We are now striding boldly into September, and it’s time for another weekly roundup of our API ratings.

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 CASC score (using our patented (US Patent 10,644,962, if you fancy a little light bedtime reading) that allows you glance to see the API ratings and compare them to other ones, as well as factors like uptime and availability.

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

Now, onto what the past week tells us about the state of API ratings during this insane week of an unending year.

API Performance Headlines

To compile our API ratings, we look at more than 200 APIs. Then we pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for API quality in a particular category. We do see that certain providers consistently vie for top spot in their API ratings category, including GitHub and Google. Others do less well, such as Halifax and the NHS.

Top API Ratings – CASC Score

Aug 31 – Sept 7, 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Box

9.46

COVID-19

ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)

9.15

Cryptocurrency
Exchanges

 

Coinpaprika

9.23

Fintech

 

Stripe

9.35

Search

 

Google

9.32

Social Networks

 

Google

9.77

Open Banking – PSD2

 

Nordea Bank

9.80

Open Banking – UK

 

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

9.73

Open Banking – UK Open Data

 

Allied Irish Bank

9.74

UK Government

 

GOV.UK

9.87

Us Government

 

Department of Justice

9.70

A fairly volatile week this week with four changes:

  • Box replacing GitHub in Corporate Infrastructure
  • ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) replacing COVID-19 Finnhub API in COVID-19
  • Allied Irish Bank replacing Bank of Ireland in Open Banking – UK – Open Data
  • GOV.UK switching again with Police.UK in UK Government

GOV.UK takes the overall title with an excellent CASC score of 9.87.

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional.

Six of the eleven categories of this API rating are headed by organizations with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week, down from eight last week, so we do see some evidence of a general reduction in CASC scores for this API rating.

Sustaining a CASC score of >9.25 over a period of several weeks of our API ratings is a good showing. Congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.

All API rating categories are headed by an API with CASC score of 9.15, which is certainly a highly acceptable performance.

Top API Ratings – Latency

Aug 31 – Sept 7, 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Dropbox

289 ms

COVID-19

CDC Tools

175 ms

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

FTX

204 ms

Fintech

 

Stripe

198 ms

Search

 

Facebook

323 ms

Social Networks

 

Google

44 ms

Open Banking - PSD2

 

Railsbank

93 ms

Open Banking - UK

 

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

146 ms

Open Banking - UK Open Data

 

HSBC

77 ms

UK Government

 

Police.UK

90 ms

Us Government

 

Department of Justice

48 ms

A fairly stable week this week.

Google takes back the overall title from Department of Justice with a median latency of just 44 ms.

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 by median latency. This week they are up to fifth out of 18 overall with a CASC score of 8.80, placing them very solidly in the Green Zone.

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

Worst API Quality Overall

Aug 31 – Sept 7, 2020

Category

Organization

CASC Score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Cisco Spark

7.16

COVID-19

Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com)

5.78

Cryptocurrency
Exchanges

 

RadarRelay

7.15

Fintech

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

 

Search

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

 

Social Networks

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

 

Open Banking - PSD2

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

 

Open Banking - UK

 

Barclays (Sandbox Auth)

 

1.20

Open Banking - UK Open Data

 

Halifax

5.73

UK Government

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

Us Government

 

Federal Communications Commission

7.52

Another fairly volatile week:

  • Cisco Spark a new entry in Corporate Infrastructure
  • Nobody below 8.00 in Fintech
  • Halifax replacing HSBC in Open Banking – UK – Open Data
  • Nobody below 8.00 in UK Government

Barclays (Sandbox Auth) again takes the overall loser trophy for the week with a CASC score of 1.20.

Something of interest

Social Networks is a fairly competitive category in our API ratings. That’s one reason why you need an active API performance and quality monitoring solution. You need to make sure that you are keeping up with the Joneses!

API ratings Aug 31 - Sept 7

Everyone is solidly in the Green Zone this week, but four out of the ten have a CASC score less than 9.00, so there is room for improvement.

Reddit, Twitter and Google form a triumvirate at the top, all with CASC scores of above 9.60.

It’s only by monitoring your APIs that you really know how they are behaving. And monitoring your peers can give tell you where you need to improve in your API ratings.

Google is top again this week in our API ratings. It is blistering fast, thanks to all that caching no doubt, and also has the fewest outliers. This is undoubtedly a highly performant API.

API ratings Aug 31 - Sept 7

DNS Lookup Time is 4 ms from everywhere, except Google! Google really shouldn’t have slower DNS Lookup Time from its own location when all other ones are as fast as possible.

This is the kind of insight you can only get from looking at your APIs from the end-user perspective. It’s possible that every looks fine from inside the Google data centers, but there is something amiss.

API ratings Aug 31 - Sept 7

It’s also important to monitor from everywhere. Google Social Networks is blistering fast from most locations  but not from Google in Oceania, where the Process Time is 315 ms.

For this latency component, Google is the fastest in all regions except Oceania and South America. So if they can do it for four out of six regions, they should be able to do it for the other two. More evidence, if it were needed, why it is so important to monitor from all clouds and all locations.

See you again in a week as we look once more at API ratings for the second week of September. Also, don’t forget to look out for our August API ratings report that we recently published.

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