API Ratings: Oct 5–12 | Flickr is Struggling

We are now almost halfway through October and that time of the week has already arrived again for us to look at some key API ratings over the past seven days.
We recently launched API.expert as a simple way to provide everybody with insights into the API economay and the leading API ratings in different categories in particular.
The basic service is free and will remain free. But other, related API ratings services will be built on top of it, including your very own API.expert dashboards if you want them!
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. Look out for the separate report on financial APIs.
Each week, month, and year we’ll look at API ratings in a variety of sectors for their quality CASC score using our patented system (US Patent 10,644,962, if you fancy a little light bedtime reading) that allows you to see the API ratings and compare them to other ones, as well as factors like uptime and availability.
If something is missing in our API ratings that you think should be here, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!
Now, onto what the past week tells us about the state of API ratings during this insane week of an unending year.

API Performance Headlines

To compile our API ratings, we look at more than 200 APIs. Then we pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for API quality in a particular category.
We do see that certain providers consistently vie for top spot in their API ratings category, including GitHub and Google. Others do less well, such as Halifax and the NHS.

Top API Ratings – CASC Score

Oct 5–12, 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate
Infrastructure

Github

9.52

COVID-19

ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)

9.36

Search

Google

9.28

Social Networks

Twitter

9.73

UK Government

Police.UK

9.48

US Government

Department of Justice

9.80

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. Look out for the separate report on financial APIs. Department of Justice in the US Government category takes the overall title again this week with a CASC score of 9.80, down from 9.90. A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional for an API rating. Six of the eleven categories are headed by organization 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 for API ratings. Congrats to those organizations that achieved it. All API rating categories but one are headed by an API with CASC score of 9.20, which is an acceptable level of performance.

Top API Ratings - Latency

Oct 5–12, 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Corporate Infrastructure

Microsoft Office

230 ms

COVID-19

CDC Tools

165 ms

Search

Facebook

327 ms

Social Networks

Google

57 ms

UK Government

Police.UK

90 ms

US Government

Department of Justice

54 ms

Department of Justice takes the overall title again with a median latency of 54 ms, up from 53 ms last week. 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!

Worst API Rating Overall

Oct 5–12, 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate Infrastructure

Nobody below 8.00!

COVID-19

CDC Tools

6.58

Search

Nobody below 8.00!

Social Networks

Flickr

6.98

UK Government

NHS

6.90

US Government

Nobody below 8.00!

CDC tools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the COVID-19 category takes the overall Wooden Spoon with a CASC score of 6.54.

Something of interest

Flickr is struggling this week in the Social Networks category. API Ratings It’s fairly solidly in the Amber Zone because of low pass rate of 99.70%. That’s more than half an hour of unscheduled downtime in a week, which is not great. API Ratings Here we see some pretty big variations in DNS Lookup Time even with regions. Google South America averages 12 ms, which is the benchmark figure globally for DNS (see our forthcoming report on network performance), but Azure South America is 509 ms(!). AWS and Google have much better DNS Lookup Times across all regions than Azure and IBM Cloud. That’s something that Flickr really could look at as it’s a way of squeezing out tens of or even hundreds of milliseconds of latency. Using an active API monitoring system allows you to determine whether you are managing state of the art performance in latency components like DNS Lookup Time. Do you know if you are getting the optimal performance from all clouds, regions and locations? In today’s dynamic API-based economy, you can’t afford not to be giving your users the best possible quality of service. See you again in a week as we look at the State of the APIs as we head deeper still into October. Also don’t forget to look out for our monthly report for September and the weekly and monthly financial API reports.

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