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API Ratings: Who won the week? | June 8-15, 2020

We have somehow come to the third week of June and reached that point at which we must once again expound on API rankings over the last seven days. We launched API.expert earlier in the year as a simple way to provide everybody with insights into the API economy and the leading API ratings in different categories in particular. The basic service is free and will remain free, but other, related services will be built on top of it, including your very own API.expert dashboards if you want them!

Each week, month and year we’ll look at the APIs we track in a variety of sectors for their quality using our patented (US Patent 10,644,962, if you fancy a little light bedtime reading) CASC score that allows you at a glance to see the performance of an API and compare it against API ratings as well as factors like uptime and availability.

If something is missing in our API ratings that you think should be here, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

Now, onto what the past week tells us about the state of the world of API ratings as we career even deeper into June 2020.

API Rankings: Performance Headlines

We look at over 200 APIs but pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for the API performance quality for an organization’s APIs in a particular category.

We do see that certain providers consistently vie for top spot in their category including GitHub and Google with others doing less well such as Halifax and the NHS.

Top Performers

Week Ending 15 June 2020

Category    Organization    CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure Box 953
Covid-19 The COVID Tracking Project 915
Cryptocurrency Exchanges HitBTC 920
PSD2 Banks ABN AMRO Bank 976
Search Google 957
Social Networks Reddit 962
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Bank of Ireland 960
UK Government Police.UK 962
US Government Federal Communications Commission 970

Quite a volatile week again with five changes out of nine categories

  • Box swapping with GitHub in Corporate Infrastructure
  • The COVID Tracking Project replacing Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com) in Covid-19
  • Reddit replacing Twitter in Social Networks
  • Police.UK replacing GOV.UK in UK Government
  • Federal Communications Commission replacing Bureau of Labor Statistics in US Government

For the sixth week in a row, the overall title goes to a private sector organization with ABN AMRO in PSD2 Banks claiming the top spot with a CASC score of 976. A CASC score of over 900 is very good and one of 950 or more exceptional.

Seven of the nine categories are headed by the organization with a CASC score of 950 or more this week. Sustaining a CASC score of >925 over a period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.

Top performers by latency

Week Ending 15 June 2020

Category    Organization    Median latency
Corporate Infrastructure Microsoft Office 217 ms
Covid-19 CDC tools (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 209 ms
Cryptocurrency Exchanges FTX 209 ms
PSD2 Banks Nordea Bank 186 ms
Search Facebook 287 ms
Social Networks Google 64 ms
UK Open Banking (Open Data) HSBC 85 ms
UK Government Police.UK 74 ms
US Government Department of Justice 114 ms

A stable week this week, with no changes to the top performers.

An important caveat about these API ratings: medians can be misleading! An API might have a fast median latency but produce many slow outliers. These won’t affect the median, but they mean that users can experience many calls that were unacceptably slow. So just being fast isn’t everything. You have to be reliable too if you want to have good APIs and get a high CASC score!

As so often, FTX tops the Cryptocurrency Exchange category, but they are just fourteenth out of 18 overall with a CASC score of 793, putting them in the Amber Zone (they are getting punished for a fairly low pass rate and a lot of outliers). But it is still worth remembering that it’s no good just being fast if you are flakey, although being fast does help!

Worst quality across all categories

Week Ending 15 June 2020

Category Organization CASC score
Corporate Infrastructure Cisco Spark 753
Covid-19 Coronavirus COVID19 API (covid19api.com) 698
Cryptocurrency Exchanges RadarRelay 699
PSD2 Banks BBVA 609
Search Foursquare 675
Social Networks Nobody below 800!
UK Government NHS 533
UK Open Banking (Open Data) Halifax 626
US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics 416

A number of changes this week:

  • Cisco Spark a new entrant in Corporate Infrastructure
  • RadarRelay replacing Bancor Network In Cryptocurrency Exchanges
  • BBVA another new entrant in PSD2 Banks
  • Halifax replacing First Trust Bank in UK Open Banking (Open Data)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics replacing the Department of Commerce in US Government

The Bureau of Labor Statistics takes the Wooden Spoon with a CASC score of just 416, placing it firmly in the Red Zone.

API Rankings: Something of interest

Now here’s an interesting thing about these API ratings: last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics was on the top of the world or at least the top of the US Government category and yet this week, everything has fallen apart and the Bureau has crashed to Earth is left languishing with the Wooden Spoon. What went wrong?

API ratings

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is doing fine on median latency, in fact, is second in its category, but has crashed and burnt on both pass rate (91.33%) and outliers (9.19%). 8.67% of downtime is 14 and a half hours of unscheduled availability of the service. Whether this is a single outage or spread out over the week (as suggested by the high percentage of outliers), it will be interesting to see if things are back to normal next week for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Whether this is a single outage or spread out over the week (as suggested by the high percentage of outliers), it will be interesting to see if things are back to normal next week for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(Just to confirm that it is the pass rate and outliers that are the problem, we can see that the total time is pretty uniform across the different clouds.)

See you again in a week as we assess matters and dig deeper into June’s API ratings!


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