Five Ways to Help Your Developers Analyze API Outages

When your product relies on APIs (external or internal), it is critical that you monitor those APIs in order to know when something goes awry that affects your customer’s perception of your product’s current status. There are many ways an API can be down and or adversely affect your product. An external API may simply be down. Or its response might be so delayed that you have to decide whether to present users with an incomplete result that omits the latest data from the slow API, or wait for the result and accept performance delays in your product. If your production software expects a JSON response from an API, and you receive responses with invalid JSON, you need to know that…

Continue reading

Using Javascript to Extract Information from SOAP API Responses

My last post described how to create a monitor that calls Flickr’s Interestingness SOAP API to retrieve a list of recently uploaded photos that Flickr users have found interesting. Once the list of interesting photos is retrieved, we might want to call other Flickr API endpoints to retrieve more detailed information about the individual photos. […]

Continue reading

Monitoring Flickr’s Interestingness SOAP API

The API Science platform provides capability for monitoring APIs that utilize SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) interfaces. The photo sharing site Flickr offers a substantive API that can be accessed using multiple protocols, including SOAP. In this article series I’ll use the Flickr API to illustrate techniques that can be applied for monitoring the status and performance of SOAP-based APIs. Flickr invented a metric they call interestingness, which ranks posted photos based on statistics including clickthroughs, comments, favorites, tags…

Continue reading

The Business Case for Excellent API Documentation

If your company is selling web services that are accessed by through APIs, one of the most important factors for your ability to attract paying customers is your API documentation. Management teams from potential customers will be interested in what information your APIs provide, their capacity and reliability, and how quickly they can scale. Once […]

Continue reading

The Effect of Global Location on CURL Call Metric Patterns

My previous post used CURL component metrics to illustrate performance in calling the World Bank Countries API (located in Washington, D.C.) from Oregon. The curl resolve, connect, processing, and transfer times for calls from Oregon over a period of one week were plotted and analyzed. Here is the plotted Oregon data: The conclusion from studying […]

Continue reading

Using CURL Component Data to Illustrate API Call Performance Patterns

My last post analyzed performance component results produced by the curl Internet data transfer utility in an effort to understand what typically causes slow API call performance. Four instances of unusually slow but successful calls to the World Bank Countries API were studied. In three instances (calls from Oregon, Ireland, and Japan), curl’s Processing Time […]

Continue reading

Analyzing the Causes of Slow API Call Performance

In recent posts I’ve been analyzing the data for a week of API monitoring from four different locations around the globe (Washington, DC, Oregon, Ireland, and Japan). The hourly performance for calls over the week looks like this: Since the World Bank Countries API that’s being called is located in Washington, DC, it’s not surprising […]

Continue reading

Analyzing API Performance Hour-of-Day Statistics

A recent post analyzed API performance by hour of day over a one-week period. The average performance of calls to the API was fairly consistent, except for calls made in the last hour of the day (the hour before Midnight Universal Time). This plot presents the analysis results: The question is: why was average performance […]

Continue reading

Analyzing API Performance Binned by Hour of Day

Performance data from the API Science API can be analyzed in many different ways. For example, a recent post presents A Graphical View of API Performance Based on Call Location. The analysis uses cURL statistics to compare the performance of monitors that call the World Bank Countries API from various locations around the globe over […]

Continue reading