Streamline Your Workflow with This Simple Postman Trick: Automatically Setting Environment Variables from Responses — Plus, Code Examples Included

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Postman?
  3. Why is Streamlining Your Workflow Important?
  4. Setting Environment Variables Automatically from Responses
  5. How to Implement the Trick in Postman
  6. Code Examples Included
  7. Conclusion


As businesses continue to rely on technology to streamline their workflows, developers are constantly on the lookout for tools that can save them time and effort. Postman, an API development environment, is one such tool that has become incredibly popular in recent years.

With Postman, developers can easily test, document, and share their APIs with team members. One feature that has been particularly helpful for developers is the ability to automatically set environment variables from API responses.

In this article, we'll take a deep dive into this feature and provide code examples to help you get started. We'll also discuss some of the benefits of using this feature and how it can help you streamline your workflow. So let's get started!

What is Postman?

Postman is a popular API development tool that allows developers to design, test, and document APIs. It simplifies the collaboration process between developers and different teams with its intuitive interface, and offers a range of powerful features such as request organization, automated testing, and code snippets generation. With Postman, developers can create collections of requests, which can be executed and monitored easily. It also enables developers to share collections with others or import from existing collections, making it an efficient tool for agile development. Postman supports a wide range of HTTP request methods and authentication protocols, and provides various customization options. Overall, Postman is a comprehensive tool that simplifies the development process and enhances the efficiency of API development.

Why is Streamlining Your Workflow Important?

Streamlining your workflow is important because it can save you a significant amount of time and make you more efficient. By using tools and techniques to automate repetitive tasks or simplify complex processes, you can focus your energy on more important tasks that require your attention. This can help you achieve your goals faster and more effectively, while also reducing the risk of errors or mistakes due to human error. Additionally, streamlining your workflow can help you stay organized and keep track of important information, making it easier to manage complex projects or collaborate with others. Ultimately, streamlining your workflow can improve your productivity, reduce stress, and help you achieve success in your work and personal life.

Setting Environment Variables Automatically from Responses

One of the features that sets Postman apart from other API development tools is its ability to set environment variables. Environment variables are essentially placeholders for values that can be reused in API requests. While you can manually set environment variables in Postman, there's a simple trick you can use to automatically set them from API responses.

To set an environment variable automatically from an API response, you will need to use JSONPath, which is a query language for JSON. JSONPath expressions allow you to extract specific data from JSON responses.

Here's how to set an environment variable automatically using JSONPath:

  1. Open the Postman console by clicking on the console icon in the bottom left corner of the app.
  2. Execute a request that returns a JSON response.
  3. In the console, click on the response tab to view the response.
  4. Locate the data that you want to extract and copy its JSONPath expression.
  5. Create the environment variable by clicking on the eye icon in the top right corner of the app and selecting "Edit".
  6. Type in the name and value of the environment variable, and use the JSONPath expression to extract the value from the response.

With this simple trick, you can streamline your workflow and automate the process of setting environment variables from API responses. Plus, since you can use JavaScript code in Postman, the possibilities for automation are endless!

Here's an example of setting an environment variable automatically from an API response using JSONPath:

  1. Suppose you have a request that returns the following JSON response:
	"name": "John Smith",
	"email": "",
	"age": "35"
  1. If you want to extract and save the email address in an environment variable, the JSONPath expression would be $
  2. In the Postman console, create a new environment variable called email and use the following value: {{$}}.
  3. Now, whenever you execute the API request, the email address will be automatically extracted from the response and saved in the email environment variable.

Overall, setting environment variables automatically from API responses can save you time and improve your workflow. With Postman, it's easy to implement and opens up new possibilities for automation.

How to Implement the Trick in Postman

To implement the trick of automatically setting environment variables from responses in Postman, follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new request in Postman, or open an existing one.
  2. Select the "Tests" tab in the request.
  3. Write a test that captures the desired response value(s) and sets the environment variable(s) based on those values. For example:
pm.test("Extract data from response", function () {
    var jsonData = pm.response.json();
    var responseValue = jsonData.keyValue; // replace with desired key/value pair from response
    pm.environment.set("envVariableName", responseValue); // replace with desired environment variable name

Note: be sure to replace "keyValue" and "envVariableName" with the actual key/value pair and environment variable name you wish to use.

  1. Save the request and run it. If the test passes, the environment variable should now be set based on the response value.

Alternatively, you can also use the "Postman Sandbox" code to achieve the same result. This code can be added to the "Pre-request Scripts" tab in the request, and will automatically set the environment variable based on the response value. Here is an example:

    url: '',
    method: 'GET',
    header: {
        'Authorization': 'Bearer ' + pm.environment.get('accessToken') // replace with desired authorization header format
    body: {},
}, function (err, res) {
    pm.environment.set("envVariableName", res.json().keyValue); // replace with desired key/value pair and environment variable name

Note: be sure to replace "accessToken", "keyValue", and "envVariableName" with the actual values you wish to use.

By using either of these methods, you can automate the process of setting environment variables based on responses in Postman, streamlining your workflow and saving valuable time.

Code Examples Included

With the rise of APIs, developers often find themselves working with responses that contain data they need to use in subsequent requests. Manually copying and pasting this data into environment variables can be time-consuming and error-prone. Postman offers a simple solution to this problem by allowing you to automatically set environment variables from responses using the Tests tab. Here are some code examples to show you how it works:

// Example 1 - Setting environment variable using JSON response
let responseJson = JSON.parse(responseBody);

// Example 2 - Setting environment variable using XML response
let responseXml = pm.response.text();
let xmlParser = new DOMParser().parseFromString(responseXml, "text/xml");
pm.environment.set("myVariable", xmlParser.getElementsByTagName("name")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue);

// Example 3 - Setting environment variable using CSV response
let responseCsv = pm.response.text();
let csvRows = responseCsv.split("\n");
let csvObject = {};
csvRows.forEach((row) => {
  let rowValues = row.split(",");
  csvObject[rowValues[0]] = rowValues[1];
pm.environment.set("myVariable", JSON.stringify(csvObject));

As you can see in these examples, the Tests tab allows you to parse the response data and set environment variables based on specific data points. You can use this feature to streamline your workflow and save time on manual data entry. Give it a try and see how it can simplify your API development process!


In , using Postman to automatically set environment variables from responses can vastly simplify your workflow and save time. This simple trick allows for a quicker ability to iterate through variables and avoids the potential for manual errors. With the use of code examples, it is easy to see how this can be implemented across different API requests and types of responses. As technology continues to advance, it is important to keep up with these new developments in order to improve efficiency and productivity. By using tools like Postman and incorporating automation into your workflow, you can streamline your work and focus on more important tasks.

As a developer, I have experience in full-stack web application development, and I'm passionate about utilizing innovative design strategies and cutting-edge technologies to develop distributed web applications and services. My areas of interest extend to IoT, Blockchain, Cloud, and Virtualization technologies, and I have a proficiency in building efficient Cloud Native Big Data applications. Throughout my academic projects and industry experiences, I have worked with various programming languages such as Go, Python, Ruby, and Elixir/Erlang. My diverse skillset allows me to approach problems from different angles and implement effective solutions. Above all, I value the opportunity to learn and grow in a dynamic environment. I believe that the eagerness to learn is crucial in developing oneself, and I strive to work with the best in order to bring out the best in myself.
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