A Peek at the Top Tools for API Monitoring

Posted February 24th, 2020 in Website Monitoring. Tagged: , .

An API allows two systems to communicate with each other. APIs (application programming interfaces) are magnificent things as they connect services and allow us to transfer data back and forth between managed systems. If you manage an API that internal and external users rely on, its failure won’t only impact you. It will affect all users and systems connected to the API. The connectivity and interdependencies create vulnerabilities for application programming interfaces.

API monitoring

Why businesses choose to monitor their APIs?

Here are some top reasons:

  • When it comes to availability and performance, API monitoring is something you cannot choose to ignore especially because you depend on it and so do the others who are using your application or its modules. Also, API and its performance is totally your responsibility.
  • In most cases, website monitoring is not enough. Checking initial page load times and uptime of the website does not help you gauge the performance of critical APIs.
  • There can be many APIs working simultaneously in a single application. If any API stops working, other APIs also get affected and the whole system can crumble.
  • If the APIs are not working or slow, it will affect the services and ultimately your customers. When your website is slow, customers don’t want to know the underlying reasons. They would just blame your brand for the inability to provide efficient services which will ultimately affect your business’ overall image.
  • Sluggish performance is a primary reason for the dissatisfaction of users. Poor user experience diminishes customer’s perception of the quality of your product and services. This can lead to loss of customers.
  • When APIs don’t work properly, users face problems accessing their account and difficulty in ordering your products and services. If any APIs of your ecommerce portal fail, it will lead to abandoned shopping carts that will affect revenue generation.
  • Businesses work hard to get customers and build brand loyalty. When APIs fail and mar the user experience, customers are more likely to switch to other brands, and that is bound to affect revenue generation in the near future.

Primary benefits of API Monitoring

Catch Problems Early – When a user starts experiencing a problem with an app or website, it is mainly due to some issue developing with the APIs. With API monitoring, you can detect a change in patterns of performance of the application or website and catch problems before they bring the whole system down.

Prevent reduction in traffic – Slow loading times can impact user experience prompting users to leave your website. API monitoring can pick downtime and detect slow loading times (from the data gathered by API) and help developers take immediate actions to resolve issues. This will ensure the downtime or slow loading times do not become a widespread issue and don’t lead to a reduction in website traffic.

Predict user behavior – When businesses design apps or websites, they wonder how the users will navigate the website or the application. The app and the application interface are particularly designed for user interaction in a certain way which mostly is based on assumptions. The truth is that users often find unique ways to navigate the website that can be surprising and difficult to predict. API Monitoring can help identify these unconventional navigation paths. The app developer can then optimize the user interface as per user preferences and also ensure the user interface is optimized for multiple functionalities in different ways.

Top 6 tools for API monitoring

In the digital ecosystem where availability and performance need to stay optimal at all times, you cannot understate the importance of API monitoring. Tuning into cues like speed, latency, uptime, endpoint usage frequency and more can provide you with important indicators to respond to application issues and improve the platform over time. API monitoring tools are not only useful for API providers but also critical for businesses that embed multiple 3rd party APIs in their technology stack.

Here we have compiled a list of top tools for API monitoring. Have a look:

1. API Fortress

API Fortress

API Fortress is a continuous testing platform for APIs. It is a complete API testing solution that offers tools to test functionality, performance and load. API Fortress can be your final piece of API development tool that can accelerate cycles and reduce risk in the software development cycle. The platform offers several good features like automated test generation that saves time and internal monitoring that helps diagnose and repair API flaws faster. API Fortress can be deployed via an on-premise monitoring container that can be used for unlimited monitoring of internal APIs without worrying about metered usage. In API Fortress, the monitoring and tests are conducted behind a firewall.

API fortress also offers a mocking feature that allows developers and testers to expedite API deliveries. The mocking feature imitates a real API server and reduces the effects of unreliable internal environments. The load testing feature is fast and it only takes 15 seconds to load a test. This allows the developers and testers to ensure the API will perform as expected in real-world stress scenarios.

2. API Science

API Science

API Science is an advanced API monitoring tool that is designed to find issues before your customers do. This API monitoring tool can also monitor uptime levels to ensure your API consumers never have a reason to complain. The platform performs the test using geographically displaced servers to find out errors and outages. API Science uses OAuth tokens and API keys to conduct tests securely. It can also monitor 3rd party API integrations. The API Science works with all web standards including REST, XML, JSON, and OAuth. The platform has designed its own powerful reporting engine that can provide you accurate insights by analyzing historical trends, past issues and point to an underlying issue before it becomes a potential problem and affects your app. API Science offers different methods of notifications which include email, Campfire, HipChat, PagerDuty, and more. API Science also allows the use of webhooks to build own integrations and define a threshold to eliminate cases of false alerts. API Science also sends a notification when the issue is resolved and everything is running smoothly.

The users of API Science get a command center in the form of Dashboard that allows you to check the health of all API calls. You can group API monitoring with tags and also filter API having issues.

3. APImetrics

API Metrics

APImetrics is an API intelligence platform offering data-driven API monitoring for security, performance, and compliance. The platform allows accurate performance monitoring through fine details captured by the monitoring platforms. APImetrics offers details like latency, performance, API uptime, and latency details related to API functioning. The platform uses active monitoring instead of passive monitoring that can be wrong 70% of the time. APImetrics monitors traffic performance, content statuses, and cloud services behavior that presents a true picture in real-time. Besides API monitoring, the platform also initiates real API calls to test functionality to produce a credit score that can be used to confirm SLAs. APImetrics offers the free setup for your first API. The platform allows you, users, to create dashboard, performance and benchmarking reports and status pages for any SOAP or REST API. APImetrics also offers easy integration with DevOps tools.

4. Bearer

Bearer

Bearer API monitoring platform allows you to install an API monitoring agent with a single line of code. The monitoring tool can be directly embedded into a website and applications to provide tailored and automated monitoring and alerting. The Bearer platform focuses on monitoring external API dependencies. Bearer agent has feature switching capabilities that ensure new 3rd party API updates or newly enforced limits do not kill functionalities. Currently, the Bearer platform is available for Ruby and Node.js. The Bearer monitoring agent works with public and private APIs and runs asynchronously to ensure minimal impact on your website and application performance.

5. Moesif

Moesif

Moesif offers real user API monitoring through simple SDK tools. The platform can monitor API performance and also detect any functional problems through your user traffic. The API RUM (real user monitoring) powered with machine learning can detect anomalous behavior of APIs. The intelligent algorithms are able to know why and when the API functions are failing. Moesif offers real-time alerts and notifications about API issues through email. To make things easy co-related issues are included in single mail for faster resolution. The platform gives you granular control over API monitoring through full control over alert rules and defining dynamic sensitivity. Moesif also offers real-time charts that show where and when anomalies have occurred.

6. Apigee

APIgee

Apigee is an API management solution from Google Inc. It provides developers tools to analyze, monitor, publish, and monetize APIs across applications. The API monitoring platform is powerful and it offers good automation capabilities and accurate analytics. Apigee offers API proxies that allow you to route and secure traffic through the API gateway. The platform offers a combination of configuration plus coding (using XML interface) that allows you to construct API proxies the way you want. The platform comes with several inbuilt policies that can be easily embedded in the API proxies through the drag and drop method. The Apigee comes with an easy to understand interface that makes API monitoring easy. The platform also offers good capabilities for data transformation and manipulation. Apigee provides quick alerts that enable operating teams to correct API issues quickly and efficiently. The contextual insights provided the platform allows operating teams to quickly identify root cause in API issues. This helps in a significant reduction in the time of diagnosis and allowing more time to resolve API related issues.

After launching an API program of Apigee, the operating team is responsible to maintain and oversee all APIs are performing as expected and offer a seamless experience to users. The Apigee API Monitoring works in conjunction with Apigee Edge Cloud that offers real-time contextual insights into every individual API performance. The platform allows you to create custom reports that can be drilled down to specific performance metrics and view the exact data.

Summing all that up

Most Internet applications rely heavily on application programming interfaces for providing the functionalities. In the absence of API monitoring, there is no way to find out the difficulties faced by the users until the issue blows up to a large proportion and users start complaining. API monitoring allows business owners to stay alert and make them aware of problems before they start affecting end users. In simple words, API monitoring is critical for all online businesses where the efficiency of the services need to be maintained at all times to stay ahead of competitors.

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