With the business value of APIs on the rise, the quality of the APIs an organization consumes and exposes has become nothing less than mission critical. To help organizations monitor those APIs, Apigee has added a new service that monitors APIs to its API management service.
Ed Anuff, vice president of product strategy for Apigee, says that when it comes to APIs these days, reputation is everything. Because organizations have so many options for consuming APIs, many of them will replace one API with another at the first sign of trouble. The challenge is that many API providers are unaware there is an issue until they hear about the problem from the end users.
The API Health Service, available at no cost, lets API providers send requests to their APIs from multiple geographic regions to see how they perform when accessed from, for example, Asia versus North America, says Anuff. Previously, API management platforms were only designed to give organizations visibility into how APIs were performing from within the data center. But because so many factors outside the data center can affect API performance, Anuff says organizations need a way to be able to test APIs more comprehensively.
IT organizations, of course, can write their own scripts to execute those tests, but Anuff says that’s not usually the best use of their time. In addition, many of the organizations that use APIs don’t have access to the internal IT resources required to write those scripts themselves.
Anuff notes that while APIs can suddenly crash outright, more often than not performance just degrades over time for a variety of reasons. The Apigee Health Service enables organizations to track not only response times, but also how accurately the API retrieves a particular data set. Anuff says organizations can also test complex interactions involving multiple API calls that are dependent on one another. Organizations, adds Anuff, can also automate the timing of those tests, after which the Apigee Health Service will send an alert if there’s an issue.
Available as either a free stand-alone service or within the core Apigee API management service, API monitoring is the first step toward setting up service-level agreements between organizations in an API economy that depends on the quality on the APIs being exposed to not only continue to grow but also ultimately thrive.
Disclosure: MuleSoft, parent company to ProgrammableWeb, is a competitor to the company mentioned in this article.