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Paw – Advanced API tool for Mac (paw.cloud)
351 points by andyfleming on July 29, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 127 comments

I can't believe some of the comments in this thread. Paw is an advanced developer tool with serious functionality for testing APIs, and many of the most upvoted comments are basically just posting links to similar tools, with substantially less functionality, that are free.

How many of these commenters make thousands of dollars every month as professional software engineers? How many make thousands each week? Paw is an extremely high quality, native Mac app, made by a small team trying to provide for their families by building software for other software engineers like all of us. It's a paid tool but it's probably the most sophisticated API testing tool that exists.

I've been a completely satisfied Paw user for over a year. It's been invaluable to me and I use it constantly. It is worth the money. It is more sophisticated with a far better user interface than anything else out there. Use the trial, buy it if you like it, but this pattern of comments saying Check Out Product Z, It's Like Product Y But Free (And Less Good) makes me hate coming to HN.

Fair point, but I also think that a fair number of HN readers who are the target audience for Paw are not necessarily high paid engineers and are likely home hobbyists or students etc. who are building stuff on the side on a ramen budget.

As someone who is trying to bootstrap a SaaS app myself that is currently costing me a around $1000/mth, spending yet another $60 (converted to AU$) is something to think long and hard about, especially seeing as I have been using Postman for several versions with good results.

If someone can point out a compelling reason that Paw > Postman v2 because of x,y and z then I am happy to consider that and perhaps splurge for a licence. I don't think $70 is expensive for good software BTW, but I just haven't been sold on the value of it so far.

I agree, before I buy software or start using something I will search on HN for threads like this to see what criticisms others have and what alternatives other people use. Many times I will find something with the same features but cheaper or open source.

If people stopped making comments recommending alternatives, similar things, and criticisms I probably wouldn't even look at the comments. I don't know if other people use HN like this, but it's the main reason the comments on here are valuable for me.

I agree with this. I tried paw with the hope to replace postman (because of chromium / electron) but just couldn't convince myself to jump ship.

Paw users, what are things that Paw can do (better) than Postman?

As the founder of Paw, I'm certainly biased, so I'll stick to the facts. Paw has "dynamic values" which lets you inline computed components in any field of your request: useful for pointing to values from other requests, previous responses (parsing is done on the fly, no need to refresh), which is useful if you want to send back an auth token returned by a previous request. Dynamic values can do also stuff like MD5/SHA hashes, HMAC, URL/hex/base64 encode, timestamps, randomizers (Chance.js, JSON schema faker) with no code required (you can write custom JS snippets too if ever needed). For example, we once demo'ed the Algolia guys that their custom HMAC-based signature for client-side search was doable with no code. So, if you have the need, you can do custom stuff easily.

Also, extensions (many are built by users) are bringing lots of extra features we would have not thought about ourselves: https://paw.cloud/extensions/

Environment variables in Paw can be nested or computed (with "dynamic values" described above). It can be useful, for example, to have an "Auth" variable that contains a pointer that accesses the "user.access_token" JSON path from inside the latest Login request, so you can later simply point to the "Auth" variable everywhere else. One other thing about envs, is that you can have independent groups of environments: a typical example is you have a "Server" group with envs called "Prod", "Staging", "Local" and independently a setup with user credentials or variables that are more like static globals (AWS Keys, etc.)…

Now regarding to the team syncing service, "Paw for Teams". It has branches, snapshots and full history. In a dev team, it means one dev can experiment stuff on the schema for API v2 while others are fixing bugs on API v1, and when API v2 is ready they can seamlessly merge the new updates back to the v1 branch. Also, we've made the choice not to be real-time synced, because it doesn't fit well to software development: when I'm experimenting stuff with an API I don't want others to be polluted by my temporary garbage. So instead you "commit" changes only when ready. More about Teams here: https://paw.cloud/teams

Last but not least, Paw locally encrypts with a randomly generated symmetric passphrase all credentials you enter in your projects, that means your server keys, access tokens, etc. are a lot safer. And now that you can (optionally) sync with Paw's backend, we certainly don't want to have your secrets in cleartext on our infra. As passphrases are never uploaded (obviously! but by default stored in OS X Keychain), it's the users responsibility to safeguard them and share them with their team (on 1Password or similar).

As a Paw user, I can say that I have found it extremely useful, and well worth the cost. However, it has been a disappointment to me that (at least the last time I asked), "dynamic values" are actually "dynamic string values" with no integer dynamic values supported.

I find dynamic value really useful, but in most of my use, it's dynamic integer values that I need, and so the feature is much less useful than it could be. Could you please comment on when you plan on implementing dynamic integer values into Paw?

Also, it appears that you have changed which versions of OS X you support, but I had to overwrite my old version of Paw with the new one to find this out. I strongly suggest making it clear which version of OS X the new version of Paw requires before someone installs it.

Thanks for the feedback, John! As you're referring to dynamic values as integer values in JSON requests, it's clearly something we will fix. It was planned for Paw 3, but we had to drop features to keep a reasonable timeline. What we will be adding at the same time, is the ability to have dynamic values that return "objects" (or lists) so in a JSON, so you can dump a subtree.

About the OS X support, we haven't changed the requirements at all for this release. Paw is OS X 10.10+ (Yosemite+) since Paw 2.3. So maybe you had an earlier version? If you were prompted to update with no warning, that's a bug. Sorry about it! Will investigate…

No, I wasn't prompted to update without any warning. I downloaded v3 from the Paw website, but there was nothing there listing the version requirement, so I assumed it had not changed since the last version which I had.

Any ETA on being able to use integer values from JSON request?

The extensions page has "My Account" as a title, seems wrong.

If there's a free option that's pretty good (Postman) I think it's reasonable to include that in the discussion. I would especially like to understand how the 2 compare.

For me, the free aspect is important beyond just my paying for it: I create collections and I want them to be as accessible as possible.

Especially when the free competitor works cross platform and doesn't lock you into Apple's craptastic desktop OS.

I don't really see how any of the facts you mention makes linking similar tools here a bad thing? Unless someone's bashing on Paw for being a paid software in a disrespectful manner, I think it is fine to link to others, why not?

>Paw is an extremely high quality, native Mac app, made by a small team trying to provide for their families by building software for other software engineers like all of us. It's a paid tool but it's probably the most sophisticated API testing tool that exists.

Thing is, most of us don't care. I don't care if Paw engineers aren't selling their software. Just like they shouldn't care if I'm not selling mine. People are not going to stop using software that does 80% of what Paw does (but probably 100% of their needs) because it hurts their feelings.

If Product Z is less good than Paw but still fills my needs and is free, Product Z is going to be my choice. Bonus points if it's FOSS.

There's also the fact that not all of us work on Mac. I'd love to try out Paw, but unless I see a .deb somewhere, I'm out of luck. So my solution is to grab alternatives.

>Check Out Product Z, It's Like Product Y But Free (And Less Good) makes me hate coming to HN.

At the other extreme, we have software monoculture. Variety of software is good. Making FOSS software known is good. I'm actually going to go a step further and say that if FOSS software copies pixel for pixel Paw's UI and UX, that is a good thing.

How copying completely (stealing) the fruit of someone else hard work can ever be a good thing?

Because, in the case of FOSS, that is making good software available to all of humanity. From the $200k SF developer who can afford Paw easily, to the lowly paid eastern European developer, to the broke student.

That is of course assuming that the copy is done to have feature parity with the original. Copying solely to surf on the popularity of software while at the same time making it awful is a problem.

Also, if you don't want your work copied, don't put it out.

When someone decides to write some very useful software to sell it and someone else "copies pixel per pixel" the software is simply stealing the original author work. If you want to write your software and release it with an open source license you are perfectly able to do it. If you are simply doing an exact copy "pixel per pixel" of someone else work and releasing it as an open source you are stealing his intellectual property given that the original license is NOT open source. I really love open source, but people that think in this way seriously risk to undermine my trust on the whole OSS model.

I've observed a very similar thing for awhile now. I'm to the point where I rarely delve into the comments anymore. I've noticed what you've seen about product announcements, or people just generally being contrarian for no reason that adds value to a discussion. I'm eagerly waiting for the day that I see this happen, and I mean literally:

"Scientists find a new reason to explain why the sky appears blue."

HN: I know nothing about science but the sky is definitely azure, not blue.

I was a happy Postman user for a long time. I tried Paw on a lark (the importance of free trials) and loved it. Totally worth the money to me, and I've only scratched the surface with it. I especially like the plugins ecosystem.

I actually like this pattern. I mean, as a (not so highly paid) developer who also does a lot of personal/hobby programming, I'm evaluating and using a ton of tools every year. If I were to ignore the free alternatives, I would be utterly broke now. Sure, if something is a product I'll be using day-in, day-out for the foreseeable future, I'll happily shell out $quite-a-lot. But if I expect to use it for half a day every three months or so, I'll look for something free. Like, e.g. I do some amount of vector drawing for random reasons (designing t-shirts for myself, logos for my projects, user interfaces, whatever) - enough to figure out Inkscape, not enough to justify buying Illustrator.

Yeah. I bought Paw and love it. It's easily paid for its self in time saved.

I couldn't upvote this enough. The lack of objective comparison in comments is astounding, and it fits a pattern.

Software engineers are an interesting bunch... Reading all the bashing comments about Paw not being free, I can't help but feel a vibe, that some people expect to be paid thousands of dollars and not pay a single cent themselves. Where does this entitlement come from?

Good job guys! You made a fantastic product. I will always favor native apps over Electron hacks. I can't count how many times I've CMD+Tabbed to Chrome and hit CMD+W to close a tab, only to see Postman disappear. It disrupts my flow.

One thing though. I'm a developer, I know what I'm doing. Please make JSON Text the default option. Formatted JSON doesn't hurt or threaten me :) I expect to see my responses exactly as they are.

Edit: Unfortunately I have to edit this comment to give additional feedback about Paw. I'm using the 30 day trial, i.e. I am evaluating the product. Paw is running in the background, I'm not interacting with it in any way, but it jumps to foreground, just to show me a pop-up window informing me, that I have 29 days left of trial and should upgrade. No, thank you, I installed the app just an hour ago. I'm aware of the 30 day trial. No need to nag about it every 20 minutes, that will not prompt me to upgrade any sooner. If anything, it does quite the opposite.

Yes, exactly this. I so have to second the edit. It's exactly the same for me. I'm way more tempted to delete the app instead of buying it. Only using it for an hour and so far it has annoyed me way more than it helped me.

When I do development in my spare time, I tend to gravitate towards paid software, since it tends to be higher quality and have better support.

However, my employer is extremely frugal and has very tight budgetary controls, so getting even the smallest expenses approved can be a huge hassle. So, perhaps ironically, I gravitate towards free products when doing professional development.

This is probably completely backwards, but it is what it is!

Anyway, I disagree with all the Paw bashing of course, but I think it is important for everyone to be aware of free alternatives - not necessarily because people feel "entitled" to free stuff, but that their circumstances may cause them to prefer not having to pay.

I've had frugal employers before, and I've pulled out my credit card and bought software with my own money. Just like buying my own lunch, or books. Just seemed like the right thing to do.

So you have to be lucky that

a) your colleagues will do the same so your team can use similar tools

b) you don't have to jump through hoops to install any software at all

All fixed! It was a nasty bug, and a terrible UX. A one-liner to fix, but hard to find :) Sorry about that! And thank you to bring that to us, aavotins!

Bugfix version Paw 3.0.5 has just been released https://paw.cloud/updates/3.0.5 (you can update from the app from Paw menu > Check for Updates…).

Thanks for the nice feedback, and sorry for the trial window inconvenience. That's clearly a bug, we don't want to buzz users in any way except at app start time in the welcome window. Will look into this bug right now, and find a fix. -Micha from Paw

In v3 (not sure about older versions) you can set the default visualization in preferences. I set it to JSON text the moment I discovered it.

I love using Paw. I'm no longer in the building phase of my service, but when I was defining my API and testing endpoints, Paw was critical in the process.

My main feature request (and I'm not sure if any competitor does this, so please inform me if it exists somewhere):

While Paw allows me to export code, which is cool and all, it would be very interesting to allow me to compose workflows, like, say Automator in macOS, including assertions, so that I could essentially compose and export integration tests with Paw. It'd be neat to see some more generally API-definition features hit Paw, or maybe a companion app that plays nicely with Paw to do the definition half of things, compatible with Swagger and whatnot.

Clearly not a well-thought-out idea, but I think there's space in Paw's domain for some form of what I'm talking about.

We have actually two ideas in this area. First, as you mentioned, assertion testing. We've recently published a workaround (as a joke, but it's actually working :D) https://blog.paw.cloud/posts/secret-path-to-paw-assertions/ but a real alternative is coming next.

Second, we are currently brainstorming around the idea of a good automation app. So somehow the two ideas may merge. We're not sure yet what would make sense for automation, but for assertions testing, for sure it's in the pipeline!

-Micha from Paw

Love your interest in the community. Thanks for hearing me out!

This is similar to Postman's test runner feature. You can export a collection of requests and even write simple assertions in javascript.

Although it looks like Paw has potential for something similar with its extensions. It already has some sort of javascript availability.


Being able to potentially export out to JMeter format (or generate Gatling Scala scenarios) would be awesome, because the JMeter GUI is so horribly awful.

Paw is a great tool, but I can also attest to the excellent support of the developer. I made a mistake when uninstalling it off my old Mac, and found myself unable to activate the serial on my new Mac. Micha replied personally, took me at my word regard the issue I was having, and immediately added a second seat to my serial for free, as the simplest way to guarantee I'd never have the problem again. I appreciated that.

Secondly, there are indeed many similar tools, but I've found that Paw in particular has well-thought-out implementations of a number of useful features (cookies, JSON parsing, auth methods, history) as well as a neat way of managing requests across environments e.g. dev machine vs test server vs production API.

Paw isn't the only tool I use when testing/developing API endpoints, but I find it to be the most featureful while also playing nice as a Mac app, with a decent UI and the expected things like remembering my previous window positions/states the next time I launch it.

Exactly. My interactions with support have all been fantastic and the app is, for me, by far the most featureful and robust tool in this space. And they're continually adding additional features.

For those who want something that works really well, with a very nice UI and is free, I would highly recommend Insomnia for Google Chrome (it functions as a standalone app outside of Chrome).


Hadn't heard of this, but I am familiar with mashape. Their stuff is solid.

Though, it looks like it is in beta, and I don't see any way to do cloud/team syncing.

The latest version (3.0) appears to be in beta, but 2.x is stable and I've been using it for at least a year. It doesn't have cloud/team syncing (at least in 2.x), but it does allow you to export request groups as JSON which can be shared/versioned. For being free and cross-platform, that seems good enough for me.

Hi there. I'm the creator of insomnia and just want to say thanks for the recommendation.

So far, 3.0 ditches the Chrome dependency and provides a much nicer UI, but more advanced features like sync and versioning are in the works!

~ Gregory

Postman went through a similar progression. For me I need team/cloud syncing that goes beyond shipping around a JSON file. Although it looks like the new PAW team syncing might be leveraging git behind the scenes.

Why do these things insist on launching in their own window? This got uninstalled just as fast as Postman. There's no reason for those things to force an app icon and a separate window.

Didn't know about this. Thanks!

I also recommend Insomnia. It's super productive and easy to use.

I've used Paw for a few years since I started getting inconsistent Postman results thanks to Chrome cookies, and I haven't looked back. It's really a fantastic tool that is part of my daily life as an API guy. The dev, Micha, is super helpful via email and has even incorporated feedback when the app didn't work the way I expected (like sending request body on GET). I would honestly buy it again if updates weren't free.

Thanks, Eddie! That's really a kind feedback! But we're a whole team now ;)

Well cheers to the whole team then! Keep it up.

I've owned Paw for a while, and I find it much more user-friendly than Postman. It's not for everyone, sure, but the developer has put in good work and you won't regret a purchase.

I bought Paw because the latest version of Postman went to absolute shit. Never looked back.

Yeah I went hunting for a new API software for the same reason.. I wound up purchasing Paw for my team. The big selling point for me was the ability to define a request, and then use data from that request in other requests (the dynamic data). And... the UI is wildly better IMO. Thanks to Paw for making a great piece of software that's not a pain to use!

Yeah, seems like the UX has been degrading. Still really like the functionality, though.

Why do I need to create an account with an email and password to purchase this if it’s not a subscription service? To add insult to injury, I have to agree to some Terms of Service that probably indemnifies this company from doing whatever they want with my data. Who comes up with these brilliant ideas?

The Mac App Store is absolutely horrible (lots of bugs, slow, inconsistent, almost unusable, absurd certificate expiration issues that are completely embarrassing for a company like Apple, etc.) and Apple has completely ignored all developers who use it... but this is exactly why I always prefer buying from it. I don’t want some nobody developer harvesting my information, and selling/renting it off to some who knows who either now or some years down the line when the company folds.

Please have respect for your potential paying customers and drop these kinds of practices. Other than recovering a potentially lost license key, there is absolutely nothing I need from you, including any and all “news or updates”, after I have purchased the app. Therefore you should only really need some unique value (like the hash of an email address) for that.

Honest question: what apps that you purchase don't ask for your name or email?

Asking for email, and sometimes name, is fine. Forcing me to register is absurd. There are lots of “indy” software developers that don’t play these games.

Fair point. I wasn't aware you had to register a full account to start a trial. That definitely seems a bit much and I don't see the usefulness as getting the user's email would be just as effective for conversion.

While we ask to create an account at purchase time, it's never needed for trials. Also, to work with Paw for Teams and share projects, an account is required as it obviously needs an authentication scheme for access control… -Micha from Paw

Asking for an email is one thing. The problem is needing to create an account for downloading. I certainly didn't need an account when I bought a license for Eagle.

Interesting, this is the first time I've seen a domain with the .cloud extension. I wonder how many other companies are going to follow suit?

Regarding the app, Paw is friggin amazing. I was lucky to get it back when it was much cheaper, but it's definitely still worth the $49 even now. The team stuff is interesting too, as me and my guys share our exports all the time.

As someone who just spent 30 minutes setting Paw up for my needs, here is my review. Unfortunately, it is not worth $50. It's not the price point itself, it's the fact that the app is too unpolished to pay any amount. After the first 30 minutes, I won't be continuing - and would not even if it were free.

The application hijacks mouse events for custom widgets that don't function as expected. It takes far too much pointer precision to manage the request list and the groups. Half the time the drag-and-drop glitches so that you are highlighting rows without actually having the item with the cursor. You also cannot drop a group to the end of the list. Similar problem in the environments config window: add a second environment for a variable; the column widths are too short to see the variable's value, so you try to resize the columns and it doesn't work even though the resize icon appears on hover.

The "JSON" response format is hideous and for some reason the default. The "JSON Text" format is what I want and switch to, but this fact is not remembered and every single new response resets back to the ugly xml-tree-like format.

By the way, trying to click the help icon for dynamic values opens the documentation to a page[1] that doesn't load due to an encoded '#' symbol (%23). Again, a sign of a final product with very little QA, being sold at a fairly premium price for which one expects quality.

The UI and interactions are far from seamless. The constant harassment of a popup trying to get me to upgrade is the last straw. When a user is on trial, you don't interrupt their workflow every few minutes.

[1] https://paw.cloud/docs/dynamic-values/response%23Response_Bo...

For what it's worth, I've been using this app for over a year and I haven't been noticing the issues you're talking about. My request list probably contains hundreds of requests from different projects grouped into folders.

I've tried using postman but it just isn't the same. Paw is much more efficient with screen space, and I love being able to copy any request from Chrome directly into paw and being able to tinker with it right away.

I agree with you on the default JSON response format. I was also manually switching it over to JSON Text every time. However, yesterday I found the preference setting - It's in Preferences > Response > .json, you can change the format to JSON Text there.

I'm the creator of HTTP Prompt (https://github.com/eliangcs/http-prompt). HTTP Prompt is HTTPie enhanced with autocomplete and syntax highlighting. This is the first time I hear about Paw, and I wonder how it compares to HTTP Prompt. Would any Paw users like to share?

Wow HTTP Prompt looks amazing, thanks for posting this. I was reading through this thread thinking Paw looks neat but I am more comfortable in a terminal.

Paw is a really great product, I've been using it for a long time now. I _really_ wish they would combine this with traffic capture - similar to Fiddler on Windows. Charles does the trick, but it's a mess to set up for proxying HTTPS traffic.

Traffic capture is definitely something we are looking into. Through to be honest it would most likely be a companion app rather than directly embedded within Paw --matthaus (@hishnash) Backend syncing dev at paw.cloud

I purchased Paw about 6 months ago and used it heavily, until recently I have ran into multiple situations where it didn't properly include custom headers I specified into the request, and was causing odd errors that I assumed were the fault of the code I was testing (happened in multiple different languages/projects). I have since started using Postman, but would love to go back to Paw since I appreciated some if it's features (such as being able to save an API definition into the github repo for sharing with other devs)

EDIT - didn't realize this post was for Paw 3, which just became available. Installing now and excited to try it!

This is an honest question, I'm not trying to be negative but I'm really confused.

It would seem like best practices is that all of this is part of your automated tests. Tests that are checked in to your repo and written in code and part of your CI. How does a native app that is OSX only fit in that scenario? Or maybe I'm not understanding it?

As ing33k mentioned, Paw isn't an automated testing tool (at least not yet), but rather an app where you can experiment with your or others APIs to check if things are working, and have a visual feedback/confirmation of what you're doing.

But that's actually a great question. We are asking ourselves the same here at Paw: should our app offer a testing/assertions feature?

Our own server backend is in Django using the Django REST Framework (it's an amazing tool btw) and clearly unit testing done inside the web framework is the right thing to do. Good frameworks have mocking libraries, and unit tests allows you to exercice all parts of the code (not only API facing). So why testing in an app like Paw? And should we encourage "bad practices" with a new feature that encourages users to have request/response assertions in our app instead proper unit tests?

First, everyone isn't writing tests ;) And sometimes maybe for good reasons (quickly putting together an MVP…). Assertions can be a quick alternative before writing proper unit tests. But mostly, we were thinking about assertions in Paw as a great way to do quick integration testing. For example, we've released Paw 3 recently, pushed server updates on an hourly basis, and we had no way to verify after a deploy that all the website's pages were up and that API endpoints were behaving as expected. Sure, the CI was saying that tests are passing, but who knows if someone has changed settings on AWS or on 3rd party tools (Stripe, Algolia…)? We would have loved to have assertions ourselves…

Testing would be great. I have no use for team syncing, so won't upgrade to the subscription version, and use Paw as dev tool when working on new APIs. Having tests in there would be convenient and would actually make me test things (I have a hard time making or updating unit tests, I admit). If it was able to continuously monitor my API server side, for at least when I push a commit, that would be great. I'm currently using Runscope for this a bit, but it's flaky and a bit too expensive for my light use. And of course I have to manually re-add everything I already did in (much more powerful) Paw.

imo Paw is not an automated API testing tool. You can use it to explore/browse API's. Developers after creating a new endpoint or after editing an existing endpoint want ways to easily send a properly constructed request and visually check the returned response (mostly json these days ).

There's a feature in Paw which let's you generate code in multiple languages for any request that's already in Paw. May be people are using it as a starting point to write tests.

I'm guessing this is more for in development or debugging issues.

Paw is engineered by a top notch team in France. They care about quality and details. We at Mashape have partnered with them in the past and they are super responsive and always focused on the best experience for the developer.

Great news! I use Paw all the time while exploring new APIs. It is a great piece of software.

EDIT: Wow! Just saw that the upgrade to v3 is free for v2 users! Nice surprise!

Bought Paw on the Mac App Store a while back. I wonder if this update will come to me as well, or that I need to repurchase. For now I can't find Paw 3 there at all; perhaps they stopped using the MAS?

Update is free. Instructions on how to migrate your App Store purchase are here: https://paw.cloud/docs/getting-started/migrate-from-appstore

Sketch (https://www.sketchapp.com/) stopped using MAS in the past year too. Not the best trend for Apple.

Best feature of paw (idk if it was intentional)

- fetch huge json

- collapse first level fields

- leave node/subnode of interest open

- change backend

- refresh paw, and see changes way faster, coz it will show only open subtree

really useful for large json responses! (Postman dies on those)

How is this different from Postman? It seems very similar, but Postman is free and has other really awesome features (like being able to export tests and run them in the command line).

The UX is 1000x better. Faster load up, more intuitive keyboard/mouse navigation, etc etc.

The main thing for me was that it's a proper native app. It works really well, takes advantage of the native OS APIs and is a better product because of it.

Which to me in this case just means "I can only run this on my work Macbook, and not on my personal Linux or Windows machines, or on a Chromebook."

That is a major advantage of postman, but the reality for me is that I use an API client like this when I'm building and API. I'm on my mac and Paw is the best, most productive option.

I've been giving feedback to the postman team and hope to see it continue to improve. The electron desktop app was a big step forward, but there is still lots of room to improve.

Hypernap is a proper native app and less than a tenth the cost of Paw...



Hypernap may be a native app, but it's certainly not beautiful or fully featured. It uses the most basic interface elements thrown together in a messy soup. I have immense respect for people who manage to develop native apps, but when the interface looks like it was implemented as someone's very first experiment in XCode... well, there's a reason you don't pay much.

I don't understand why developers throw their arms in the air over pricing. Try out the app; if it has everything you will ever need out of such a tool and it greatly improves your productivity every single day... a one-time $50 payment is nothing. It's the cost of going out for dinner one evening.

But it isn't as nice and it doesn't have any solution for cloud/team syncing, right?

Commenter mentioned OSX native app being the main thing for them. It is an OSX native app.

But no, it's not a good team solution.

And I'd agree that Paw is subjectively more "nice", but I'm not sure I'd agree it's 12x more nice...

If it were $9.99 instead of $49.99, I would have already purchased it. As it stands, I'm sticking with Hypernap, which gets the job done for my needs.

It doesn't have to be 12x better. It only has to save you $45 worth of time more than a $5 alternative, or $50 more than a free alternative. Most engineers are paid on the order of $30-$150/hour, depending on whether full-time, contractor, level of experience, etc. So, it has to save about 1.5 hours over the alternatives to be worth the price.

I don't know if it does that, as I've never used it, and don't use macOS.

There are other things it could save instead of or in addition to time: Hassle, maybe it doesn't have any external dependencies or complicated setup; stress, maybe it works reliably while others are buggy and unreliable; etc.

Again, I don't know. And, I tend to choose OSS solutions, even when it costs me more time/hassle/stress. But, there's a number of reasons one might choose a more expensive tool that does roughly the same job as lower cost alternatives, and it might be the right economic decision to do so.

Postman isn't free if you are using team syncing. They are both $X/user/month.

I've been using Postman for a couple of year now if I recall correctly. It's an absolute timesaver for me when developing and using an API.

Paw looks really good. I'll definitely give that a try, especially if the team sharing features are good.

I've used Postman on and off but I just find the UI more burdensome than it's worth and use one of the more simple rest clients and curl for when I'm really trying to string together some complicated requests.

Paw looks gorgeous and very nicely featured. Let's see how it works on Monday against the Niantic APIs :)

Postman is decent. But it takes too many click to do things like managing environment variables. Then there's the double-scrolling issue when reading responses which is atrocious; the response text is placed in a scrollable field - and that field has the parent window which also scrollable. Having to operate nested scrollbars to read every single response - which is the most frequent task you are performing - ruins the entire application.

I hadn't heard of Paw, but based on the screenshots and positive reviews in the comments, I'll be giving the trial a go. Fingers crossed!

Used it about a year. Happy with it. Has a few nice shortcuts (though can't speak to how those compare to Postman)

I haven't used Paw in a while but from what I remember Paw has an excellent UI and UX - it goes above and beyond API developer's expectation and it also used to integrate with mashape (not sure if this is still a feature?). Either way spectacular product!

I also got familiar with Stoplight.io - which I have found to be a little bit harder to use but has a large array of features that I think could inspire a lot of developers to build and grow the API dev community

aaand I don't work for either companies!

Paw is excellent. I've used it for years. The one feature I hope for in v3 is the ability to import cookies from Safari/Chrome/etc.

I've been using Paw 2 for a project in the last couple of months and it's totally amazing. Very excited to give the new version a try!

Looks cool! Probably should specify Web API tool, though; there are plenty of APIs that have nothing to do with HTTP.

I'm with you on this, the wide use of the word "API" to designate Web/HTTP APIs is wrong. But we have to admit that if you talk with someone saying "we're build an API that does X", everyone will understand it's a web service, not a C++ library ;) So in the end words are just ways to communicate ideas…so we went for the simpler "API" wording. -Micha (from Paw)

It's not cheap but it is one of my most used dev tools that is not an editor/IDE. Highly recommended.

I've been using Paw for two months now. Much better than Postman IMO. Best to the developers

The big difference with Paw 3 that is allowing my team to make the switch is team syncing.

If you already write specs for your API, you would seldom use a GUI to test API.

Just a heads up to the product owner - the site needs some work for mobile users: https://imgur.com/a/akNqP

Yeah, we're aware of this :( we need to spend time polishing those styles! -Micha from Paw

I had the pleasure of emailing with Paw's creator when he was thinking of applying to YC and introducing him to the founders of PlanGrid.

I can vouch for Paw; it's an awesome tool.

Looks cool :-). If there is any Emacs hackers looking for a way to make and document api calls, I recommend Restclient-mode[0]. Emacs Rocks! Episode on Restclient-mode[1].

[0] https://github.com/pashky/restclient.el

[1] http://emacsrocks.com/e15.html

This looks amazing and desperately needed. Postman is ok, but to finally have a proper native app with a modern UI is fantastic.

I've used Postman for a while, but I keep running into a strange issue where it somehow shares cookies with Chrome. It's proven very annoying for testing certain APIs (because the cookies override whichever auth headers I'm sending), so I've been looking for an alternative.

Paw definitely looks promising. The pricing seems a little steep though.

I'm having a conversation with the CEO of Postman on twitter now about ways Postman could improve: https://twitter.com/andyfleming/status/759134340185862144

For now though, I'm super excited about the new Paw app.

It even supports SSL client certificates!

I was worried for a second somebody brought the Physics Analysis Workstation back to life:


Looks much better than the curls I am currently pasting to my teammates.

Paw is amazing

I have this and it's awesome.

As a (somewhat stubborn) adherent to httpie | jq, what do I gain from my $50 going to Paw?

I'm a pretty heavy RESTful API user (feels like what I spend most of my day doing a lot of times), a pretty heavy Paw user and pretty well versed with its feature set, and on the CLI side, curl | jq. So I think I can actually probably answer this pretty well.

Paw helps me compose arbitrary calls faster. It also helps me just keep track of and search API calls really easily, just by searching the request list. I have an API call right there, with the JSON body, and I don't have to pull up the API docs. It's just way better than having a bunch of little shell scripts for these API calls, and better than having a big, ugly, stupid text file full of API calls, because I can execute them, and it really helps in composing them.

It just helps with a lot of little random stuff. Like, if you tell it you're doing a JSON-body form post, and you've got quote marks in there, it'll get those quotes escaped right to get it embedded in the JSON.

If you're a heavy RESTful API user, I'd say just give it a try for a month and see if you feel like it's worth it. I thought it was.

There's command history, and if you're executing calls multiple times in a row and might want to see what changed between them later, the history is great. You can scroll back in your terminal, sure, but you tend to close terminal windows and lose the output. It just keeps everything glued together, it's really much more coherent than trying to throw around a lot of disparate API calls in a terminal with curl (or httpie.)

That being said, I do find it to be complementary to curl | jq. For one, the "keypath" filter in the http exchange pane of Paw doesn't take anything close to a full jq-like syntax. I pretty frequently use the "curl" code generator (it's got an httpie code generator as well, but it doesn't seem that one is as good at shell-quoting edge cases. Not sure who maintains that extension and if it's open-source, but if you love it, you might be able to help fix it if it interferes with your workflow) to copy out the call I composed, and even executed in Paw, so that I can do some jq mangling. (Or i could just copy out the json body if I didn't want to re-execute the call.)

If slinging RESTful API calls is a significant part of your day, you're almost certainly going to find value in something like Paw. It's got a 1 month free trial. I tried it, and didn't really plan to buy it, but a month ended, and I was using it and liked it.

EDIT: I found more info. They're using RNCryptor.

Hopefully not the C++ bindings! https://github.com/RNCryptor/RNCryptor-cpp/issues/2

We are using the RNCryptor Obj-C api. ( matthaus of Paw here )

Would love to see built-in HAR import/export

AFAIK its import/export features are plugin based. Write it!

That's very true :) You can write custom extensions for Paw, and they can be then shared with the community.

But anyway, there's already a HAR importer, you can install it here as an extension https://paw.cloud/extensions/HARImporter

Also, we're working on a powerful API format transformer that we will release more officially soon, but it's already on GitHub: https://github.com/luckymarmot/api-flow That will allow us to release exporters for Swagger, RAML, HAR soon as well as formats of other clients like Postman and DHC Client.

If you're curious about writing an exporter/generator though here are some steps: https://paw.cloud/docs/extensions/create-code-generator

(Disclaimer, Paw guy here…)

Extension APIs mostly are a minus. It's mostly used as an excuse for not shipping features.

We are making over half of the available extensions, it's a good way to ship small features to users that need them without a full blown update. Also it keeps the app simple for users that only need to key feature set. Check out our GitHub: https://github.com/luckymarmot We have someone full time on the extention now, in addtion to other team mebembers spending time as well (disclaimer member of Paw team here..)

Disagree. If you implement every possible feature as a first-class deployed feature, your software is going to be (1) huge and (2) so confusing.

Implement core features, then implement a great API for 3P (or your own!) developers to add rich feature sets to the app that some demographics might find helpful.

I'm curious if there is anything in Paw that curl or siege can't do.

This is a UI for APIs, curl and siege are CLIs.

You know the difference, quit trolling.

Jmeter is free and has more features https://jmeter.apache.org/ Though I agree it might be overkill for simple use cases.

I understand that ISVs pick Mac because that's where most of the paying customers are but the OSX monoculture oozing from Bay Area today is even more tiresome than the Wintel monoculture of yesteryear.

Ask authors of Macaw what good it did them or did Web flow actually eat their lunch.

As far as I am concerned if a dev tool isn't three platforms crossplatform it didn't need to exist at all. Don't be surprised if it's another "yeah I remember them" niche thing in a couple of years. Existence of Postman and Insomnia is already a burden for this product, being OSX only will likely limit it's eeach to Starbucks dwelling hipsters from SoCa.

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