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 | 2018-06-12T11:49:59+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Opinion, Programming Tips|0 Comments

Why we monitor, and why you should to… CMA9 Open Banking Edition

Fresh from congratulating a UK CMA9 bank on keeping their V1 and V2 APIs going for a decent period beyond the February switchover, we had a deeper look to see if the two APIs performed differently. For the most part, they did not, in fact, they were almost identical, except for this period between May 1st and May 5. During that 5 day window the V2 API dramatically improved, speedwise, so we decided to take a look at that. Afterall, who wouldn't always want to have a faster API? The data showed that rather than actually getting faster, the [...]

By | 2018-05-17T11:56:01+00:00 May 17th, 2018|News, Opinion|0 Comments

API Monitoring: There’s No Taking The 5th

Most of the world is probably aware of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Most countries have their own version: No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself… While it is an essential part of a good legal system, we all know that there’s always a cloud that hangs over its use in certain situations. Why did they take the 5th? What are they hiding? For individuals, it’s a right and it should be defended. But what about an API? Compare the 5th Amendment to this clause from [...]

By | 2018-05-03T08:00:25+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|Opinion, Sectors|0 Comments

API Standards: Who Watches the Watchmen?

I am fond of the saying, Who watches the watchers? When applied to the API sector, it addresses a very real problem: How do you manage standards and adherence to standards in the API space? Nacha, the payments association, have announced new standards for electronic payments APIs. The work is being led by Apigee and Accenture, two major players in enterprise APIs. Apigee famously provided one of the major gateway products, and was acquired by Google. Accenture does consulting for many, if not all of the major global finance companies. Standards make sense We see a lot of divergence around [...]

By | 2018-04-18T01:46:54+00:00 April 16th, 2018|Opinion, Sectors|0 Comments

PSD2, Open Banking and North America: Part II of II

This is part II of a two-part series. To jump back, read this first. The paradigm within PSD2 and open banking generally is that anyone can connect to anyone. A few US banks have shown some interest in using external APIs, but generally only to connect to a limited number of partners. So, the US model is very much closed banking. So there are likely few open banking API developer programs in the US that we can join. Capital One is, of course, a notable exception, although they are not really promoting true European-style open banking. Companies that provide [...]

By | 2018-04-07T08:52:10+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Fintech, Opinion, Sectors|0 Comments

PSD2, Open Banking and North America: Part I of II

It is universally accepted that Europe is far ahead of North America in the development of open banking. What activity there is mainly focuses on aggregation. But this is just one part of PSD2 (the account-related component). The payment component is much less developed. The best-known aggregator is Mint, but there are a number of other companies in this space (Acorns, Digit, Kabbage, Betterment). Mint has been around for a number of years now, but many banks are still reluctant to let third parties access customer information. This means that aggregator apps are often still reliant on screen scraping [...]

By | 2018-04-05T08:36:00+00:00 April 5th, 2018|Fintech, Opinion, Sectors|0 Comments

200 OK? Check Again.

Something we've talked a LOT about is when an API returns a HTTP 200 ok code, but the API returns an error. This can be a challenge for a gateway's passive monitoring and backend services to spot because, technically, nothing went wrong. Take a look at one we had just this morning from the APIs for a major IoT provider. HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:10:52 GMT Server: Apache Vary: Accept-Encoding { "status": 2XXX, "body": {}, "error": "An unknown error occurred: Maintenance mode, please check http://status.fakename.com/" } It's vital to have active monitoring that not only [...]

By | 2018-03-23T09:47:05+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|Opinion, Programming Tips|0 Comments