Meet Swagger Inspector: A Developer Tool to Test APIs and Generate Your OpenAPI
Test and Monitor | Posted January 23, 2018

SmartBear knows that developing APIs that consumers love is a tricky process. As more organizations and development teams are building and leveraging APIs, there’s an increased focus on integrating with APIs that are easy to work with, and function as intended. Quality and ease of consumption are the biggest factors that affect API adoption, and developers need to take them into account when building new APIs.

The Swagger tools reinvented the way APIs are designed and built. But as the landscape changes, and developers are expected to improve quality and readability of the APIs they deliver, the need for a simple API testing and documentation generation tool on the cloud became apparent to us.

Swagger Inspector was built to solve three primary objectives for developers:

  1. Perform simple API tests
  2. Generate OpenAPI documentation
  3. Explore API Capabilities

1) Perform Simple API Tests

Developers are constantly required to double check if their APIs and end points work as intended during the development process. No one likes new processes, especially developers. They require a simple way to validate their work without breaking their existing development processes and frameworks.

Using Inspector, developers can easily call any API end-point, and see if the response is what was expected. Inspector’s simple UI is built to allow developers to test as quickly as possible without any learning curve or process change.

How To Perform Simple Tests?

Head over to Inspector, and insert the end-point of the resource you want to check. You can then put in the required parameters, and see the associated responses, all in a matter of seconds.

Swagger Inspector can call any API with or without CORS restriction and see the associated responses for the end points called. The cool thing about Inspector is that it has no restrictions on the type of API you want to validate. This means you can perform simple tests on REST, SOAP and GraphQL based APIs.

2) Generate OpenAPI Documentation

The OpenAPI Specification (previously known as the Swagger Specification), now the industry standard for designing and documenting APIs, is seeing massive adoption to streamline API development and improve consumption. The OpenAPI is the foundation for any good API documentation. Developers have always had to manually generate the OpenAPI file from their existing API codebase, which makes for a long, cumbersome process.

Not anymore. Swagger Inspector allows you to automatically generate the OpenAPI file for any end point you call. With less than 3 clicks, Swagger Inspector can generate OpenAPI documentation, saving valuable development time, and allowing your technical writers to get started on creating great documentation.

One of our beta program users, Matthieu Delmas of Microdon, said it best,

"Our company is trying to position ourselves successfully in the API economy by standardizing with the OpenAPI Specification. Swagger Inspector has become an important part of our API strategy, in that we can easily test, and autogenerate the OpenAPI documentation for any of our APIs.” 

Swagger Inspector is integrated with SwaggerHub, the API design and documentation platform for teams, used by over 100,000 API developers. The integration allows developers to automatically host and visualize their API documentation on SwaggerHub to enable API discovery and consumption by internal and external stakeholders.

How To Generate OpenAPI From Existing APIs?

Head over to Inspector, and insert the end point of the resource you want to have documented in the OpenAPI. You can then click the Generate Swagger button, which generates the OpenAPI file from the specific end point.

Alternatively, you can generate this from the History section as well. The cool thing about Inspector is that you can select multiple end points and consolidate their documentation in one single OpenAPI file.

You will need a Swagger account to host the generated OpenAPI file on SwaggerHub.

If you already have a SwaggerHub account, then you can log into Inspector with your credentials. When you create a Swagger Inspector account, you automatically join the SwaggerHub family. After you create an account, you can easily access all your tests in your history, anywhere at any time, and also generate the corresponding OpenAPI specification with the click of a button in Inspector.

3) Explore New API Capabilities

Developers are constantly integrating their applications with APIs. They need to explore various end points and their associated requests and responses. Swagger Inspector allows developers to do exactly this by providing them with a visual console to understand an API more intimately before working with and integrating it into their applications.

How to Explore an API?

Open Inspector, and insert the end point of the resource you want to check. You can explore APIs exactly like the way you’d validate them – just insert the end point you want to explore in the field, and call that end point. With the required parameters in place, Inspector will tell you exactly what the associated responses are, giving you a better understanding of the API’s full capabilities.

Closing Notes

Whether it’s a simple manual test on the cloud, or generating OpenAPI documentation, Swagger Inspector is the tool for you. SmartBear worked hard building this tool for our users, and really hope this helps in your API development process.

To learn more about Swagger Inspector, check out the video below:


Check out Swagger Inspector and leave us your feedback inside the app!


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