The APIs you offer and the APIs you rely on every day affect your business.

Performant APIs generate happy customers and keep your teams productive. Sluggish, malfunctioning APIs drive down reputation, consume your support resources and drop productivity company-wide. API monitoring with Uptrends’ web service and Multi-step API Monitors can help you save face and keep your team on task.

APIs are everywhere, and with the growth of the cloud and the Internet of Things, APIs become more important every day. If anyone of the APIs you provide or rely on go down or experience performance issues, so do the sites and services that depend on them.

Why is Monitoring API Crucial to Your Business?

The amount of effort and money to develop, test and launch your website, application or API can go right out the window if you’re not watching the APIs around the clock.

Whether you’ve developed the for internal use or public, a lot—even millions—of devices, applications, and people rely on the availability, performance, and function of that API.

APIs fail, so you need to protect your investment of time and money. We’ve compiled a list of the top reasons it is essential to monitor your APIs:

  1. The API is YOUR responsibility: When you provide an API, your users rely on you to ensure that the API has high availability, is fast, and robust.
  2. You can’t rely on regular website monitoring. Checking for uptime or initial page load isn’t enough when it comes to critical APIs.
  3. Each API method must work: It might be up, but one failing method along the chain can bring the entire transaction crumbling down.
  4. Lost brand reputation: Do your users know what an API is? Probably not. They know that things don’t work, or things don’t work well. When your site or service is clunky with a slow UI or just completely blows up, 75% of the users leave and don’t come back.
  5. Decreased user satisfaction: Sluggish performance has a significant impact on the satisfaction your users get using your product. Poor performance affects every aspect of the user experience and diminishes the users’ perception of the product’s design, navigation, and usefulness.
  6. Loss of current revenue: When an API stops working, probably logins don’t work, checkout and shopping carts don’t work, or things can become just clunky enough to destroy user trust. When things don’t work, users bounce and take revenue to the competition.
  7. Future revenue suffers: You’ve worked hard to get those customers to your service, and if your product doesn’t work well, users bounce. However, users don’t stop there. They talk. They tell people about their experience in person and online through reviews and social media. Dissatisfied users aren’t coming back, and they take a lot of future revenue from potential new customers with them.

AS you can see, monitoring your and third-party APIs your product needs are critical. Hopefully, the third providers watch their system regularly, but maybe not. They might test randomly throughout the day, or they might only test from behind their firewall.

These random tests may capture some issues, and testing from behind the firewall will not catch problems experienced by users on the other side. To make sure that it stays up and works, you got to use a robust monitoring system. Uptrends can help you to protect your investment by automating the process and testing from your users’ locations.

What are your API Monitoring options?

Uptrends offers two types of API Monitoring, and to figure out which of the two monitoring options are right for protecting your API is to understand how a client uses the API. Keep the API’s documentation handy to make sure that you’ve got all the information you need to make the right monitoring decisions. Determine if your API requires multiple calls to complete a transaction or one single call does the trick.

Single-call APIs: A reliable yet inexpensive method to check single API calls and track API uptime is to use an HTTP(S) web service monitor. A web service monitor checks the uptime and validates a single API response by checking response codes, content checks, response time, and response size (a great choice if you provide an SLA guarantee with your API service). You can also do simple authentication. Web service monitors run as frequently as once per minute.

Multi-call or Multi-step APIs: If you need to handle redirects, authenticate users, or retain and reuse information from one API call to another, use Uptrends’ Multi-step API Monitoring solution. With the Multi-step solution, you can pull values out of the response for later use, make assertions, use comparison operators, generate random values, use predefined variables, use authentication, and access client certificates. Verify the entire process with Multi-step API Monitoring while tracking performance on every API call.

Choosing which APIs need Monitoring

When you start thinking about all the APIs required to handle a single user transaction, you may find it overwhelming. Which APIs need monitoring, and which APIs don’t? Confusion is understandable, but not every API and function require monitoring.

To simplify the choice, we’ve come up with a list:

Monitor your public facing APIs (internal and external)

If you publish APIs, you need to test them for availability, performance, and function. It’s your job to respond quickly to API problems and maintain high availability.

Monitor crucial third-party APIs

If an API is vital to your API, app, service, or website, you should monitor that API just like you would do your own. At least consider using an uptime monitor so that you know when that API goes offline.

Monitor non-crucial third-party APIs

Some APIs offer enhanced user experiences, such as location services, type kits, graphics, and ads. You might want to choose which APIs in this category you may want to monitor. For example, if ad revenue depends on an API, you may want to put a web service monitor to make sure that the API stays available.

Using a multi-step API monitoring solution from Uptrends makes setup easy, even for complex API interactions

Sometimes you can’t know for sure that an API works from a single response; sometimes APIs get complicated, and you need to conduct a whole bunch of calls to one or more APIs to make sure that the entire transaction works. That’s why Uptrends developed Multi-step API Monitoring.

Multi-step API Monitoring offers you all the flexibility you need to handle even the most complex interactions. Uptrends has a unique API step builder that breaks your interactions into easy to follow steps. Uptrends gives you the flexibility to:

  • Capture and handle redirects.
  • Use basic, NTLM, digest, and custom (including OAuth) authentication.
  • Store, access, and use client certificates.
  • Maintain, use, and keep certificates and login credentials safe in the Uptrends Vault.
  • Use variables: predefine, assign values, generate random values.
  • Use comparisons and assertions (verify content, response codes, response times).
  • Monitor your API from 200 worldwide test locations, or monitor internal APIs with a Private Checkpoint behind your firewall.

It doesn’t need to be complicated, and you can sleep well knowing that if Uptrends finds problems with your API, their advanced alerting system will make sure you know about it.

Takeaways

  • APIs power the web.
  • API uptime, performance, and function equate to revenue and reputation.
  • Third-party APIs can harm your brand just like failures in your API.
  • It’s your API, and it’s your responsibility to monitor it for uptime, performance, and function.

Uptrends API Monitoring helps you to improve your business and third-party API uptime, performance, availability, etc. Still not convinced? Try Uptrends API Monitoring free for 30-days. You don’t even need a credit card.