Introduction

There are lot of ways to access the SharePoint API to fetch or update its resources. In all the ways, the authentication plays the important role in authorizing the access to get the information. As a developer, you may very much interested in using the PostMan tool for accessing the REST APIs.

Postman Chrome Extension
This is a developer friendly tool for handling the REST APIs from any platform. By using this tool we’ll fetch or update any information from SharePoint using REST API endpoints. We can get this utility from chrome extension and you can get that from this link PostMan Chrome Extension.

Postman & SharePoint Rest endpoints
If you are new to SharePoint REST API or you want to know more about REST endpoints in SharePoint; visit the link Get to know the SharePoint 2013 REST service.

Now we have some understanding about PostMan tool & SharePoint Rest API endpoints. Now we’ll start testing the SharePoint REST API with this tool.

Example

Let’s take a simple example like, getting the web title from the current site context. The equivalent syntax for retrieving the website’s title is

https://<SiteName>.sharepoint.com/_api/web?$select=Title

After entering the above URL in the text-box in the URL text-box. We will get the Unauthorized exception on accessing the information. Because SharePoint Online is very much secured and that doesn’t allow anonymous users to access the information for their site. The below is the error message response, after sending the request.

.

UnAuthorized from Postman
Fig 1: UnAuthorized from Postman

To avoid the Unauthorized exception, we have to add some request header values to the API request. Authentication and Authorization of SharePoint Add-Ins gives the overview of authorizing the Add-ins to access SharePoint resources by the APIs.

Authentication Policies:

SharePoint online considers any one of the below three type of polices to authenticate the Add-In.

  • User Policy
  • Add-In Policy – We are using this policy to authenticate the external system to access SharePoint
  • User +Add-In Policy

Request Headers:

And, we require the following information in various requests to authenticate with SharePoint online site.

  • Client Id
  • Client Secret
  • Realm (Tenant Id)
  • Access Token

Authorize Postman to access SharePoint

To get authorized from external system, we should pass access-token value as a request header along with the REST API URL. Before that we have to get the access-token, for that we should generate Client Id and Secret information from the site by registering as an App only Add-In in SharePoint site. This is same as like registering add-in for Provider Hosted Add-In.

I have provided the steps below to get the Tenant Id, Access Token and data from SharePoint using PostMan utility.

Register Add-In

On initial stage, we have to register the Add-In in SharePoint, where we want to access the information. Follow the steps below to register the Add-In in SharePoint site.

  • Navigate and login to SharePoint online site.
  • Then navigate to the Register Add-In page by entering the url as

https://<sitename>.SharePoint.com/_layouts/15/appregnew.aspx

  • On App Information section, click Generate button next to the Client Id and Client Secret textboxes to generate the respective values.
  • Enter Add-In Title in Title textbox
  • Enter AppDomian as a loclhost
  • Enter RedirectUri as a https://localhost
Register an Add-In
Fig 2: Register an Add-In
  • Click Create button, which registers the add-in and returns the success message with created information.
 Add-In Registration Successfull
Fig 3: Add-In Registration Successful

Grant Permissions to Add-In

Once the Add-In is registered, we have to set the permissions for that add-in to access the SharePoint data. We will set the Read permission level to the web scope, so that we will be able to read the web information.

  • Navigate to the SharePoint site
  • Then enter the URL https://<sitename>.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/appinv.aspx in the browser. This will redirect to Grant permission page.
  • Enter the Client ID(which we have generated earlier), in AppId textbox and click Lookup button. That will populate the value to other textboxes in Title, App Domain and Redirect Url
Fig 4: Set Permissions to Add-In
Fig 4: Set Permissions to Add-In
  • Now enter the below permission request in XML format.
    <AppPermissionRequests AllowAppOnlyPolicy="true">
        <AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web" Right="Read" />
    </AppPermissionRequests>
    
  • Then click Create button. This will redirect to you page, where we have to trust the add-in to read items from website.
Fig 5: Trust Add-In
Fig 5: Trust Add-In

Note: If we want to access site collection or tenant level, we have add the xml accordingly

Retrieve the Tenant ID

Once we registered the Client Id and Secret with the permissions, we are ready to access the SharePoint information from external system or tools.

At first, we have to know the Tenant ID. Follow the below steps to obtain that information from postman. Postman helps to get the tenant Id by requesting the below url with Authorization header.

  • Launch Postman chrome extension.
  • Select Get Method
  • Enter the below URL in the “Request URL” textbox
    https://<sitename>/sharepoint.com/_vti_bin/client.svc/
  • Configure the below information in the header section to send along with the url requestMethod = Get
    Headers

    Key Syntax Value
    Authorization Bearer Bearer
  • After applied the configuration, click Send button. The response returns lot of headers but ends with unauthorized access.

    Fig 6: Get Tenant ID from SharePoint Online
    Fig 6: Get Tenant ID from SharePoint Online

 

Generate the Access Token

In response header, we will get WWW-Authenticate as one of the header and that contains the necessary information required for next step. The realm value contains the tenant id for the SharePoint Online site and clientid value contains the resource information (we’ll use it later).

  • After getting the Tenant ID, we have to form a URL with the below format
    https://accounts.accesscontrol.windows.net/<TenantID>/tokens/OAuth/2 for requesting the access token.
  • Apply the below configurations in header
    Method = POST
    Headers
Key Syntax Value
Content-Type application/x-www-form-urlencoded application/x-www-form-urlencoded

Body

Key Syntax Value
grant_type client_credentials client_credentials
client_id ClientID@TenantID 4b4276d0-74cd-4476-b66f-e7e326e2cb93@10267809-adcb-42b6-b103-c7c8190b3fed
client_secret ClientSecret nuC+ygmhpadH93TqJdte++C37SUchZVK4a5xT9XtVBU=
resource resource/SiteDomain@TenantID 00000003-0000-0ff1-ce00-000000000000/spsnips.sharepoint.com@10267809-adcb-42b6-b103-c7c8190b3fed
  • After applying the configuration, click Send button. That will returns the response with the Access Token.
Fig 7: Postman response contains Access Token
Fig 7: Postman response contains Access Token

Once we are received the access token, its like we got the authorization to access the SharePoint data based on the permission applied in Grant Permission as Add-In section.

We have to pass the access token as “token_type access_token

Access the SharePoint resource

Now we have the access token, So we can now pass this token in Authorization header with the SharePoint REST API to get the information.

  • In Postman tool, add the below URL to retrieve the web title

https://<sitename>.sharepoint.com/_api/web?$select=Title

  • Apply configurations in header
  • Method = POST
    Headers

    Key Syntax Value
    Accept application/json;odata=verbose application/json;odata=verbose
    Authorization <token_type> <access_token> Bearer eyJ0eX….JQWQ
  • After applying the configuration, click Send button.
  • We will get the response successful as below if the permission xml applied correctly in appinv page. Otherwise we will get the access denied error message.
Retrieve the web tile from postman
Fig 8: Postman returns the web title in response

Conclusion

That concludes, the Postman utility helps us to test the REST API endpoint before starting the development. The same way we can retrieve or update any information from SharePoint supported by SharePoint REST API endpoints. In my next article, I’ll cover how to the same in external application using javascript.

Access SharePoint Online using Postman
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59 thoughts on “Access SharePoint Online using Postman

  • February 2, 2017 at 5:50 PM
    Permalink

    Hi Shantha Kumar,

    Nice article, provided the valuable information. Successfully created/updated the list item followed the above steps,but always it shows Created By / Modified By column value as “Sharepoint App”.
    Is there any way to update the context(login) user ?

    Reply
    • August 22, 2017 at 1:06 AM
      Permalink

      Hi Rambabu,

      Will you Please guide how did a performed CRUD operation on List Item from this article.

      Best Regards,

      Ajay Yadav

      Reply
  • May 5, 2017 at 1:54 PM
    Permalink

    Hi Shantha,

    Is there anyway I can update/Insert items in the existing list using postman ?

    Need help.

    Thank and Regards,
    Ajay

    Reply
  • May 5, 2017 at 9:06 PM
    Permalink

    Hello,
    Nice article, good tuto,
    It was very helpful.

    thank you !

    Reply
  • May 12, 2017 at 11:33 AM
    Permalink

    Very helpful article! Thank you!

    Reply
  • June 1, 2017 at 3:11 PM
    Permalink

    Everything worked and got the access token but finally , I try to get the title of a test site I created in sharepoint online it shows Access denied error

    Reply
    • December 7, 2017 at 4:10 AM
      Permalink

      I ran into the same problem on a sub-site. You’ll need to register the App on any sub-site you need to make calls to.

      Reply
  • June 2, 2017 at 6:45 AM
    Permalink

    Hello,

    Nice article! I want to use the feature to get access token by selecting the authorization method as OAuth 2.0 in Postman. Once I got the client_id and client_secret what to put in the Auth Url And Auth Token Url please help to successfully get the the access token.

    Regards

    Reply
    • September 13, 2017 at 6:56 PM
      Permalink

      hi
      Did you get the solution for this ?
      i am also trying to do something similar.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2017 at 10:41 PM
    Permalink

    Great tutorial!
    Very useful.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • June 23, 2017 at 8:17 PM
    Permalink

    Hi,

    Nice article. I am trying similar functionality having ADFS login to sharepoint online. I.e., using company email address (abc@company.com) to login to SharePoint online, not like abc@company.onmicrosoft.com. When I try with postman, I’m getting error “Direct login to WLID is not allowed for this federated namespace”. Is there anyway to get rid of this?

    Thanks in advance

    Br,
    Srini K

    Reply
  • August 3, 2017 at 10:13 PM
    Permalink

    What is the resource in the syntax resource/SiteDomain@TenantID from Generate the Access Token step?

    Reply
    • November 22, 2017 at 9:56 PM
      Permalink

      It’s the client_id that is returned in the previous step for obtaining the tenant ID. In his example, it is 00000003-0000-0ff1-ce00-000000000000.

      Reply
    • December 1, 2017 at 8:55 PM
      Permalink

      Please, have a look in this article and your doubt will be clear
      “https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh629982(v=office.12).aspx”.

      For all SP Online Resource value will be same.

      Reply
  • August 21, 2017 at 8:54 PM
    Permalink

    Hi Shantha,

    I need to perform an CRUD operation from postman?

    Kindly help.

    Thank and Regards,

    Ajay

    Reply
  • August 28, 2017 at 12:15 AM
    Permalink

    Really Helpful.. Thank You !.

    Reply
  • September 6, 2017 at 9:44 PM
    Permalink

    Hi,
    I followed the steps but in Generate the Access Token, I didn’t get the token. Instead I got this answer:
    “Tenant not found. This may happen if there are no active subscriptions for the tenant. Check with your subscription administrator”
    What Do I have to check to see if something isn’t well set up?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  • September 12, 2017 at 8:35 PM
    Permalink

    Hi,

    I want to change the domain Name and redirect URL. That i have provided in
    /_layouts/15/appregnew.aspx
    How do i do it.
    Can i create multiple appregnew.aspx for one site ?
    I am not able to getting error.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2017 at 2:58 AM
    Permalink

    Very Good Article.Helped me lot..Thank you sir..

    Reply
  • September 19, 2017 at 4:25 PM
    Permalink

    Nice Article , i`m able to access the data now from external system however the access token expires after a few hours and requests stops , how can i make permanent bearer access token?!

    Reply
  • November 21, 2017 at 5:16 PM
    Permalink

    Hi Shantha Kumar,

    Would you please to share how to do simple POST method like create new folder or upload new files ?
    I’m using below syntax to create new folder, and got error value cannot be null.

    POST: https:///_api/web/folders
    Body:
    { ‘__metadata’: { ‘type’: ‘SP.Folder’ }, ‘SPWeb.ServerRelativeUrl’: ‘/Documents/Test/’}
    Headers :
    [{“key”:”Accept”,”value”:”application/json;odata=verbose”,”description”:””}]
    [{“key”:”Content-Type”,”value”:”application/json;odata=verbose”,”description”:””}]
    [{“key”:”Authorization”,”value”:”Bearer [access token]”,”description”:””}]

    Reply
  • Pingback:Access SharePoint Online using Postman – SharePoint best practices, tips and tricks | Mani Mehrabi

  • November 28, 2017 at 4:07 AM
    Permalink

    I have a form in HTML and JQuery that consults a list of SharePoint Online, I am using the authentication token generated by postman to be able to authenticate and do the functions of the form, however, I have a problem: the security token expires, try to place Postman’s query on my HTML page but it throws me the following error:

    Failed to load https://accounts.accesscontrol.windows.net/dc8782a5-4716-4960-975c-d0c222ae506b/tokens/OAuth/2: Response to preflight request does not pass access control check: No ‘Access-Control-Allow -Origin ‘header is present on the requested resource. Origin ‘http: // localhost: 8080’ is therefore not allowed access.

    How can I generate a Token that does not expire so fast, or how can I make my HTML query the OAuth URL without throwing a Cross Domain error?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2017 at 11:13 PM
    Permalink

    Awesome post! Really helped untangle SP Rest operations for me.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2018 at 7:19 AM
      Permalink

      Thankyou Jim

      Reply
  • December 1, 2017 at 8:56 PM
    Permalink

    Can anyone tell me How to generate Refresh token along with Access Token ?

    Reply
  • December 9, 2017 at 8:14 PM
    Permalink

    Nice Article. Very clearly explained such a complicated stuff… Thanks a lot.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2018 at 7:18 AM
      Permalink

      Thank you Swarup

      Reply
  • December 13, 2017 at 9:38 AM
    Permalink

    Thank You Shantha, saved me so much time and effort debugging a call.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2018 at 7:18 AM
      Permalink

      Thank you Ben

      Reply
  • December 15, 2017 at 3:04 PM
    Permalink

    Please brief us about App domain and Redirect URI while generating client Id and secret?

    Reply
  • December 28, 2017 at 1:07 AM
    Permalink

    Hello,
    I have tried this on two different domains with the same results. What could I have setup wrong?

    App Identifier:
    The app identifier has been successfully created.
    Client Id:  
    781267f0-…..
    Client Secret:  
    jdclyCEoNws…..
    Title:  
    FlowHTTPRead
    App Domain:  
    localhost
    Redirect URI:  
    https://localhost

    Permissions (site collection url):

    POSTMAN: GET:
    https://MYDOMAIN.sharepoint.com/_vti_bin/client.svc/
    [{“key”:”Authorization”,”value”:”Bearer”,”description”:””,”enabled”:true}]

    Recieved:
    WWW-Authenticate →Bearer realm=”46381838-…..”,client_id=”00000003-0000-0ff1-ce00-000000000000″,trusted_issuers=”00000001-0000-0000-c000-000000000000@*,https://sts.windows.net/*/,00000003-0000-0ff1-ce00-000000000000@90140122-8516-11e1-8eff-49304924019b“,authorization_uri=”https://login.windows.net/common/oauth2/authorize”

    POSTMAN: POST:
    https://accounts.accesscontrol.windows.net//tokens/OAuth/2

    Header:
    [{“key”:”Content-Type”,”value”:”application/x-www-form-urlencoded”,”description”:””,”enabled”:true}]

    Body:
    [{“key”:”grant_type”,”value”:”client_credentials”,”description”:””,”type”:”text”,”enabled”:true}]
    [{“key”:”client_id”,”value”:”781267f0-…..@46381838-…..”,”description”:””,”type”:”text”,”enabled”:true}]
    [{“key”:”client_secret”,”value”:”jdclyCEoNws…..”,”description”:””,”type”:”text”,”enabled”:true}]
    [{“key”:”resource”,”value”:”00000003-0000-0ff1-ce00-000000000000/MYDOMAIN.sharepoint.com@46381838-…..”,”description”:””,”type”:”text”,”enabled”:true}]

    Received:
    Sorry, but we’re having trouble signing you in.
    We received a bad request.

    Sorry, but we’re having trouble signing you in.
    We received a bad request.

    Additional technical information:
    Correlation ID: 062b5714-cf35-418e-ac52-8f9ef966f779
    Timestamp: 2017-12-27 19:27:19Z
    AADSTS90013: Invalid input received from the user.

    Reply
  • January 16, 2018 at 7:47 PM
    Permalink

    Maybe, my reply would be helpful for some people since the xml which was mentioned above gave me authorization error and to overcome that issue, I needed to change that as below:

    Reply
  • Pingback:Setting sharepoint item list permissions with flow – Powershell, Automation, Office 365, Active Directory

  • January 19, 2018 at 4:07 PM
    Permalink

    Nice article ,
    helped me a lot
    thanks

    Reply
  • January 20, 2018 at 6:04 PM
    Permalink

    I am very new to sharepoint.
    i have installed share point server on premise.
    if i want to access the sharepoint resources over a api’s,what should i do.
    Can you please enlighten.

    Reply
  • January 27, 2018 at 7:44 PM
    Permalink

    Thanks. It was a good start working with SharePoint Online and Postman. The article is well detailed and achieved what I wanted. Thanks

    Reply
  • January 29, 2018 at 11:00 PM
    Permalink

    Thank you SHANTHA for help the community!!

    Ps: You can do the same with Flow? I Tried and get only “Unauthorized”

    Reply
  • February 9, 2018 at 3:25 AM
    Permalink

    Great article! I’m able to get everything working for O365 just as you list.

    When I try changing from /_api/web?$select=Title to /_api/SP.UserProfiles.PeopleManager/GetPropertiesFor(accountName=@v)?@v=%27i%3A0%23.f%7Cmembership%7C%40.com%27

    I get an Access denied/403 Forbidden returned. Does a separate token need to be setup to use the UserProfiles api?

    Reply
  • February 9, 2018 at 3:26 AM
    Permalink

    For some reason, my URL changed after posting. It should read
    /_api/SP.UserProfiles.PeopleManager/GetPropertiesFor(accountName=@v)?@v=%27i%3A0%23.f%7Cmembership%7Cusername%40domain.com%27

    Reply
  • February 19, 2018 at 8:52 PM
    Permalink

    Hi When i try generating access token from postman i am getting below error.
    Can you please suggest what am i missing

    {
    “error”: “invalid_request”,
    “error_description”: “AADSTS90002: Tenant 9d3b64a7-add3-49d8-a471-a3dcf51be7b2 not found. This may happen if there are no active subscriptions for the tenant. Check with your subscription administrator.\r\nTrace ID: a5cb7232-c291-4cf0-a6a7-980d6e2b2b00\r\nCorrelation ID: 93a67800-27d5-45a0-9a33-51115fd8c367\r\nTimestamp: 2018-02-19 15:06:06Z”,
    “error_codes”: [
    90002
    ],
    “timestamp”: “2018-02-19 15:06:06Z”,
    “trace_id”: “a5cb7232-c291-4cf0-a6a7-980d6e2b2b00”,
    “correlation_id”: “93a67800-27d5-45a0-9a33-51115fd8c367”
    }

    Reply
    • February 20, 2018 at 8:29 PM
      Permalink

      Hi

      Any suggestions, its bit urgent

      Thanks

      Reply
  • February 21, 2018 at 12:57 PM
    Permalink

    Can i access subsites with the help of parents site.
    I have register parent site and I am able to get list of subsite but not able to access subsite data like(list).
    Can anyone please help..
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • February 22, 2018 at 2:41 PM
    Permalink

    Hi,
    I get an exception error at the last part when invoking the REST API. Its not very helpful, but would you have any idea?

    {“error_description”:”Exception of type ‘Microsoft.IdentityModel.Tokens.AudienceUriValidationFailedException’ was thrown.”}

    the ‘Content-Type’ parameter was also an issue when trying to get the token. I had to remove this before it responded with the token. kept on throwing an error otherwise that:

    The request body must contain the following parameter: ‘grant_type’

    any advice is much appreciated. thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • July 17, 2018 at 3:20 PM
      Permalink

      Hi,
      For the issue T”he request body must contain the following parameter: ‘grant_type’”, verify that on Body Tab, you have selected “x-www-form-urlencoded” and set the correct key for the body. I had the same issue because setting variable on Form-data choice instead of “x-www-form-urlencoded”

      Reply
    • July 17, 2018 at 3:32 PM
      Permalink

      Hi,
      when you generate the access token, verify the syntaxe of “resource/SiteDomain@TenantID”.
      In my case, I did not replace the variable Sitedomain. Remplace it by “xxxx.sharepoint.com” where xxxx is the name of your tenant.

      Reply
    • July 18, 2018 at 4:18 PM
      Permalink

      {“error_description”:”Exception of type ‘Microsoft.IdentityModel.Tokens.AudienceUriValidationFailedException’ was thrown.”}

      I get the same error at the last step. Were you able to fix the issue? Please share.

      @Shantha, great article, however I would request you to resolve the issue where I am stuck at the moment. It will be much appreciated.

      Reply
  • March 1, 2018 at 5:46 AM
    Permalink

    You said you will cover how to do the same in external application using javascript. Can you plz let us know how we can find the article?

    Reply
  • March 3, 2018 at 8:48 PM
    Permalink

    Very well written and easy to follow and 100% helpful

    Reply
  • March 10, 2018 at 11:09 AM
    Permalink

    Hello Shantha,

    Its a nice article. Could you direct me the topic/link of how to connect to sharepoint 365 and perform file and CRUD activities from and external application using javascript.

    Regards
    Smithesh

    Reply
  • Pingback:Item level permissions using Microsoft Flow – My Sharepoint Resource

  • Pingback:Item Level Permissions with Microsoft Flow using SharePoint Group Permissions & SharePoint API – SharePoint Geekette

  • July 31, 2018 at 3:28 PM
    Permalink

    nice but how to get the refresh_token?????

    Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 1:21 AM
    Permalink

    When Granting Permissions to Add-In, irrespective of AppPermissionRequest always receive confirmation for “Let it share its permissions with other users.” & “Let it access basic information about the users of this site.”. And get no items when rest call is done to get list items _api/Web/Lists/GetByTitle()/items
    Any idea?

    Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 2:18 PM
    Permalink

    Hi Shantha,

    I am trying to create records and have modified your XML to

    I am sure that I’m probably missing something basic but when I follow your steps, I am able to make GET requests (read only) however, when I attempt to make a POST request, to create new List for example, using following parameters
    {
    “__metadata”: {“type”: “SP.List”},
    “Title”: “test”
    }

    I get error response back

    {
    “error”: {
    “code”: “-1, Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.InvalidClientQueryException”,
    “message”: {
    “lang”: “en-US”,
    “value”: “The property ‘__metadata’ does not exist on type ‘SP.List’. Make sure to only use property names that are defined by the type.”
    }
    }
    }

    I tried removing ‘__metadata’ from my parameters and just parse

    {
    “Title”: “test”
    }

    in which case, I am getting following error

    {
    “error”: {
    “code”: “-2147024891, System.UnauthorizedAccessException”,
    “message”: {
    “lang”: “en-US”,
    “value”: “Access denied. You do not have permission to perform this action or access this resource.”
    }
    }
    }

    I would highly appreciate if you or anyone on this blog could suggest what I am doing wrong here.

    Thanks in advance!

    Rahul

    Reply
    • October 5, 2018 at 2:19 PM
      Permalink

      Apologies, I seem to have missed the XML code above, its

      Reply
    • October 5, 2018 at 2:21 PM
      Permalink

      I’m such a noob, of course I can’t just paste XML here. Basically I’m changing

      Right=”Read” to Right=”Write”.

      Sorry about a million posts :-)

      Reply

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