We are already into the middle of April and that time of the week has arrived once when we must discourse on 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 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 April 13, 2020

Category
Organization    CASC Score
Corporate Infrastructure GitHub 969
Covid-19 (NEW) COVID-19 Statistics API (covid-api.com) 858
Cryptocurrency Exchanges LATOKEN 960
PSD2 Banks  ABN AMRO Bank 969
Search Google 947
Social Networks Google 961
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Bank of Ireland 972
UK Government GOV.UK 988
US Government Department of Justice 971

Four changes this week with COVID-19 Statistics API (covid-api.com) replacing ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) in the Covid-19 category, LATOKEN reclaiming the crown from HitBTC in Cryptocurrency Exchanges, and Google replacing Twitter in Social Networks.

GOV.UK takes retains the overall title with a magnificent CASC score of 988 (up from 985 last week) 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. Seven 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 period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.

Top Performers by Latency

Week ending April 13, 2020

Category    Organization    Median Latency
Corporate Infrastructure Slack 209 ms
Covid-19 WHO (World Health Organization) 112 ms
Cryptocurrency Exchanges FTX 225 ms
PSD2 Banks Open Bank Project 199 ms
Search Google 392 ms
Social Networks Google 120 ms
UK Open Banking (Open Data) HSBC 88 ms
UK Government Police.UK 76 ms
US Government Department of Justice 77 ms

No changes at all again this week 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 (5.54%, just the second worst in their category) and a high variance on their latency, which is why they come out just 8th out of 18 in terms of the CASC score this week. They do have a CASC score of 879, which is actually a pretty reasonable good score. It’s no good being fast if you are flaky, although being fast does help.

Worst Quality Across All Categories

Week ending April 13, 2020

Category Organization CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure Cisco Spark 793
Covid-19 COVID-19-Tracker-REST API 602
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Oasis Dex 219
PSD2 Banks BBVA 551
Search Nobody below 800!
Social Networks Nobody below 800!
UK Government NHS 482
UK Open Banking (Open Data) First Trust Bank 723
US Government Department of Commerce 508

Three changes here this week with Cisco Spark moving back into the Amber Zone with a CASC score of over 800 and thus not appearing in the table and COVID-19-Tracker-REST API taking bottom spot in Covid-19. Most interesting is that perennial underachiever Halifax is displaced from its usual bottom spot by First Trust Bank in UK Open Banking (Open Data). The Department of Commerce claims the overall worst title again, but at least its CASC score of 508 is vastly improved from last week’s 103.

Something of interest

The bottom two APIs in UK Open Banking (Open Data) are Allied Irish Bank (GB) and First Trust Bank (formally now Allied Irish Bank (Northern Ireland)) with CASC scores of respectively 726 and 723. These two banks are both pat of the AIlied Irish Banks, so these are the same API pretty much. They are usually pretty performant, so what went wrong?

 

API Performance API Expert APImetrics

Fourteen of the 17 bank brands are in the Green Zone. Allied Irish Bank (GB) and First Trust Bank do not have the most failures (they are second and third), they are not the slowes (four banks are slower) and four banks have more outliers, but they are consistently poor across the different metrics and that is what has hurt them.

They might well bounce back next week if their CASC score is not terrible, but being below average everywhere is not a good place to be.

 

API Performance API Expert APImetrics

In terms of latency, the rate determining step is process time. The fastest banks are caching information at the gateway and Allied Irish Banks might want to look at their peers and see if there are any lessons that could be learnt in how to speed up the process time and the other latency components.

See you again in a week as we assess matters as we power into the second half of April.