API Performance

We look at over 100 APIs and pull all the metrics together to give you the API ratings for an organization’s APIs in a particular category with our patented CASC score.

Something of interest

Foursquare had a bad week last week claiming the wooden spoon in both the Search and Social Network categories. What went wrong?

Foursquare had an outage on 12 November 2020 that started just after 15:00 UTC and lasted until after 21:30 UTC. It was an intermittent outage, so not all calls were failed during that time and there were a handful of fails afterward (and before), but the main outage lasted about 6 and a half hours.

This kind of thing can really ruin your Thursday. You really don’t want to be staring at a screen of red like this.

api-ratings-foursquare-outage-1

What’s interesting is that we see a whole plethora of different errors:

  • HTTP Status Code 500 Internal server error “Foursquare servers are experiencing problems. Please retry and check status.foursquare.com for updates.”
  • HTTP Status Code 502 Bad Gateway
  • HTTP Status Code 503 No healthy backends
  • HTTP Status Code 503 backend read error
  • HTTP Status Code 503 All backends failed or unhealthy
  • HTTP Status Code 504 Gateway Time-out

These definitely aren’t the sorts of messages that you want to be seeing!

That’s why it’s so vital to use an active API performance and monitoring tool. It lets you dig down into what went wrong in a way that gateway logs alone don’t let you do.

api-ratings-foursquare-outage-2

Here you can see the massive spike in latency on 12 November. The Foursquare API was pretty stable through late October and into November before things fell apart.

api-ratings-foursquare-outage-3

The outage lights up like the proverbial Christmas tree on the Performance Impacting Outliers chart. You want to see when a problem has arisen – and you can do that with an active monitoring system – but you can then use the test call data you have obtained to forensically analyze the outage.

This can help you spot outages in the future or put in place measures to prevent them in the first place.

Top API ratings: overall quality

Week Ending 16 November 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

GitHub

9.46

COVID-19

covid19api.com

9.26

Search

 

Google

9.17

Social Networks

 

twitter

9.57

UK Government

 

GOV.UK

9.86

US Government

 

Department of Justice

9.73

GOV.UK in the UK Government category takes the overall API ratings title this week with a CASC score of 9.86, down from 9.83 last week.

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good for API ratings, and 9.50 or more exceptional. Three of the six categories are headed by organizations with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week.

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. This week, five out of six categories are topped by an API with a CASC score of more than 9.25.

Top API ratings: latency

Week Ending 16 November 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Microsoft Office

225 ms

COVID-19

CDC Tools

174 ms

Search

 

Google

387 ms

Social Networks

 

Google

57 ms

UK Government

 

Police.UK

81 ms

US Government

 

Department of Justice

53 ms

Department of Justice in the US Government takes the overall API ratings title again with a median latency of 53 ms compared to 49 ms last week.

An important caveat about API ratings: 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!

Worst API ratings: all categories

Week Ending 16 November 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Adobe Stock Images

7.22

COVID-19

thevirustracker.com

7.42

Search

 

Foursquare

 

6.42

Social Networks

 

Foursquare

5.91

UK Government

 

NHS

6.67

US Government

 

Department of Labor

 

6.42

Foursquare in the Social Networks category takes the overall Wooden Spoon this week with a CASC score of 5.91, placing it in the Red Zone.

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 round ups has been to pull out the financial APIs.

See you again in a week as we look at APIs for the end of 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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