About Paul Cray

Machine Learning Specialist at APImetrics.

The (Open Banking) Revolution Will Be Blogged.

BBC Business is a fairly obscure slot on the BBC's news channel, but the BBC News website is one of the leading news sites in the world and there was a story on the launch of PSD2 and Open Banking on the front page on Saturday. Of course, it takes about three-quarters of the article before it is admitted that Open Banking is an EU initiative – but this is the BBC we are talking about. God forbid they ever suggest that the EU ever did anything for us! So, as I said last week, PSD2 and Open Banking are [...]

By | 2018-01-16T09:22:02+00:00 January 16th, 2018|API Update, News|0 Comments

PSD2 Eve: Tomorrow It Goes Live. Are You Ready?

Happy PSD2 Eve! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come: It's going live throughout the European Single Market on Saturday, 13 January 2018. So, what happens if you realize on Monday morning that the passive monitoring or homemade cURL scripts you have implemented simply isn't enough? What if you find you're unable to understand how the open banking APIs your organization depends are really behaving? Here at APImetrics, we offer the industry's state-of-the-art active API performance and quality monitoring solution. Just reach out to us if there is any way we can help you with your APIs. To find [...]

By | 2018-01-12T03:57:44+00:00 January 12th, 2018|API Update, News|0 Comments

The IRS and APIs: Can Your Tax Returns Be Accessed?

There's a fascinating article over at TechCrunch about the possibility of the IRS being mandated by Congress to expose an API. The IRS undoubtedly already has lots of internal APIs, and might even expose some of them to external users. But the mandated API would give authorized third parties access to certain details from the someone's tax returns. Why would you want to let someone access your tax returns? The answer is to prove what your income is in order to obtain a better rate on a loan or a loan at all. In fact, you can already tell the [...]

By | 2018-01-03T05:43:55+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|API Update, Opinion|0 Comments

Hot Fuzz: The Fuzzing Form of Negative Testing

The hot area du jour in testing is fuzzing. I hadn't heard of it until the other day, but the concept has been around since the days of punched cards. In those days, people would shuffle a decade and then see what it did when used as the input to a program. Two practical examples not involving 1980s technology are Donald E. Knuth's trip and trap tests for "torture" testing ports of, respectively, TeX and METAFONT.  In essence then, fuzzing is a form of negative testing. Generally, we are concerned that a system does what we want it to do. [...]

By | 2017-12-29T07:57:52+00:00 December 29th, 2017|Feature updates, Opinion|0 Comments

Testing! Testing! Testing! APImetrics for Developers and Testers

Our friends at ProgrammableWeb have posted a fascinating series of articles on API testing by the estimable Justin Rohrman. There are 11 articles in total in the series, some of which are reviews of API test products including one on APImetrics. But it's the four articles posted this week on API testing strategy that I'd like to talk about today. We've talked here before about one of the main use-cases for APImetrics. You're a software team. You've designed some software that exposes an API, coded it, tested it and shipped it. The API worked when you tested it in the development [...]

By | 2017-12-19T08:19:21+00:00 December 19th, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

Going SLO: Service Level Agreements and Service Level Objectives

APImetrics is a tool for monitoring the performance and quality of APIs. There are lots of good reasons why you should do that, but one particularly important one is to see if an API meets its Service Level Agreement (SLA). But as a team of Google engineers point out in their O'Reilly book Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems, an SLA is actually a legal document (or, in the case of an internal API, a formal agreement between business units). So, the whole SLA places a legal wrapper around one of more Service Level Objectives (SLOs). For an API, [...]

By | 2017-12-06T06:58:23+00:00 December 6th, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

APIStrat: The API Strategy & Practice Conference 2017 Review

APIstrat was a blast, of course. Portland is like the smaller, quieter little sibling of Seattle. It even has a Pioneer Square and a three-dimensional model of the Washington state metropolis. And the weirdness is hidden away. It would be a good place to live. One thing I hadn't come across before in the API world was mocking. But it was all over the place, albeit at a somewhat subliminal level. "Of course, mocking." It makes sense. An API isn't always going to be there yet when you need to test it, so it makes sense to simulate it. You'd [...]

By | 2017-11-03T04:06:35+00:00 November 3rd, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

Never Mind the Quality: The Depth and Breadth of API Management

There's an interesting article over at SDTimes called "API management: The glue holding the app economy together." Yep, they're right about that. If we think about what an app actually is, it's basically a bit of a web browser that's specially designed. So, you could access Facebook or Twitter via your browser, or you could use the app. Getting a website to work on different devices with radically different screen sizes and input modes is a PitA. It's much easier to use the iOS or Android SDK and build an app. It'll make a lot of things easier, and [...]

By | 2017-07-12T15:22:43+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

API Monitoring: Getting The Measure Of It (But Not For The Sake Of Measurement)

In the context of API monitoring, your API management system might generate logs to help you learn about the behavior of your APIs. For instance, you might get an alert if a HTTP error is seen. That might tell you there are problems with the API, but only problems of certain kinds. If won't tell you if there is a problem with what is being returned to the user. This can be a big issue. Some systems will always return a HTTP 200 response code, even if there is a server error. (SOAP API are especially notorious for always [...]

By | 2017-07-12T15:33:14+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Your API Management System: Using The Wrong Tool Can Be Dangerous, Cost More, And Take Longer

IT is a function of your business, so you need to manage it. And IT is responsible for the APIs that your business increasingly relies on as vital components in mission-critical workflows. Which is to say that you need an API management system. There are lots. Just take a look at the Wikipedia page on API management! There are also a lot of different aspects to API management. One is an API monitoring system. (We can have an interesting discussion about what exactly is meant by API monitoring. See Andrew Slivker's article on Nevatech's blog that I plan on responding [...]

By | 2017-06-22T08:37:13+00:00 June 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments