API.expert Weekly API Analysis: Expanding Search APIs

This Week’s Highlights

  • GOV.UK in the UK Government category takes the overall title this week (after sharing it last week) with a CASC score of 9.86, the same as last week.
  • Department of Justice in the US Government takes the overall title again with a median latency of 48 ms, the same as last week.
  • Coronavirus COVID19 API (covid19api.com) in the Covid-19 category takes the overall Wooden Spoon again this week with a CASC score of 4.02 up from 3.88 last week.
  • We take a good hard look at Foursquare in the Search category and what they might be able to improve on matters.

Something of interest

We are going to be expanding the Search category in the near future, but the category has been a reasonably competitive one. Foursquare usually brings up the rear, like this week, but that hasn’t always been the case and it is still solidly in the Green Zone. What can they do to make sure that there are going to continue to be performant?

Search API 1

They need to work on their pass rate and outliers. The median latency is better than Microsoft Bing’s. How does this break down by component though?

Search API 2

We see some pretty serious variation by region and, to some extent cloud. Foursquare is a global service. It really doesn’t want to be a whole second in Oceania than North America and Europe. And something is badly awry in Azure South America.

This is why you need to monitor your API actively. You need to know that there is something anomalously going on in Azure South America before it starts affecting your users – and your revenue.  

Search API 3

DNS Lookup Time needs work. There are a few locations that do meet the industry standard of 12 ms (4 out of 22). So looking into why the rest are so slow will help the quality of the API.

And we see that there really is an issue in Azure South America. That needs resolving ASAP.

Search API 4

But it’s the Process Time that is the rate-determining step. This is where that whole extra second of late latency is coming from in Oceania.

Is this is a purely geographical issue or is there something going on at the backend in the data centers? Is there something intrinsic in the Foursquare architecture that is causing the issue or could be resolved by optimizing some configuration files?

As we often say, just because everything looks fine from your corporate network or from one cloud location doesn’t mean everything looks fine from the perspective of a user in Brisbane or Perth!

API Analysis: Tops in Overall Quality

Week Ending 22 March 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

GitHub

9.66

COVID-19

WHO

9.45

Search

 

Google

9.58

Social Networks

 

Google

9.72

UK Government

 

GOV.UK

9.86

US Government

 

Department of Justice

9.81

Messaging APIs

 

Zoom

9.17

GOV.UK in the UK Government category takes the overall title this week (after sharing it last week) with a CASC score of 9.86, the same as last week.

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Five 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, six out of the seven categories are topped by an API with a CASC score of 9.45 or more.

API Analysis: Top Performers by Latency

Week Ending 22 March 2021

Category

Organization

Median Latency

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Github

219 ms

COVID-19

WHO

83 ms

Search

 

Google

393 ms

Social Networks

 

Google

55 ms

UK Government

 

Police.UK

84 ms

US Government

 

Department of Justice

48 ms

Messaging APIs

 

Slack

268 ms

Department of Justice in the US Government takes the overall title again with a median latency of 48 ms, the same as last week.

One thing that should be considered when looking at CASC scores. It’s possible for an API to have periods of time when they are very fast but also periods when they are extremely slow. This means that users will very often have a subpar experience.

You don’t want to simply be fast from time to time. You want to be consistently running swiftly. It is not a good idea to rely on your fastest performance. Overall speed is the real issue.

API Analysis: Worst Quality

Week Ending 22 March 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Nobody under 8.00!

 

 

COVID-19

cov19api.com

7.05

Search

 

Nobody under 8.00!

 

Social Networks

 

Nobody under 8.00!

 

 

UK Government

 

NHS

5.98

US Government

 

Data.gov

 

5.25

Messaging

 

Nobody under 8.00!

 

 

 

Data.gov in the US Government category takes the overall Wooden Spoon this week with a CASC score of 5.25. Four out of the seven categories don’t have an API that appears in the list because there is no API in that category outside the Green Zone, the same as last week.

See you again in a week as we head into the last week of March (already!). Also don’t forget to look out for our monthly report for February and the weekly and monthly financial API 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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If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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