Modifying Groups of API Monitors Using Tags

In recent posts, I’ve described how you can use API Science’s API to evaluate API monitor checks, detect failed checks, and use tags to group API monitors. If you’ve integrated the monitoring of your product’s performance and availability using the API Science API, it’s also possible to take the next step of modifying your monitors based on the conditions that are demonstrated by your API Science integration. That is, API Science’s API provides the capability not only for you to monitor the APIs that are critical for your product to be seen as “up” by your customers; it also provides the capability for you to respond to outages programmatically, rather than solely via messages forwarded to your quality assurance and/or development team.

Consider a situation where one or more APIs that provide key information for your product become unresponsive. You might be monitoring these APIs on an hourly basis, because normally they are quite reliable. If you’re using the API Science API to detect failures, your software will notice that something has changed, that one or more APIs had a failed check.

Using the API Science notifications facility, you can convey this information to your team. However, your software can also immediately respond to the failure and potentially provide your team with valuable additional information by utilizing API Science’s apply actions to multiple monitors capability.

When something changes that could affect how your customers perceive your product, there are multiple possibilities as to why that happened. There could have been a short-term outage for one or more critical APIs that your product depends on. In this case, your product will soon return to its normal state.

But if there is a lingering outage for your product’s critical APIs, then you’ll want to monitor the situation more closely. You’ll likely want to increase the frequency with which you monitor these critical APIs, so you can determine when their outages cease.

During the interval when the APIs are experiencing outages or incomplete performance, your product’s software must inform your customers that some information that’s normally a component of your product is either unavailable or out of date. By increasing the frequency with which you monitor the critical APIs, you can enable your software to detect when the situation is resolved, to the benefit of both your customers and your 24/7 QA/Developer team.

Altering API Monitor Frequencies

If a problem is detected, you may want to shorten the frequency of your API monitoring for critical APIs. If you’ve configured your related API monitors with tags, then your software can alter the frequency with which multiple monitors initiate checks using a curl command like this:

curl 'https://api.apiscience.com/v1/monitors?tags=your_tag' -X PATCH 
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' 
-H 'Authorization: Bearer NN_your_bearer_code' 
--data-binary '{ "frequency" : 10 }'

Here, we are using curl to send a command to the API Science API that will alter the frequency of all API monitors tagged with “your_tag”.

The API Science API enables you to programmatically assess the state of APIs that are critical for your product to be perceived as “up” by your customers. You can automatically alter your monitoring frequencies and other parameters, to provide your QA/Developer teams with the information they most need to address new performance issues as they occur.

–Kevin Farnham