API.expert Monthly API Analysis: March | Search APIs

This Month’s API Highlights

  • UK in the UK Government API category takes the overall top spot for the public sector again with a CASC score of 9.77, down from 9.85 in February.
  • Department of Justice in the US Government API category takes the latency title for the public sector again with a median latency of 48 ms, up from 46 ms last month.
  • Microsoft Authentication once again props up the Corporate Infrastructure API category. It’s pretty consistent, it’s just persistently in the Amber Zone. This is down to the high percentage of outliers. This is an API that could use a little TLC to get it up to where it should be.
  • We take a good hard look at the Search API category.

Something of interest

Search is an important API category and we recently added Duck Duck Go to it. All four APIs have CASC scores of over 8.59 or more, which is respectable enough. Duck Duck Go is fast but has quite a lot of outliers.

Search is a global service, so how do the APIs compare across different clouds and regions? A good search API should be fast for all its users wherever they are.

Search APIs 1
Search APIs 2

Google APIs are fastest from Google North America, but the only other region where Google is fastest is South Asia. Europe and North America plus Google and IBM Cloud in East Asia are a similar sort of speed, but other regions are often quite a bit slower.

By actively monitoring your APIs from cloud locations around the world, you can see what kind of service your users are actually experiencing and you can move to resolve any issues that are identified before they affect your users.

Search APIs 3

Microsoft Bing APIs are fastest from Azure Europe and Azure is the fastest cloud in five out of six regions.

There is quite a lot of variation within some regions (249 ms between Azure Europe and IBM Cloud Europe). Oceania, South America and South Asia are noticeable slower.

For a major service like Microsoft Bing, might it be worth co-hosting in those regions?

Search APIs 4

Duck Duck Go, on the other hand, is fastest from AWS Oceania at just 43 ms. Oddly, it is fastest from AWS in all regions except East Asia, which is the slowest location overall at 351 ms.

You can’t assume that just because a cloud is fast from most locations of a particular cloud, it is fast from all of them. If you monitor, you can see straightway if there are problem clouds, regions and locations.

And if Duck Duck Go can be fast from AWS Oceania and South America, could Google and Microsoft Bing be fast from those regions?

Search APIs 5

Foursquare really struggles from South Asia and especially Oceania. North America is clearly the fastest region.

Some services might be focused on a particular region, but can’t necessarily assume all your users will come from one cloud or one location. And even if most do, by actively monitoring you can know just degraded your service might be from some locations and why you don’t have many users in Australia.

API Analysis: Tops in Overall Quality

March 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate
Infrastructure

GitHub

9.54

COVID-19

WHO

9.35

Search

Google

9.44

Social Networks

Google

9.68

UK Government

GOV.UK

9.77

US Government

Department of Justice

9.56

Messaging APIs

Slack

9.15

Four out of the 7 API categories are topped by an API with a CASC score of over 9.50 in March, down from 5 in February.

API Analysis: Top Performers by Latency

March 2021

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Corporate Infrastructure

GitHub

220 ms

COVID-19

WHO

87 ms

Search

Duck Duck Go

120 ms

Social Networks

Google

55 ms

UK Government

Police.UK

73 ms

US Government

Department of Justice

48 ms

Messaging APIs

Slack

266 ms

Department of Justice in the US Government category takes the API latency title for the public sector again with a median latency of 48 ms, up from 46 ms last month.

API Analysis: Worst Quality

March 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate Infrastructure

Microsoft Authentication

7.75

COVID-19

covid19api.com

3.17

Search

Nobody under 8.00!

Social Networks

Nobody under 8.00!

UK Government

NHS

6.23

US Government

Data.gov

4.67

Messaging

Nexmo (REST)

7.82
Coronavirus COVID19 API (covid19api.com) in the Covid-19 category takes the overall wooden spoon this month with a CASC score of 3.17. See you again in a month as we assess how matters have gone in April. Also don’t forget to check out our weekly State of the API reports each week and the monthly and weekly financial API reports. We are also releasing reports on the State of the APIs in different categories in 2020, so look out for them too.

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