We have finally staggered out of March and into another month of the COVID-19 crisis. And that time of the week and has come when we discuss the State of the APIs over the last seven days.

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 GitHub and Google 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 April 6, 2020

Category    Organization    CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure GitHub 952
Covid-19 ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) 858
Cryptocurrency Exchanges HitBTC 947
PSD2 Banks Deutsche Bank 959
Search Google 946
Social Networks Twitter 960
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Bank of Ireland 969
UK Government GOV.UK 985
US Government Department of Justice 982

Two changes (excluding new Covid-19 category) again this week with Deutsche Bank claiming the crown from ABN AMRO Bank in PSD2 Banks and Bank of Ireland replacing Danske Bank in UK Open Banking (Open Data). GOV.UK takes back the overall title from the Department of Justice takes with a magnificent CASC score of 985 and once more keeping the title in the public sector.

A CASC score of over 900 is very good and one of 950 or more exceptional. Six of the eight 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 period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.

Top performers by latency

Week ending April 6, 2020

Category    Organization    Median latency
Corporate Infrastructure Slack 176 ms
Covid-19 WHO (World Health Organization) 122 ms
Cryptocurrency Exchanges FTX 233 ms
PSD2 Banks Open Bank Project 208 ms
Search Google 391 ms
Social Networks Google 121 ms
UK Open Banking (Open Data) HSBC 86 ms
UK Government Police.UK 75 ms
US Government Department of Justice 73 ms

No changes at all again this week (excluding the new Covid-19 category) in this remarkably stable category. 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!

As so often, FTX might have a low enough latency to top the Cryptocurrency Exchange category, but they also have a lot of outliers and a high variance on their latency, which is why they come out just 10th out of 18 in terms of the CASC score this week. They do have a CASC score of 829, which is a reasonable CASC score, although not as good as they have managed. It’s no good being fast if you are flaky, although being fast does help.

Worst quality among all categories

Week ending April 6, 2020

Category Organization CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure Nobody below 800!
Covid-19 covid19api.com 719
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Oasis Dex 286
PSD2 Banks Visa 621
Search Nobody below 900!
Social Networks Nobody below 800!
UK Government NHS 382
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Halifax 614
US Government Department of Commerce 103

Only one change here this week (excluding the new Covid-19 category) with Cisco Spark moving into the Green Zone with a CASC score of over 800 and thus not appearing in the table. The Department of Commerce claims the overall Wooden Spoon again for the week with a truly terrible CASC score of 103 is definitely in need of some attention.

Something of interest

As you can see from the dropdown on the api.expert dashboard, we have added a new category, Covid-19. You can read more about APIs in the time of the COVID-19 crisis in a blog entry we recently posted.

API Performance API Expert APImetrics

A couple of APIs are in the Green Zone. Although performance and quality might not be the primary focus of the Covid-19 API providers in getting the endpoints up, it is going to be vital in the weeks as users come increasingly to rely on these APIs to provide accurate time-critical information, that the APIs are as reliable as possible. The biggest concern here would the number of outliers for the covid19api.com. We will be keeping a close eye on these APIs in the weeks and months to come.

See you again in a week as we assess matters post-Easter.