Using Tags to Group API Monitors

Many online products require gathering information from many different data sources. If your product queries multiple APIs (external or internal), then it is vital for your team to monitor those APIs in order to assess whether your product appears up, partially up, or down.

My last two posts described how you can use the API Science API to evaluate API checks and detect failed checks. In this post, I’ll describe API monitor tags and how they can fit into your overall performance analysis strategy.

API monitor tags:

are optional, user-defined labels that can be associated with any Monitor. Tags allow the sorting, grouping, and running of mass actions on monitors. Each monitor can have any number of tags.

For example, assume your product will be seen as “down” by your customers, should various calls to external or internal APIs not produce a valid result. In this case, you might want to adjust your settings for monitoring those APIs to you receive new updates at an increased cadence, testing the APIs at smaller time intervals to better assess the status of your product as it appears to users.

API Science provides the capability to link different monitors using API monitor tags. Using these tags, your software can execute a batch update of all your similarly-tagged API monitors via API Science’s own API.

To tag a monitor, go to your Dashboard and click the name of the monitor you’d like to tag. For example, I can click on my “br Ireland” monitor in my Dashboard’s “NAME” column:

On my “br Ireland” monitor page, I click the “Edit” button:

Near the bottom of this page there is a “Tags” box. Here, you can enter one or more text items that will identify this monitor as belonging to a certain category that is of interest for your platform. This provides a way to group monitors that are relevant to your overall product, or a component of your product.

Here, I define this monitor as having the tag “br”:

Assume my product requires accessing the World Bank’s Countries API, and I want to be assured that my customers, wherever they may reside, are finding my product to be available. If this is not the case, then it is beneficial to alter my monitoring for multiple APIs.

The API Science monitor tagging facility enables me to tag any number of monitors with the same tag. I can apply the same “br” tag to all monitors that are critical for this product.

Tagging multiple monitors with the same tag name makes it possible to execute batch alterations to multiple monitors using the API Science API. I’ll discuss this in my next post.

–Kevin Farnham

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