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Testing with Postman or Insomnia

Postman and Insomnia are powerful tools used to test API's, validate their behavior, and automate testing tasks. Basic testing with these tools is similar, and this guide will help you get started with either option.

Generate long-lived JWT template

The standard token issued by Clerk expires after 60 seconds. Clerk SDKs handle refreshing the token regularly so that the authentication state is kept up to date. Because this token expires quickly, it isn't very useful when trying to test with Postman or Insomnia.

You will want to create a long-lived JWT Template to be used in Postman or Insomnia. To do so, go to the Clerk Dashboard and navigate to the JWT Templates(opens in a new tab) page. Click on the New template button and select the Blank template.

The JWT Template page in the Clerk Dashboard. The 'New template' button was clicked, in the modal that opened, the 'Blank' template is hovered over.

Give your template a unique name, such as 'testing-template'. Set the Token Lifetime to a value that suits your needs, or use the maximum of 315360000 seconds (10 years). If you added custom claims to the normal session token, then you should add the same claims to your JWT Template.

Creating a JWT Template in the Clerk Dashboard

Fetch long-lived token

Visit your frontend that is using the same Clerk Application and instance that you want to test. Sign in as a user. The user that you sign in as will be the user you test with in Postman or Insomnia. You can create several tokens for several different users. Once you have signed in, open your Dev Tools and go to the Console tab. Enter the following command:

await window.Clerk.session.getToken({ template: "<the template name you chose above>" });
The Dev Tools Console with the command 'await window.Clerk.session.getToken()' entered. The token is logged to the console.

Using Postman or Insomnia

Open Postman and create a new request.

The Postman app with a red arrow pointing at the plus icon in the top left corner.

Configure Postman with the method and URL for the API Route you want to test. This example uses the POST method and the /api/protected-route route.

The Postman app with a red box around the method and URL field.

Navigate to the Authorization tab and for token type, select Bearer Token. Paste the token you copied from the console as the Bearer Token. Your request will now authenticate as the user you created the token with.

The Postman app with the first red arrow pointing at the Authorization tab, the second red arrow pointing at the token type with 'Bearer token' chosen, and a third red arrow pointing at the token field with the token pasted in.

Grouping requests

Postman and Insomnia both provide a Collections feature, which allows you to group requests together. Inside that collection, you can add Variables(opens in a new tab) (Postman) or Environment Variables(opens in a new tab) (Insomnia). These features enable you to use a single token across multiple requests and also allow you to store tokens for multiple users. This is great for testing different features in your application by conveniently changing the token/user you are testing with. You can read more about Postman Variables here(opens in a new tab) and Insomnia Environment Variables here(opens in a new tab).

Last updated on March 8, 2024

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