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API Performance Monitoring for the API Economy

The API Economy is growing fast. There is little doubt about that. There are now over 13,000 APIs listed on ProgrammableWeb, With the Private to Public API ratio being around 9:1 that means there are roughly 115,000 APIs out there, and more being developed every day. Every day, people are relying upon APIs and don’t even realize it. Netflix receives something like 5 billion requests daily! If you think the amount of APIs currently is impressive, just wait for the Internet of Things (IoT) market to take off.

With the number of APIs continuing to rise, companies that focus on API Management are attempting to cash in. The value of this new market, based around keeping the numerous APIs running, could be well into the Billions of Dollars within a few years. Apigee, a Palo Alto base API Management company, recently went public with an $87 million IPO. Other companies like Axway, Mashape, and SOA are grasping at shares of the new market that with respects to the total number of APIs out there, appears to be large enough to support them all with room to grow.

In the growing shadow of API Management solutions, API Performance Monitoring services started to appear. Startups like APIContext (yours truly), Runscope and APIscience found that they could run in parallel to these larger macro type API Management solutions by providing a more micro API Performance Monitoring tool. These tools don’t attempt to manage, fix, or optimize APIs, rather they can provide specific synthetic transactions from various geographical locations and cloud providers. This allows the user to truly know how long a call takes for users in different areas, using different mediums, and also shows what that package actually contains. Alerts can be set for errors, and all of this data is logged for later use. Anymore, testing and monitoring an API is not just something done in test or at deployment, instead it is something that is continuously done throughout the lifetime of that API.

All signs point to the API market continuing its meteoric rise. Uber, Netflix, and Twitter have shown the world the worth of great APIs. Apigee, Mashape and Axway, among others have shown the API owners their worth, and now companies like us are up to the plate.

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