Monitor the Health of Your APIs Using RAML and API Science

API Science, an API monitoring service, has launched a RAML import capability that allows monitors to be created by importing any RAML definition. Once the RAML is imported into API Science, a modified RAML console that allows users to browse and try the API methods is presented. Users can then create a new API monitor with a single click, and API Science will continuously test that API via its cloud-based service.

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Seattle-based API Science was founded in 2013 by John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb, with the goal of helping API providers and consumers monitor and test the APIs they use every day. Today the API Science platform is used by API providers to ensure that their APIs are always up, running and performing as expected. Developers and organizations use the platform to test and monitor the health of the APIs they rely on to power their Web and mobile applications.

API Science has added a RAML import feature to the platform, allowing users to quickly create monitors for RAML-based APIs. RAML, or RESTful API Modeling Language, is a method and specification for describing practically RESTful APIs. At the time of this writing, API Science supported four types of import: HAR (HTTP Archive 1.2), Postman, RAML and Swagger.

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Once the RAML is imported into API Science, a modified RAML console is presented.

Developers can create RAML definitions for their APIs in a variety of ways, including using tools like MuleSoft's Anypoint Platform for APIs, which features an API Designer that allows users to easily build and manage APIs, including RAML-based APIs. The Web-based API Designer is a tool consisting of an editor and RAML-based console that is used to create APIs in a human-readable format. Users can import RAML into API Science by using a link displayed at the bottom of the API console or by exporting the RAML file using the API Designer and then importing the file into API Science. Once the RAML is imported into API Science, a modified RAML console that includes a "Monitor on API Science" button is displayed. The user can then create an API Science monitor by simply clicking the button.

Regarding integration of API Science with the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, Reza Shafii, senior director of product management at MuleSoft, told ProgrammableWeb, "It is our intention to integrate the Anypoint Platform with API monitoring providers such as API Science so as to allow for rapid monitoring of APIs. Given our product's support for the definition of APIs in RAML, such an integration, leveraging API Science's newly introduced RAML capabilities, will be easy to achieve."

ProgrammableWeb also reached out to Musser, CEO at API Science, who provided additional insight into the API Science platform and RAML. "RAML support makes it super-fast and easy to create monitors within API Science," said Musser. "Users just load any RAML file, browse and try the API methods, and then create a new monitor with a single click. API Science will then continuously watch that API and alerts customers immediately of any API performance or reliability issues."

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The API Science Dashboard includes charts that display monitoring checks data.

APIs are monitored by a worldwide network of stations so that the actual experience of developers and applications can be demonstrated. Musser explained that "users set up what API calls they want to monitor (their own APIs, third-party APIs or a combination of both), and then API Science runs those API calls on a user-defined interval from monitoring nodes around the world. These synthetic API transactions provide our customers a developer's-eye view of how a given API is behaving and can provide real-time alerts of performance issues as well as reporting for longer-term analysis and diagnostics."

Musser also explained that RAML import is just one of the features that customers appreciate about the API Science platform. API Science features multistep monitors that allow functions requiring multiple API calls, such as API authentication and CRUD workflows (create, retrieve, update, delete), to be tested. Another popular feature is JavaScript validation — snippets of code that provide the ability to build custom validations for the HTTP response.

"By supporting RAML, we're giving customers another way to benefit from their investment in leveraging this industry standard format. It shows that RAML can be useful in all phases of the API life cycle, from design all the way through operations and support," Musser said.

For more information about API Science, visit https://www.apiscience.com/. For more information about RAML, visit http://raml.org/.

Disclaimer: MuleSoft is the parent company of ProgrammableWeb.

Janet Wagner is a freelance technical writer and contributor to ProgrammableWeb covering breaking news, in-depth analysis, and product reviews. She specializes in creating well-researched, in-depth content about APIs, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, analytics, GIS/maps, and other advanced technologies.

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