API Ratings Agency

An Independent API Ratings Agency

This week, APImetrics and Tomato Pay have announced our partnership to deliver meaningful production metrics for UK Open Banking. I wanted to outline our vision for what comes next in the context of this partnership.

APIs have taken the world over during the last few years, but they are often seen as a technical operation that most people assume simply work – or are monitored by somebody else.

There have been articles about how successful Open Banking is – but that, in my opinion, ignores the reality that Open Banking is already hugely successful. The very fact that you, your tech-phobic cousin, or your grandparents don’t know they are using it is proof of that.

But don’t unfurl that “Mission Accomplished” banner just yet.

API Ratings Agency

Somebody Else’s Problem

We see time and again that no matter how critical APIs become, their operation is ceded to engineering or DevOps groups who indulge in an exercise to prove that their stuff is fine, often irrespective of whether that is true.

An example of this is the use of gateway logging or tools based on human interactions to verify if things are working as expected.

That can undoubtedly mean things look good, but when your brand and service are hanging off the functionality of something outside your control, you might want to be a little more on top of it.

 

It’s hard

Monitoring is hard. APIs have emerged to swallow technology delivery whole. That, plus the move into Cloud-based technologies without some of the things we take for granted in the “real” world, means that holes have appeared in our understanding of the ecosystem that maps to the real world.

For example:

  • You offer a service that depends on somebody else doing something. Let’s say you sell high-end chocolates; everybody loves good chocolate. But you use the worst delivery system in your country. If the treats arrive crushed or late or melted, do they blame you or the delivery system? Would you not do your due diligence on the delivery options before picking one?
  • You aggregate information and services from many providers, but some providers are better than others. Does a user not getting anywhere on your app know that the problem is provider X and not you? How do you communicate that for your brand protection needs without looking like you pass the buck?
  • Your engineering team built a system that they insist is all good. But your users complain that it’s problematic and doesn’t work as they expect. You’re hemorrhaging users over it. In a multi-cloud, serverless world, how do you know and show that your partners prefer the problem in clouds over your engineering team?

These are real-world questions with real-world implications for your bottom line, your brand, and your business.

Honestly, the current approach to this for the entire API Economy and ecosystem has been to focus on giving people choice so they can easily switch and change.

Real visibility

But that’s not enough. People need to know:

  1. What is good and what is not
  2. What good means in conjunction with other similar services
  3. What is happening over time that might impact you and your clients
  4. What better alternatives there are if you do have real-world problems

The API economy needs a trusted, independent API ratings agency. And that’s what our partnership with Tomato Pay intends to deliver. A trusted partner tells you how APIs work, what they provide, and how they provide it.

Our goal is to be regarded in the same way that Which, Gartner, Moody’s, and others are seen for the quality of API and Cloud-based services using standards-based, repeatable, machine-generated data that doesn’t have a human in the mix, with a thumb, if not on the scale but helping the measurement.

On top of meaningful metrics, we are adding actionable Service Level data which compares APIs to the best of breed options from our database, regional data on which clouds you should use to host for best performance, alerting based on what you need to know, security analysis with a partner we intend to announce soon and independent verifiable SLA measurement that you can put into a contract.

If you want to see how we can help, contact us today or check out API.expert for what we can already do for you.

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