Sling TV/ DISH Network makes 70% improvement in deployment cycle with Postman

Postmanaut working with Sling TV. Illustration.


Connectivity company DISH Network brings TV and technology to approximately 19 million customers across the USA. Its companies include direct-broadcast satellite provider DISH TV, streaming services with Sling TV, and wireless services, including Boost Mobile and Gen Mobile.

DISH Network and Sling TV offer an extremely user-friendly interface, making it easy for customers to navigate and find the content they're looking for. Both services offer a range of interactive features, including on-demand content, search functionality, and personalized recommendations based on viewing history. The focus is on providing an affordable, flexible, and customizable television experience.

Headquartered in Colorado, DISH Network has been a disruptive force since 1980. First, bringing satellite TV to rural America with DISH TV, and then entertaining the masses with the streaming service Sling TV.

Service teams—including Metadata, DVR, and Real-Time Notifications—use the Postman API platform along with HTTP, gRPC, and REST. APIs are integral to operations. For example, REST APIs power the client/server interactions that keep Sling data moving, and the support team uses Postman Collections to make working with these APIs easier.


Deployment cycle improved by 70%

SRE productivity increased by 30%

50 - 60% reduction in onboarding time

New feature deployment reduced from 3 months to weekly

Postman Improved the Deployment Cycle by 70% for Sling TV/ DISH Network

The Challenge

Testing was time-consuming and dependent on several teams. The Sling app needs to work across multiple platforms and with several client types, all of which require comprehensive testing.

Multiple tools and solutions were used to work with APIs, including Swagger and cURL. For example, cURL was not conducive to collaboration, as scripts had to be written for sharing. It was not possible to easily switch between environments.

Another area that required improvement involved the gRPC integration. It was a challenge to read and understand gRPC data for both developers and non-developers.

These challenges adversely affected developer productivity and API governance standards.

Postman Reduces Onboarding Time by 50 to 60% for Sling TV/ DISH Network

The Solution

The Postman API platform accelerated the delivery of services by handling millions of requests.

Functional validation, documentation, and identifying integration issues with both manual and automated testing is all completed in Postman. Individual teams can now test without relying on others. Postman can render large chunks of JSON responses, which is a benefit that isn't available elsewhere.

Postman is a one-stop shop for us as it supports different protocols. Being able to stay in one platform reduces friction and optimizes productivity.

Pavan Thalak, VP of Software Engineering, Sling TV/ DISH Network

The Sling TV teams can now use a mix of protocols, including gRPC and REST, which is a huge benefit. Postman has made gRPC integrations much easier to understand.

Everything needs to be compatible with multiple devices, including Amazon, Samsung, LG, and Vizio, as well as mobile clients and browsers. Postman expedites time to market for product launches across everything.

Postman's easy-to-use interface makes it the de facto way to work with APIs. It's an ecosystem with a superset of tools ready for exploration.

Mayank Verma, Staff Engineer, Sling TV/ DISH Network

Both the client and server teams use Postman for development. For example, once an API is made available, it is used in the existing app for mock-ups with the client and server to identify integration issues. This process is now seamless with Postman.

Collaboration across teams has been bolstered by Postman with collections, environments and workspaces. Now, if a modification is made, everything remains in sync. With everything being saved in the cloud, changes are not lost.

Forking a collection allows team members to simultaneously work on the same thing. Teams can see what other teams are working on and experiment with their APIs. Everyone works against a common repository, it's a source control system. Collections have made collaboration easier and allowed standardization which has improved API governance.

The Outcome

With Postman, we are able to test for multiple client types, versions and devices which is an incredible advantage for us. It has dramatically improved our way of working.

Kirti Kulkarni, Senior Principal Architect, Sling TV/ DISH Network

The Postman API Platform allows a great deal to be achieved in the fewest number of clicks. Teams have seen a significant increase in developer productivity facilitated by automation and visibility. It's easier to identify integration issues in the development process and error conditions in the user experience.

The frequency of new feature deployment has been drastically reduced from three months to either weekly or fortnightly. This is in part due to testing being completed in one or two hours all in one place. Postman has contributed a 70% improvement in the deployment cycle.

Postman has accelerated our API work. It's made our lives easier in API testing, onboarding engineers and fixing bugs before deployment.

Ram Kundurthi, Principal Engineer, Sling TV/ DISH Network

The team deeply trusts Postman, so much so that it is the first part of the onboarding process. New team members use Postman to learn how to hit endpoints, analyze responses and write tests. With Postman, onboarding time has been reduced by between 50% to 60%. It used to take between three to four weeks to complete onboarding. This has been reduced to about a week and a half.

The DevOps process has seen a 30% improvement in SRE productivity for running tests and working with API contracts. Testing time has been reduced by 50% as testing takes place in a single place for each completed feature. Code quality has improved as Postman's testing features allow testing for multiple devices and scenarios.

In the near future, the team plans to use Postman with GraphQL and further explore Postman's capabilities.

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