API Ratings: Sept 28–Oct 5, 2020 | Fast Facebook

We have somehow managed to find ourselves already well into 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!

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

Sept 28–Oct 5, 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate
Infrastructure

Github

9.71

COVID-19

ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)

9.39

Search

Google

9.60

Social Networks

Google

9.73

UK Government

GOV.UK

9.86

US Government

Department of Justice

9.90

Note that we the financial industry APIs will now be discussed in a separate report. Department of Justice in the US Government category takes the overall title this week with a first-class CASC score of 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

Sept 28–Oct 5, 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Corporate Infrastructure

Microsoft Office

225 ms

COVID-19

CDC Tools

177 ms

Search

Facebook

335 ms

Social Networks

Google

58 ms

UK Government

Police.UK

90 ms

US Government

Department of Justice

55 ms

Department of Justice takes with a median latency of 53 ms, up from 51 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

Sept 28–Oct 5, 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Corporate Infrastructure

Nobody below 8.00!

COVID-19

Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com)

6.72

Search

Nobody below 9.00!

Social Networks

Nobody below 8.00!

UK Government

NHS

6.90

US Government

General Services Administration

6.54

The General Services Administration takes the overall wooden spoon with a CASC score of 6.54.

Something of interest

I remember when I first came across search engines like Alta Vista back in the Before Times of the 1990s. It seemed miracle they could work at all! And they are a technological marvel. It is perhaps not so surprising that they are slow given what they do. API ratings Facebook is consistently the fastest API in the Search category, although 335 ms it is not an especially fast one in the grand scheme. They again you are necessarily limited in the sort of caching that you can do with search. (Interesting that Microsoft Bing is so much slower than Google too, so perhaps some work to be done there. The great thing about doing active performance and quality monitoring is that you can see how you are doing compared to your peers too!) API ratings As we can see, and unsurprisingly, the rate determining step is the Process Time. We still see a pretty big difference between the fastest and slowest locations. API ratings Fastest location for Process Time is AWS Europe at 224 ms compared to 414 ms for Azure South Asia. A big company like Facebook probably has multiple hosts around the world, but we can see that there can be big differences in performances between region. In order to provide the best possible and most consistent service to users, it’s vital to actually see how things really behave from the end user perspective by monitoring from locations around the world. Then you know if your European users are getting the same level of service as your ones in Asia. See you again in a week as we look at the State of the APIs as we head further into October. Also don’t forget to look out for our monthly report for September.

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