Hard to believe, but we are in the last third of April, even if all the days seem the same in this age of COVID-19 and, as sure as the Sun rises in the East each day, that time of the week has arrived once more 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 but 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 Oasis Dex and the NHS. 

CASC score

Week ending April 20, 2020

Category     Organization     CASC score 
Corporate Infrastructure     GitHub      966 
Covid-19 ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) 887 
Cryptocurrency Exchanges     Gemini 938 
PSD2 Banks ABN AMRO Bank 962 
Search      Google 918 
Social Networks     Google 962 
UK Open Banking (Open Data)    Bank of Ireland   976 
UK Government   Police.UK 988 
US Government         Federal Communications Commission 964 

Four changes again this week:

  • ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) replacing COVID-19 Statistics API (covid-api.com) in the Covid-19 category,
  • LATOKEN spectacularly falling from grace in Cryptocurrency Exchanges and being replaced by Gemini
  • Police.UK taking over from GOV.UK in UK Government
  • Federal Communications Commission claiming the top spot in US Government from the Department of Justice

Police.UK takes the overall title with a magnificent CASC score of 988once 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 nine categories are headed by organization with a CASC score of 950 or more this week as Google dropped away In Search. 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 20, 2020

 

Category     Organization     Median latency 
Corporate Infrastructure     GitHub 233 ms 
Covid-19 WHO (World Health Organization) 11ms 
Cryptocurrency Exchanges     FTX 216 ms 
PSD2 Banks Open Bank Project 192 ms 
Search      Google 389 ms 
Social Networks     Google 117 ms 
UK Open Banking (Open Data)    HSBC 85 ms 
UK Government   Police.UK 74 ms 
US Government         Department of Justice 94 ms 

Finally, a change in this category with Slack being knocked off the top spot in Corporate Infrastructure by GitHub. Will they retain that position next week? 

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 tops the Cryptocurrency Exchange category, but they have now moved up to third overall with a CASC score of 895, so things definitely improving for them.

But it is still worth remembering that it’s no good just being fast if you are flaky, although being fast does help! 

Worst quality across all categories

Week ending April 20, 2020

 

Category Organization CASC score 
Corporate Infrastructure Cisco Spark 763 
Covid-19 COVID-19-Tracker-REST API 280 
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Oasis Dex 270 
PSD2 Banks Visa 629 
Search Nobody below 800!  
Social Networks Nobody below 800!  
UK Government NHS 471 
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Halifax 706 
US Government FEC 402 

Three changes here again this week:

  • Visa replacing BBVA at the floor of PSD2 Banks
  • Halifax moving back into bottom spot in UK Open Banking (Open Data)
  • FEC displacing the Department of Commerce in US Government

Oasis Dex claims the overall loser spot with a pretty dismal CASC score of just 270. 

Something of interest 

Long-time favorite LATOKEN plunged from from first place in Cryptocurrency Exchanges last week to 16th with a CASC score of 716, placing it firmly in the Amber Zone. What went wrong? 

API Performance API Expert APImetrics

We can see that LATOKEN is still pretty fast, second fastest after FTX. But It’s pass rate has plunged to just 95.54%, the second worst in the category. 14 out of the 18 APIs manage a pass rate of 100%. LATOKEN also has quite a lot of outliers at 4.46%, placing it 12th out of 18 for that metric.

The first thing that an API needs to be is available. Most of its peers managed more than five 9s this week. Of course, a single outage can really kill your statistics for the week. But 4.46% of downtime is a long outage (nearly 8 hours). It will be interesting to see if LATOKEN bounces back next.

See you again in a week as we assess matters as we head towards the end of April.