About Paul Cray

Machine Learning Specialist at APImetrics.

The Open Banking Revolution Will Be Delayed

Recently, there has been a spate of interesting articles on the state of open banking in the UK. And "state" appears to be the operative word. As an openbanking.space article opines, Anyone with a LinkedIn account will see several articles a day extolling the virtues of open banking, and the potential it has to revolutionise behaviour in retail banking. The implication here is that this is all hype and, six months in, there is no revolution to televise yet: Open banking has not set the UK on fire. Which may very well be true. The HSBC app has been getting [...]

By |2018-08-15T08:24:28+00:00July 6th, 2018|Fintech, Opinion|0 Comments

Coming Soon to UK’s Digital Marketplace and Microprocurement Platform

As I blogged a few weeks ago, one of the hottest trends right now in business and government is microprocurement. Always at the very front of any trend, we have just found out that APImetrics has been approved as a supplier for G-Cloud, the UK government's digital marketplace and microprocurement platform. So APImetrics will be going live on the brand new G-Cloud 10 on Monday, 2 July 2018. If you are in the lucky position to be a buyer of services from G-Cloud, get the date in your diary. In less than two weeks, you will be able to obtain [...]

By |2018-06-19T08:20:15+00:00June 19th, 2018|API Update, Feature updates, News|0 Comments

CMA9 APIs: The Only Constant Is The Lack Of Consistency

Following on from our thoughts on SLOs and KPIs, we teased that we had some more data on CMA9 APIs. And here it is! The approach we use is simple. We look at past performance and provide benchmarking against similar services doing similar things – or against previous performance. Obviously, making comparisons against similar services is challenging. But we happen to have a large data set, which fits nicely. Measuring API SLOs The CMA9 UK Open Banking APIs are a set of APIs required by all the UK major banks. It covers the provision of data on common bank information [...]

By |2018-06-15T08:19:17+00:00June 15th, 2018|API Update, Fintech, Summary|0 Comments

Watching The Connectors – SAP, Mulesoft, Cloud Elements, Oh My!

The SAP blog has a post on their new SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors. Now, this idea is not new. In fact, I might even go as far as to suggest that great minds think alike; some of our readers might remember back to the dim and distant days of prehistory and feeds and even Viafo. Heck, this was what SOG (the Service Order Gateway) was doing back in the late 1990s when I worked on it at Ericsson. All APIs are abstraction layers. In the case of SOG, it presented a consistent interface to the Customer Administration System that [...]

By |2018-08-15T08:39:22+00:00June 14th, 2018|Opinion|0 Comments

Think Before You cURL

I just want to reiterate something that I wrote a blog post about last April. When it comes to monitoring your APIs, it really isn't a good idea to rely on cURL scripts. Let's say you just want a heartbeat for an API. OK, you write a cURL command that exercises the API. Simples. You set up some kind of cron job. You are probably going to need some kind of log. What happens if the API doesn't return a 200? So you will need to hook the script up some kind of alerting system. And then where is the [...]

By |2018-06-13T16:37:37+00:00June 13th, 2018|Opinion|0 Comments

AISP: It’s All Kicking Off

You know the future has arrived when you see an advert for it for it on an obscure Sky satellite channel. In this case, what is kicking off is the availability of apps from Account Information Service Providers (AISPs). AISPs might be as exciting or as glamorous as PISPs (Payment Initiation Service Provider). And we might debate whether they are going to change banking forever – or even why you would really want to use one. But Mint have been providing account aggregation in the US for years already and a lot of people do have multiple accounts from different [...]

By |2018-06-07T10:22:13+00:00June 5th, 2018|Fintech, Opinion|0 Comments

KPIs, SLOs and Other API TLAs

There's a fascinating article over at Medium by on API Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by Michael Leppitsch, who works on Digital Strategies for Global Enterprises at Google Cloud. Here at APImetrics, we are very interested in API Service Level Objectives (SLOs). What's the difference between an SLO and a KPI? SLOs are generally part of a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which typically made between two parties, one exposing the API and the other consuming it. KPIs aren't the only measure A KPI could be the same as an SLO, for instance, that the median latency of an API be less [...]

By |2018-06-07T10:25:12+00:00June 5th, 2018|Opinion, Programming Tips|0 Comments

Microprocurement: Don’t Nonitor. Monitor!

Our friend Kin Lane has an interesting article over at his essential API Evangelist site that includes a shout out for us. Kin discusses the trend in US government circles towards microprocurement. We have seen this in the UK too – for instance, with the G-Cloud digital marketplace. CAPEX v. OPEX Microprocurement tried to address the age-old problem of CAPEX v. OPEX. If you want an active API monitoring solution, that's CAPEX. It's a software system, so you have to go through the whole heavyweight procurement cycle with RfIs and RfPs and RfQs and supplier approval. You might end up [...]

By |2018-06-12T04:48:47+00:00June 5th, 2018|API Update, Feature updates|0 Comments

PSD2: National Governments and Bodies Have The Final Say

PSD2 is driven top-down by the European Commission and the European Banking Authority (EBA). But it is built bottom-up by the banks and other service providers themselves. And the Commission/EBA don't regulate PSD2 providers. It's the "national competent authorities." In other words, it's the regulator in each country. Unlike the UK, where the CMA9 regulations are defining what the banks must do, PSD2 leaves things entirely in the hands of the banks and related businesses. This creates an immediate problem. There might only be one set of regulatory technical standards for PSD2, but there are more than 30 [...]

By |2018-04-18T12:22:29+00:00April 9th, 2018|Fintech, News|0 Comments

Don’t Trust That 200 OK! 200 OK Is Not Necessarily OK – At All

We've often made the point that 200 OK is not necessarily OK. But I don't think the point can be made enough: 200 OK is not necessarily OK – at all! Just because you are getting a 200 back doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with the API. You need to check what you get back. Sometimes that's easy. You know exactly what you are going to get back. In that case, it might enough just to check the size of the returned payload. But in other case, the size might change. If I am interested in the weather [...]

By |2018-04-05T07:38:13+00:00April 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments