API Analysis: Google and Microsoft Bing

This Week’s API Analysis Highlights

  • GOV.UK in the UK Government category takes the overall title again this week with a CASC score of 9.85, down from 9.86 last week.
  • Department of Justice in the US Government category is the fastest API again this week with a median latency of 49 ms, up from 47 ms last week.
  • thevirustracker.com in the Covid-19 category takes the overall Wooden Spoon this week with a CASC score of 3.45.
  • We look further at how Google and Microsoft Bing compare in the Search category and find that Handshake Time and Process Time are areas of focus for improvement for both APIs.

Something of Interest

As we discussed in our API analysis last week, both Google and Microsoft Bing are pretty solid APIs. They usually rank CASC scores of well over 9.00. Neither is especially fast, but then they are probably doing a lot of work behind the scenes.

Microsoft Bing has a 100% pass rate and a lower outlier percentage, but is still somewhat slower and has a slightly slower CASC score.

api analysis Google Microsoft Bing 1

Our API analysis shows that for Google, Handshake Time is adding a certain amount of latency, especially from Oceania. Google itself is the fastest or joint fastest cloud in all regions except South America, where it is pipped by 1 ms by AWS.

The similarities in Handshake for all clouds in Oceania, South America and South Asia suggest shared infrastructure. Google is very noticeably faster in East Asia and Europe.

api analysis Google Microsoft Bing 2

Process Time is the longest component for Google. The time is pretty similar across East Asia, Europe and North America. Interestingly, East Asia is the fastest region in our API analysis.

South America is the slowest region and Google the slowest cloud there, so some attention should be given to optimizing performance for that region.

api analysis Google Microsoft Bing 3

Handshake Time for Microsoft Bing is significantly slower than for Google in all regions.

It’s by actively monitoring your APIs and those of your competitors that you can fully understand the areas you need to focus on in order to deliver the best possible service to your users.

Azure is not the fastest cloud for any region, so there might be an opportunity here for performance optimization.

api analysis Google Microsoft Bing 4

Process Time for Microsoft Bing is slower than Google for all regions except South America. For both APIs, this is the rate determining step. Regional variation is fairly low, especially for Microsoft Bing, so it might be more of an issue of looking at fundamental backend server-side performance in the data center to improve quality.

api analysis Google Microsoft Bing 5

API Analysis: Tops in Overall Quality

Week Ending 1 March 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate
Infrastructure

GitHub

9.68

COVID-19

WHO

9.48

Search

Google

9.27

Social Networks

Google

9.61

UK Government

GOV.UK

9.85

US Government

Department of Justice

9.81

Messaging APIs

Nexmo (API)

9.36

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Four of the seven categories are headed by organizations with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week, the same as last 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, all seven categories are topped by an API with a CASC score of 9.27 or more.

API Analysis: Top Performers by Latency

Week Ending 1 March 2021

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Corporate Infrastructure

Microsoft Office

220 ms

COVID-19

WHO

89 ms

Search

Google

425 ms

Social Networks

Google

57 ms

UK Government

Police.UK

82 ms

US Government

Department of Justice

49 ms

Messaging APIs

Slack

265 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!

API Analysis: Worst Quality

Week Ending 1 March 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate Infrastructure

Nobody under 8.00!

COVID-19

thevirustracker.com

3.45

Search

Nobody under 8.00!

Social Networks

Nobody under 8.00!

UK Government

NHS

5.96

US Government

NASA

6.82

Messaging

Twilio

7.45
Three out of the seven API analysis categories don’t have an API that appears in the list because there is no API in that category outside the Green Zone, down from four last week. See you again in a week for the first full week of March. Also, don’t forget to look out for our monthly report for February and the weekly and monthly financial API analysis reports. We will also be publishing special reports on the State of the APIs in the 2020, so that’s something else to look forward to!

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