We have tumbled out of May and into yet another month of the COVID-19 crisis as well as some other issues on top too. And that time of the month has arrived when we must discourse on the State of the APIs over the past month. 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 (US Patent 10,644,962, if you fancy a little light bedtime reading) CASC score, which allows you at a glance to see the performance of an API and compare it to other ones) as well as 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 past month tells us about the state of the world of APIs in the middle of the second quarter of 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 Cisco’s Spark services.

Top Performers

May 2020

Category     Organization     CASC score 
Corporate Infrastructure     Heroku 939 
Covid-19 ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) 907 
Cryptocurrency Exchanges
HitBTC 932 
PSD2 Banks Nordea Bank 988 
Search      Google 927 
Social Networks     Twitter 953 
UK Open Banking (Open Data)    Bank of Ireland   973 
UK Government   Police.UK 960 
US Government         FDA 955 

 

A highly volatile month in May, with 8 out of the 9 categories changing hands:

  • Heroku replacing Pivotal Tracker in Corporate Infrastructure
  • COVID-19 API (nubentos.com) replacing ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) in Covid-19
  • Coinpaprika replacing HitBTC in Cryptocurrency Exchanges
  • Nordea Bank replacing ABN AMRO Bank in PSD2 Banks
  • Twitter replacing Google in Social Networks
  • Police.UK replacing GOV.UK in UK Government
  • Federal Communications Commission replacing FDA in US Government

Bank of Ireland is the only API to retain the top spot in its category (UK Open Banking (Open Data)).

As in April, in 5 out of the 9 categories, the top API has managed to sustain a CASC score of over 950 for a whole month, which is an excellent showing on their parts. Nordea Bank is top overall with first-class CASC score of 988.

Top performers by latency

May 2020

Category     Organization     Median latency 
Corporate Infrastructure     Microsoft Office 227 ms 
Covid-19 CDC tools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 185 ms 
Cryptocurrency Exchanges     FTX 211 ms 
PSD2 Banks Nordea Bank 178 ms 
Search      Google 377 ms 
Social Networks     Google 118 ms 
UK Open Banking (Open Data)    HSBC 86 ms 
UK Government   Police.UK 83 ms 
US Government         Department of Justice 79 ms 

 

Just one change this month, with CDC tools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) replacing WHO (World Health Organization) in Covid-19.

FTX is first again for latency in Cryptocurrency Exchanges, but again only 11th out of 18 overall, albeit with a respectable CASC score of 828.

Worst quality across all categories

May 2020

Category Organization CASC score 
Corporate Infrastructure Salesforce 794 
Covid-19 Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com) 673 
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Oasis Dex 373 
PSD2 Banks Nobody below 800!  
Search Nobody below 800!  
Social Networks Nobody below 800!  
UK Government NHS 482 
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Halifax 748 
US Government Department of Commerce 549 

 

Only a couple of minor changes this month, with Salesforce in Corporate Infrastructure ducking under the wire, Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com) replacing COVID19-Tracker-REST-API in Covid-19 and no-one bagging the loser trophy in PSD2 Banks. The overall worst slot for May goes to Oasis Dex with a CASC score of 373.

Something of interest

Nordea Bank took the prize for best API this month with an impressive CASC score of 988. That’s a very good effort to sustain that over a month.

Nordea Bank took the prize for best API this month with an impressive CASC score of 988. That’s a very good effort to sustain that over a month.

Nordea doesn’t have a perfect pass rate unlike some of its peers. Nor does Nordea have the fewest outliers. TrueLayer has less than half as many. But Nordea is the fastest API and is a strong all-around performer, which is what counts when it comes to the CASC score.

As Total Time shows, Nordea Bank is a consistent performer across cloud locations. This is important for the CASC score.

As Total Time shows, Nordea Bank is a consistent performer across cloud locations. This is important for the CASC score. If an API is showing large variations between cloud locations, it means both that there are likely to be more outliers and also that the latency will have a larger standard deviation, which will knock down the CASC score. It will be fascinating to see if they can keep up the good work in June.

See you again in a month as we assess how matters have gone in May.