We have now plunged screaming into November and the election from hell. But, to cheer us up, we’re going to look at API ratings for the last week!

We launched API.expert earlier in the year as a simple way to provide everybody with insights into the API economy and the leading API ratings in different categories in particular.

We are expanding our coverage of Open Finance APIs from around the world, so one of the major changes we made recently to these API ratings round-ups has been to pull out the financial APIs. Look out for the separate weekly and monthly reports on financial APIs.

Now, onto what the past week tells us about the world’s non-financial APIs as we dive into API ratings and stride boldly into November 2020.

API Performance Headlines

We look at over 100 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.

Top API Ratings Overall

Week Ending 3 November 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate Infrastructure

GitHub

9.67

COVID-19

COVID-19 Finnhub

9.42

Search

Google

9.41

Social Networks

Twitter

9.61

UK Government

GOV.UK

9.49

US Government

Department of Justice

9.88

Department of Justice in the US Government category takes the overall API ratings title yet again this week with a CASC score of 9.88, up from 9.87 last week.

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Three of the six API ratings categories are headed by an organization with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week (with one at 9.49).

Sustaining a CASC score of >9.25 over a period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.

Top API Ratings by Latency

Week Ending 3 November 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Corporate Infrastructure

Microsoft Office

229 ms

COVID-19

CDC Tools

169 ms

Search

Facebook

344 ms

Social Networks

Google

59 ms

UK Government

Police.UK

80 ms

US Government

Department of Justice

47 ms

Department of Justice in the US Government takes the overall API ratings title again with a median latency of 52 ms compared to 52 ms last 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 API ratings and get a high CASC score!

Worst API Ratings Across All Categories

Week Ending 3 November 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate Infrastructure

Cisco Webex Teams

7.58

COVID-19

thevirustracker.com

6.82

Search

Nobody below 8.00!

Social Networks

Nobody below 9.00!

UK Government

NHS

6.88

US Government

Department of Labor

6.32

Department of Labor in the US Government category takes the overall Loser Award with a CASC score of 6.32.

Something of interest

Last week, things were incredibly tight in the Search API ratings category with only 0.03 CASC score points separating the APIs. This week, things have opened up a bit and Foursquare, which topped the category last week is now propping up the table.

API Ratings: Oct 26–Nov 3 | Facebook Falls Back | APImetrics

These are all good APIs, but Google and Microsoft Bing definitely moved forward this week and Facebook and Foursquare back.

APIs are the toughest game in the world and you have to run to stay still. That’s why you need to monitor APIs – to understand how they behave normally and can detect straightaway when something has gone wrong.

Interestingly, we can see here that outliers are pulling down Facebook’s API ratings. It has a better pass rate and median latency than Google, but more outliers. Reliable, both in terms of outliers and the standard deviation of the latency are key to having a good CSASC score.

You always want the API to respond and even if it is a fairly slow API, you always want it to respond in more or less the same time. Again, it is by actively monitoring your APIs and understanding their characteristics and quirks that you can tune them continuously so that constantly getting better, constantly striving for a Perfect 10.

See you again in a week as we look at the State of the APIs as we smash deeper into November. Also don’t forget to look out for our monthly report for October and the weekly and monthly financial API reports.

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