Tahillani: IRIS is an ERP system designed to streamline the operations of NITK. It serves as a centralized platform that enables efficient management of tasks, such as admissions, course registrations, hostel allotment, co-curricular activities, convocations, and alumni interactions. IRIS is built on Ruby on Rails and leverages REST APIs as the backbone of its architecture, facilitating seamless communication between the web and mobile versions of the application.

Postman: How did you utilize APIs in this project?

Dr. Tahillani: We adopted an API-first approach to develop IRIS, which involved creating a set of RESTful APIs as the foundation of the ERP’s backend services. These APIs acted as gateways, allowing different components of the system to interact with each other efficiently. By adhering to industry standards, our APIs achieved a higher level of consistency and interoperability, making them easily accessible for third-party integrations and external clients.

Postman: Why did you choose an API-first approach?

Dr. Tahillani: The API-first approach provided several advantages during the development of IRIS. By designing the backend around RESTful APIs, we ensured a modular and flexible architecture, allowing for easy integration of new functionalities and future expansions. The standardized nature of REST APIs also made it easier for the development team—as well as potential third-party clients—to understand and adopt the system. Additionally, the API-first approach facilitated seamless integration with external services like Office 365, GSuite for Education, Moodle, and others, providing a comprehensive ecosystem for users.

Postman: How did Postman contribute to the project?

Dr. Tahillani: Postman played a pivotal role throughout the development process of IRIS. It served as a versatile tool for the web development team, allowing them to easily debug and test REST APIs. We also used Postman’s documentation feature to create comprehensive and easily understandable API documentation, which helped facilitate seamless collaboration within our team and with external stakeholders. Moreover, Postman’s support for WebSocket enabled us to debug and test WebSocket APIs effectively, which was crucial during the introduction of the WebSocket-based module in the app.

Postman: How has IRIS impacted the institute so far?

Dr. Tahillani: The impact of IRIS has been significant and far-reaching. The ERP has streamlined and digitized nearly 40 processes, resulting in enhanced efficiency and reduced manual efforts. IRIS has nearly 8,000 active users and over 20,000 users overall, and it has become an essential platform for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The mobile app, which leverages the RESTful APIs developed with Postman, has offered a seamless user experience, making essential resources and functionalities easily accessible on the go.

IRIS, developed by the bright minds of NITK, stands as a testament to the power of API-driven development and the invaluable role of tools like Postman.

Looking forward to another year of partnership

As we enter the second year of this partnership, the NITK team is planning to host the first-ever API Day in Coastal Karnataka later this year. We can’t wait to see what the students at NITK do next, and we’re excited to support them on their journey.

Promote API literacy in your classroom with Postman! Join our Postman Classroom Program and equip your students with cutting-edge skills and tools used by the talented team behind IRIS at NITK, Surathkal. As an educator, you will get access to educational API resources, free Postman licenses, and more. The program is open to educators in universities, high schools, coding boot camps, and other educational institutions.

Teach APIs with Postman: register as an educator

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