As we stagger out of the first month of the 2020s, the time has come for us to inform you about the State of the APIs, not just in the last week, but over the whole of January. We recently launched API.expert as a simple way to provide everybody with insights into the API economy and the leading APIs in different categories in particular. The basic service is free and will remain free, but other, related services will be built on top of it, including your very own API.expert dashboards if you want them! 

Each week, month and year we’ll look at the APIs we track in a variety of sectors for their quality (using our patent pending CASC scoreand other factors like uptime and availability. 

If something is missing that you think should be here, don’t hesitate to drop us a line! 

Now, onto what the last seven days and last month can tells us about where the world of APIs is in early 2020.

API Performance Headlines 

We look at over 200 APIs and pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for the service quality for an organization’s APIs in a particular category.  

We do see that certain providers consistently vie for top spot in their category including Twitter, Slack and Github with others doing less well such as Cisco’s Spark services. 

Top Performers based on overall quality in each category were: 

CASC score

Week ending February 3, 2020

Category Organization CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure GitHub 955
Cryptocurrency Exchanges LATOKEN 953
PSD2 Banks BNP Paribas
962
Search Google 950
Social Networks Google (including YouTube)
951
UK Government Police.UK 936
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Bank of Ireland 972
US Government General Services Administration 968

CASC score 

Month of January 2020 

Category Organization CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure Slack 948
Cryptocurrency Exchanges LATOKEN 928
PSD2 Banks Railsbank 942
Search Google 929
Social Networks Google 945
UK Government Police.UK 936
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Bank of Ireland 962
US Government General Services Administration 954

The Bank of Ireland is once again the best overall this week and also takes the mantle for the month. Bank of Ireland has been getting better week on week. It will be fascinating to see how high they can go. LATOKEN takes back the top spot in Cryptocurrency Exchanges as we predicted last weekA CASC score of over 900 is very good and one of 950 or more exceptional. Six of the nine categories are headed by organization with a CASC score of 950 or more this week, which is a very good showing. Sustaining a CASC score of >925 over a month is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it. 

Top performers by latency 

Week Ending 3 February 2020 

Category Organization Median latency
Corporate Infrastruture GitHub 235 ms
Cryptocurrency Exchanges FTX 251 ms
PSD2 banks BNP Paribas 139 ms
Search Foursquare 408 ms
Social Networks Google 131 ms
UK Government Police.UK 82 ms
UK Open banking (Open Data) HSBC 83 ms
US Government Department of Justice 74 ms

Month of January 2020 

Category Organization Median latency
Corporate Infrastruture Slack 190 ms
Cryptocurrency Exchanges FTX 249 ms
PSD2 banks BNP Paribas 134 ms
Search Google 414 ms
Social Networks Google 136 ms
UK Government Police.UK 82 ms
UK Open banking (Open Data) HSBC 87 ms
US Government Department of Justice 67 ms

FTX remain fastest in Cryptocurrency Exchanges despite LATOKEN reclaiming the overall top spot. An important caveat: medians can be misleading! An API might have a fast median latency but produce many slow outliers. These won’t affect the median, but they mean that users can experience many calls that were unacceptably slow. So just being fast isn’t everything. You have to be reliable too if you want to have good APIs and get a high CASC score! FTX might have a low latency, but they also have a lot of outliers, which is why the rank only 13th out of 18 in terms of the CASC score. 

Worst quality across all categories 

Week ending February 3, 2020

Category Organization CASC Score
Corporate Infrastructure Mailchimp 838
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Oasis Dex 694
PSD2 banks Visa 616
Search Foursquare 906
Social Networks Tumblr 798
UK Government NHS 548
UK Open banking (Open Data) Halifax 727
US Government NASA 561

Month of January 2020

Category Organization CASC Score
Corporate Infrastructure Cisco Spark 700
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Oasis Dex 385
PSD2 banks Visa 541
Search Foursquare 867
Social Networks Soundcloud 861
UK Government NHS 548
UK Open banking (Open Data) Halifax 665
US Government Department of Commerce 402

Something of interest 

Of all the APIs we looked at, Bank of Ireland has the best CASC score over the whole of January. What makes it so good? If we look at the Top Ten banks by CASC score, we can see that it is not the fastest, although a median latency of just over 200 ms is perfectly fine. Other banks also have 100% availability. But where the Bank of Ireland really shines is in reliability. It has only 0.17% of outliers, which is significantly fewer than even the best of the other banks. It is this ironclad reliability that is the key to a quality API. As with the Tortoise and Achilles, the slower of the two can still win, if he always getthere.   

API Performance API Expert APImetrics

See you again in a week to see who have been the movers and shakers of the first full week of February.