We find ourselves somehow already in the middle of May and again the time has arrived to discourse the State of the APIs over the last seven days.
We recently launched API.expert as a simple way to provide everybody with insights into the API economy and the leading APIs in different categories in particular. The basic service is free and will remain free, but other, related services will be built on top of it, including your very own API.expert dashboards if you want them!
Each week, month and year we’ll look at the APIs we track in a variety of sectors for their quality (using our patented (US Patent 10,644,962) CASC score, which allows you at a glance to see the performance of an API and compare it to other ones) as well as factors like uptime and availability.
If something is missing 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 the world of APIs in early May 2020.
API Performance Headlines
We look at over 200 APIs but pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for the service quality for an organization’s APIs in a particular category.
We do see that certain providers consistently vie for top spot in their category including GitHub and Google with others doing less well such as Oasis Dex and the NHS.
Week ending May 11, 2020
|Covid-19||Coronavirus Data API (nubentos.com)||914|
|PSD2 Banks||Nordea Bank||986|
|UK Open Banking (Open Data)||Bank of Ireland||968|
|US Government||Department of Justice||961|
Four changes here this week:
- COVID-19 API (nubentos.com) replaces Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com) in Covid-19
- Twitter replaces Google in Social Networks
- Police.UK replaces GOV.UK in UK Government
- Department of Justice replaces Bureau of Labor Statistics in US Government
For the first time, the overall title goes to a private sector organization, Nordea Bank in PSD2 Banks, with a very impressive CASC score of 986.
A CASC score of over 900 is very good and one of 950 or more exceptional. Five of the nine categories are headed by organization with a CASC score of 950 or more this week. Sustaining a CASC score of >925 over a period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.
Top performers by latency
Week ending May 11, 2020
|Corporate Infrastructure||Microsoft Office||228 ms|
|Covid-19||WHO (World Health Organization)||119 ms|
|Cryptocurrency Exchanges||FTX||215 ms|
|PSD2 Banks||Nordea Bank||176 ms|
|Social Networks||119 ms|
|UK Open Banking (Open Data)||HSBC||86 ms|
|UK Government||Police.UK||83 ms|
|US Government||Department of Justice||78 ms|
Just one change again this week in this category with CDC tools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) knocking WHO (World Health Organization) off the top spot in Covid-19.
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!
As so often, FTX tops the Cryptocurrency Exchange category, but they are at twelfth overall with a CASC score of 837. But it is still worth remembering that it’s no good just being fast if you are flaky, although being fast does help!
Worst quality across all categories
Week ending May 11, 2020
|Corporate Infrastructure||Nobody below 800!|
|Covid-19||COVID-19 API (nubentos.com)||708|
|Cryptocurrency Exchanges||Oasis Dex||387|
|Search||Nobody below 800!|
|Social Networks||Nobody below 800!|
|UK Open Banking (Open Data)||Nobody below 800!||790|
|US Government||Federal Aviation Administration||658|
Several changes this week:
GSA (General Services Administration) replacing in COVID-19 API (nubentos.com) in Covid-19; the Federal Aviation Administration the Department of Commerce in US Government; and a number of categories no longer having any APIs in the Amber or Red Zones.
Oasis Dex again takes the overall trophy for worst performer.
Of particular note is that this the first time that all of the 17 UK Open Banking (Open Data) APIs are in the Green Zone with CASC scores above 800. Bottom of the table is HSBC with a CASC score of 813. 8 of the APIs have a CASC score of over 900.
We have observed a great variation in the performance of the UK CMA9 banks with their open APIs and have often seen APIs in the Red Zone, so this is a very good overall performance by the banks. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up in the weeks and months to come.
Something of interest
Nordea Bank has put in a storming performance this week, claiming the overall top spot with a superb CASC score of 986 and becoming the first private sector organization to take the crown. Where did it all go so right for Nordea Bank?
As we can see Nordea Bank doesn’t have a 100% pass rate, although 99.99% is generally considered acceptable, but it does have the fastest median latency (176 ms is a pretty good effort for a non-trivial APIs) and the least percentage of outliers (only 1 in 2000 calls is an outlier). This is the sign of an excellent all-round API.
There is not a lot of difference in the performance between the different cloud services with AWS and IBM Cloud being almost identical, and Azure and Google only slightly slower. This is very much the hoped-for performance with an API because it means that users will not experience degraded performance just because of the cloud they are making calls from.
See you again in a week as we assess matters as we head even further into May!