Companies require automation of workflows to provide the best services for users. IT Automation with AI and API monitoring can ensure that. Since users rely on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for their applications to function properly, any change in the applications will affect business growth. API monitoring can help avoid such issues and make sure that the health of the applications, including performance and availability, is stable.
How does API Monitoring work?
API monitoring is a constant service, but it only invokes APIs at regular intervals to prompt a response. APIs are located in different parts of the system and are invoked from time to time. The invocation is necessary because it helps companies understand API performance. The responses generated can provide important data about the condition of the applications and what needs to be optimized.
API monitoring works in the following steps:
- Configuration of different parameters
An API has various parameters, and it is essential to configure them as a part of API monitoring. The parameters that API monitoring services usually configure include HTTP methods, URL, and request details. However, API monitoring can also be used for the configuration of all the expected values and various locations where one needs to run API checks.
- API invocation
Once all the necessary parameters are configured, one will need to invoke the API from a certain location. When the API is invoked, a series of responses are generated. These are usually in terms of the HTTP status and the response timings. The data obtained from the responses may even include other details related to the response. The data is then recorded and used to determine the functioning of APIs and how they are impacting the application.
- Sending alerts
While configuring the API parameters, a set of expected values is determined. After API invocation, the values obtained need to be analyzed. They will be compared with the expected values to understand how the API is impacting the system. If the values are the same, then no optimization or troubleshooting is necessary. However, if the actual values are different from the expected values, then alerts will be sent. A difference in values means that the test run, or the invocation has failed and there is some error that needs to be fixed immediately.
- Preparing necessary reports
API monitoring provides reports on the performance of APIs. Historical data analysis is necessary to provide accurate reports. These reports usually include details like response time and availability of APIs over a particular period. The reports allow operations teams to get a well-rounded idea about the APIs.
APIs may be used in cyber security. While most businesses invest in the best cyber security services companies, API security is used to provide additional protection to the applications. However, API security can also prevent the misuse of APIs. There are several tools and solutions available which can ensure API security. These tools monitor the performance of APIs and help to detect third-party threats. Since APIs are essential for various web-based services and interactions, they are often attacked by hackers. Therefore, API security through regular monitoring is essential.
API monitoring is essential for tracking various API metrics. The API monitoring process can check all of the following metrics:
- API metrics that are dependent on the applications like latency, requests per minute, as well as the rate of failures.
- API metrics that are based on the system infrastructure, including memory, API uptime, and CPU usage.
Why is API Monitoring necessary?
Businesses often rely on APIs for successful business transactions and therefore, they are necessary for all business operations. However, if the operations team is not aware of how the APIs are performing, bottlenecks will start to form. It is a common issue even when companies use IT infrastructure managed services. Bottlenecks will adversely affect the performance of the entire system and may even disrupt networks. When that happens, user experiences may get affected.
Following are some of the important services that API monitoring provides.
- Businesses that use manual methods of checking the condition of services often fail to realize glitches the minute they happen. However, this does not happen with API monitoring. API monitoring ensures that team leaders are aware of issues the minute they arise. It allows professionals to immediately come up with solutions so that the entire system is not affected. Proactive API monitoring also detects the causes of performance issues or degradation. API monitoring can also be implemented in the CI/CD pipeline. This implementation will make sure that all issues are detected and resolved before production starts.
- Since API monitoring helps to understand application performance and any related issues, it can also help in measuring the improvement metrics. For example, when a new improvement is introduced, API monitoring can be used to check if it is making any significant impact and what is the general response of the users. If both current and historical data are available, API monitoring can assist in data analysis to obtain metrics that will give an accurate comparison between the performance level before the improvement and that after introducing a change.
- In DevOps, when Service Level Objectives (SLOs) are determined, API monitoring can be used to maintain that. Companies can ensure that there is no or minimal latency in applications by using API monitoring. It can also assist in tracking Service Level Indicators (SLIs) to detect if there are any errors that are affecting the performance.
- Certain companies have to deal with third-party APIs. For these APIs, Service Level Agreement (SLA) monitoring is necessary. These APIs have to be constantly monitored to make sure they are meeting the Service Level Agreements.
While businesses often invest in IT operations management software, API monitoring is equally essential. API monitoring ensures that application performance is at its best and that there are no errors. Companies must choose API monitoring tools that are intuitive, with multiple run options. The best tools are also adaptable and consumable. These will not only provide accurate reports but will also help operations teams identify issues before they become unmanageable.