Helping The Federal Government Get In Tune With Their API Uptime And Availability
28 Aug 2018
Nobody likes to be told that their APIs are unreliable, and unavailable on a regular basis. However, it is one of those pills that ALL APIs have to swallow, and EVERY API provider should be paying for an external monitoring service to tell us when are APIs are up or down. Having a monitoring service to tell us when our APIs are having problems, complete with a status dashboard, and history of our API's availability are essential building blocks of any API provider. If you expect consumers to use your API, and bake it into their systems and applications, you should committed to a certain level of availability, and offering a service level agreement if possible.
My friends over at APImetrics monitor APIs across multiple industries, but we've been partnering to keep an eye on federal government APIs, in support of my work in DC. They've recently [shared an informative dashboard tracking on the performance of federal government APIs](https://apimetrics.io/us-government-api-performance-dashboard/), providing an interesting view of the government API landscape, and the overall reliability of APIs they provide.
They continue by breaking down the performance of federal government APIs, including how the APIs perform across multiple North American regions across four of the leading cloud providers:
Helping us visualize the availability of federal government APIs for the last seven days, by applying their APImetrics CASC score to each of the federal government APIs, and ranking their overall uptime and availability:
I know it sucks being labeled as one of the worst performing APIs, but you also have the opportunity to be named one the best performing APIs. ;-) This is a subject that many private sector companies struggle with, and the federal government has an extremely poor track record for monitoring their APIs, let alone sharing the information publicly. Facing up to this stuff sucks, and you are forced to answer some difficult questions about your operations, but it is also something can't be ignored away when you have a public API
You can [view the US Government API Performance Dashboard for July 2018 over at APImetrics](https://apimetrics.io/us-government-api-performance-dashboard/). If you work for any of these agencies and would like to have a conversation your API monitoring, testing, and performance strategy, I am happy to talk. I know the APImetrics team are happy to help to, so don't stay in denial about your API performance and availability. Don't be embarrassed. Tackle the problem head on, improve your overall quality of service, and then having an API monitoring and performance dashboard publicly available like this won't hurt nearly as much--it will just be a normal part of operating an API that anyone can depend on.