How to Use Your API Science One-Month Free Trial (Part 1)

API Science provides new users with a free one month trial. In this post I’ll outline ways you can utilize your free trial to explore the features API Science offers.

APIs are an essential component of almost every modern online product. If your product is an app, then you’re providing your customers with information of some kind. To gather the information that’s relevant for your customer, you access your internal APIs, external APIs, or (probably in most cases) both. If any of these APIs is down, or responds too slowly, then your product will be “down” to your customer.

The API Science platform is designed to help you minimize these events by monitoring your critical APIs and notifying your team when problems arise.

Introduction to API Science

In this global economy, it’s morning in Asia when it’s late night in the Americas, and vice-versa. This means that if your product serves customers globally, you cannot afford outages at any time of day.

API Science provides capability to monitor the APIs your product ingests, at the frequency you select, enabling you to monitor the reliability of those APIs, and take action when problems occur. The problems could be APIs that are entirely down, or APIs whose performance has become so slow that your customers will think your app itself is unreliable due to slow response, both of which entice them to click or swipe to a competitor’s site or app.

sampleDashboard
The necessity to monitor the APIs your service depends on is receiving increasing attention in major publications like Forbes (Why API Monitoring Matters To Every Business) and InfoWorld (Ignore your cloud APIs — at your own risk). And with good reason!

Our view is:

APIs aren’t just plumbing. They’re critical to your business, your apps, and your reputation. That means you need to make sure they’re always up, working and performing as they should. Don’t let a situation arise where customers call you to tell your API is down. Don’t suffer bad app reviews because of slow or unreliable APIs.

Exploring Your API Science Free Trial

When you start your free API Science 30-day trial, you are immediately provided with an API Dashboard that has been preconfigured with API monitors that let you explore the capabilities the API Science platform provides. Your dashboard provides an overview of present and recent statuses for all of your API monitors.

FreeTrialMyMonitorsDashboardThe columns for each monitor provide links that provide you with a more detailed view. The “NAME” column highlights the name of your current monitors (those provided with your free trial, or the monitors you’ve added yourself).

NAME Column

Clicking on the monitor’s NAME column brings you to the summary page for that specific monitor. This page provides:

  • An overview of the structure of the monitor (its Name, Status, Method, URL, Location, Frequency, and (optionally) the details of the API call:
    FreebaseOverview
  • A view of the results of the last 10 monitor timing checks for the API, including time to resolve, time to connect, processing time, and transfer time (all in milliseconds); this view illustrates the stability of the APIs you rely on, in terms of the wait time experienced by your users:
    Freebase_Last10Checks
  • Tabulated results of the most recent checks on the API, including the date/time of the check, the HTTP response status, whether the API check succeeded, the location from which the API call was made, and the total time occupied by the monitor test:
    FreebaseRecentChecks
  • Tabulated uptime history. This table shows you how frequently the API you depend on experienced outages based on your monitoring frequency; that is, is this API usually up for days and months on end, or does it experience outages fairly regularly over the short term (meaning that your own users will see your service as experiencing frequent outages):
    FreebaseUptimeHistory
  • Alerts Rules. This lets you select the conditions upon which an alert should be sent based on the results of an API monitor test:
    Freebase_Alerts

My next posts will continue the exploration of how you can put your API Science one-month free trial to good use.

–Kevin Farnham