About Paul Cray

Machine Learning Specialist at APImetrics.

Monitoring APIs: Expect The Unexpected

When it comes to monitoring APIs, getting a 2xx back is not enough. You have to check that the returned payload is what is actually expected. So, if the expected payload contains 14 language options, it does contain 14 and not 3. This is another reason why it is also vital to continuously test your APIs - also known as active monitoring. Sure, the API test suite might have passed in both the sandbox and live environments. But if the backend is pulling data off third-party systems (like a hotel price comparison website), there is no guarantee that the data [...]

By |2018-11-12T08:12:32+00:00November 12th, 2018|Opinion|0 Comments

Happy Birthday to Application Programming Interface (And Me!)

Merriam-Webster has created a "Time Traveler" tool to let people see what words entered the language in the year of their birth. It's interesting to discover how old (and how new!) some words are. Being part of APImetrics, I looked up Application Programming Interface - now commonly known as API. According to Merrian-Webster, it was a term first seen in 1968. Which is a bit of a coincidence, as it is the very year that both David and I were first seen too! What are the chances of that? Such a momentous year: the Tet Offensive, MLK, Les Événements, RFK, [...]

By |2018-11-12T02:25:52+00:00October 29th, 2018|Opinion|0 Comments

Top of the APIs: Which CMA9 Bank Was Summer Champion 2018?

The APImetrics Insights CASC (Cloud API Service Consistency) score lets you know the performance and quality of an API at a glance. It also lets you instantly compare any API with any other API. Not all APIs are identically comparable, so the usefulness in comparing two APIs depends on the nature of the APIs. In the case of Open APIs for UK CMA9 Banks, we can make direct (or almost direct) comparisons. That's because each of the CMA9 banks exposes APIs that do exactly the same things – with two caveats: Some banks have more ATMs or branches than others The [...]

By |2018-10-23T12:15:31+00:00October 17th, 2018|API Update, Fintech, Monthly Report, News|0 Comments

Brought Low by a Humble Bug in the Google+ People API

I remember when Google+ was a thing. And then when it was a thing again. Both those periods were a long time ago. But it was still a shock to see that Google+ is soon to be shuttered for good – and to learn that it was brought low by a humble bug in the Google+ People API. We've said it before: you've got to keep on monitoring your APIs once they are in production. In the case of Google+, it looks as though the bug arose through Google+ People API's interaction with a change in the Google+ codebase. The [...]

By |2018-10-18T11:16:51+00:00October 17th, 2018|API Update, Enterprise IT, Opinion|0 Comments

Online Banking: The Dream of Being the Amazon (or Facebook or Netfix) of Money

There's a fascinating article over at Quartz about the battle in the online banking world to be the Amazon (or Facebook or Netfix) of money. Despite the title, the article's not really got much to say about Musk. He founded X.com in 1999 for online banking, which merged with Peter Thiel's Confinity, which had a product called PayPal, which turned out to be pretty successful and eventually provided Musk with wherewithal to launch SpaceX and Tesla. As I often say, ideas are easy – making them a reality is the hard part. So it was easy to come up with [...]

By |2018-10-08T09:49:32+00:00October 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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