About Paul Cray

Machine Learning Specialist at APImetrics.

What is a Web API? APImetrics Explains it All

"What is a web API?" At APImetrics, we actually get this question a lot. And I found someone asking this question recently on Quora as well. I answered it there, and I thought it'd be helpful to post it here, too. Happy learning! To understand what a web API is, it’s necessary to understand what makes a HTTP request to an API different from a HTTP request to any old URI (Universal Resource Indicator, which typically might be a webpage). Generally, we might expect that a HTTP server will return HTML. After all, it is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. But [...]

By | May 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

API Changes: Making Sure Your Calls Work After The Switch

One of the things about APIs is that they're subject to change. API changes might be because the API endpoints and methods have been changed. In this case, a good API provider will give its users plenty of warning about API changes. There will also probably be a grace period as the deprecated and new versions of the API operate side-by-side before the switch. Even if you pay for the API, it's going to be up to you to make sure the third-party API you depend on is going to ensure continuity of service. But it's all too easy to [...]

By | May 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2030 Web Resources: Intelligent Knowledge Bases & Event Horizons?

In 2004, pretty much nobody was worrying about RESTful APIs. But we've seen an exponential increase in interest over the past 13 years. If that interest continues for the next 13 years, 2030 web resources might be very different. We might hit the API Event Horizon! It’s possible that the RESTful paradigm might go the way of SOAP. But HTTP has been around for over a quarter-century now. It's very probable we'll still be using it in 2030. And if we're not, something else will take its place that we'll have to worry about. So it's a good bet that [...]

By | May 22nd, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

Chase and Expensify: No, You Can’t Expense It (For Now)

If you're a customer of Chase trying to upload your expenses using Expensify, take a breather. Go get a latte. On the afternoon of May 18 (PDT), visitors to the Expensify website read this announcement: Effective May 17, 2017, Chase began rejecting all of our connections to their Direct Connect service without warning. As a result, though our end of the connection has not changed, we are not able to import any transactions for any type of Chase card until the blockage is removed from Chase's side. Expensify added: “This is not due to any security concerns.” So, it’s not [...]

By | May 18th, 2017|News|0 Comments

4 Big API Questions that Every API Stakeholder Needs to Answer

Generally speaking, there are four big API questions that every API stakeholder needs to answer: Discovery: How do I know there’s an API? Documentation: What does the API do, and how? Authorization: How do I get to use the API? Quality/performance monitoring: Does the API do what it is supposed to do? An experienced API engineering team can help with these issues. But none of them are particularly quick, easy or cheap matters to handle. Discovery You can look somewhere like Programmable Web to find out what APIs are out there. It currently lists more than 17,461 APIs. That’s a [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Everything You Need to Know About the APImetrics CASC Score

One of the things about APIs is that they're complicated. There's a lot of things that can and do wrong. So there are many metrics that we measure for each API. That's why we came up with the CASC Score as part of our APImetrics Insights analytics package. CASC stands for Cloud API Service Consistency. What is a CASC Score? Simply put, you don't want to know just that your API is performing. You also want to know HOW it is performing. Our CASC Score is a number between 0 and 1000 that tells you how well an API performed [...]

By | April 21st, 2017|Summary, Support|1 Comment

Our Global API Economy: The Importance of API Metrics

We are living in an API economy. Organizations of every kind depend on APIs to exchange mission-critical, time-sensitive data and information with customers, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders. Given the importance of APIs to modern businesses, API metrics must be measured and managed. For example, you need to know what's happening on a minute-by-minute basis on Cyber Monday. But you also want to know whether anyone is actually using that API that DevOps spend so much time, effort and money building. "Always returning 200!" says DevOps Server, load balancer and gateway logs can tell you something about your API metrics. [...]

By | April 18th, 2017|Opinion, Summary|0 Comments

Census Data #API is Down

The US Census Bureau tweeted this about their API on the morning of Apr 6, 2017. They even sent us an email: We are currently experiencing an extended interruption in service for the Census data API. We are working to resolve the issue and apologize for any inconvenience. And indeed, there has been an extended interruption. As part of our efforts here at APImetrics to understand the global API ecosystem, we monitor hundreds of public APIs. These include two US Census Bureau APIs – the populations of California in 2010 and King County, WA in 2010. Both of these APIs [...]

By | April 7th, 2017|Government, News, Sectors, Summary|0 Comments

“No problem. We’ll write a cURL script to do that”

Does this story sound familiar? Marketing's having an issue with a mission-critical API. DevOps says there is no issue. After much research, Marketing was right – there is a problem. The API doesn't always return the expected fields, and sometimes it takes so long to respond that the user app times out. Is there any way to monitor the API and see if there is an issue? "No problem," says DevOps. "We'll write a cURL script to do that." So someone in DevOps is assigned the task. It'll only take a few minutes. OK, it took a few hours in [...]

By | April 5th, 2017|Case Studies|0 Comments

That 3AM Call

It's 3 a.m. You're dead asleep. The phone rings. You blunder around trying to locate your phone. Oh thank God - it's work! Only work. No one is dead. It's the support desk. Your most important customer's service has gone down. It might be the middle of the night where you are, but not where your customer is. If their service is down, it means they're losing revenue – and if they're pointing the finger at you, your company is going to be in a whole heap of pain. "It's OK," says the DevOps guy a couple of minutes later, [...]

By | March 30th, 2017|Opinion|1 Comment