Canvas Automation - How do I download, install and update a Postman collection?
This article describes how to download, install and update Postman collections provided by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to automate actions in Canvas
What is a collection?
A collection is a group of API calls that Postman can run individually, or in-sequence, with no human interaction. A collection can be used with the Canvas REST API to automate complex tasks such as enroll participants, update course settings in-bulk, or create courses, among other things.
Collections are created by individuals and distributed by download.
Download a collection
For more information about Postman collections, refer to Postman's Intro to Collections article.
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provides a collection of tools for use by Canvas institution and school/college administrators. Contact CETL for a link to collections that may be downloaded, and guidance on the .JSON file to use.
Collections are hosted in Bitbucket as a repository. The contents of the repository may be downloaded as a .ZIP file.
- Click the link provided by CETL.
- Click the three-dot ("kabob") menu in the upper right.
- Click "Download Repository". A .ZIP file will be downloaded to your computer.
- Unzip the file that was downloaded.
- Once the download is unzipped, open the newly created folder and look for the suggested .JSON file.
Install a collection
Once a .JSON file is downlaoded and unzipped, it can be imported into Postman.
- Open the Postman application.
- At the top of the Postman window, click the Import button.
- A new window will appear. Click the "Choose Files" button and select the .JSON file suggested. Alternatively, drag-and-drop the .JSON file into the provided landing labeled "Drop files here".
To view the collection, click the Collection tab on the left side of the Postman window. A folder with the name of the desired collection will be listed.
Update a collection
To update an existing collection, follow the above instructions to download the collection. The latest version of the collection will always be downloaded by following the instructions. Once the update is downloaded and unzipped, use the instructions to install a collection.
Upon selecting the .JSON file, a window will open prompting to either "Import as Copy" or "Replace". To update, click the "Replace" button. Any customiaztions that may have been made will be lost.