What is an API?
Application Programming Interface, or the API, is a means of communication between two applications. APIs work in the background using simple commands to move requests back and forth.
Each interaction consists of two parties. Server, or the application providing resources, is contacted by a client, making a request. You can either demand a relevant request and get a relevant answer or request content that either does not exist or is restricted, which will result in an error message.
Why does API monitoring matter?
Your APIs influence your whole software's performance. Any API outage, whether your private, partner, or public API, affects how reliable you appear to your partners. Using API monitoring, you can improve your APIs' performance, speed, responsiveness, and availability.
API Monitoring Example
- Setup/Configuration - You deploy an API with API monitoring. Firstly, you need to build tests in your monitoring tool to check for metrics you want to measure. Then you add other parameters like request details, expected values, or geolocations.
- Deployment - Your API is called under pre-specified circumstances, and a monitoring tool records the results of your calls.
- Alerting - Received values are evaluated - e.g., if a response time does not match the pre-specified threshold, It could signify a slow or dysfunctional API. You receive an alert based on your escalation rules.
- Report/Analysis - You overview all the collected data from before and during the incident, understand the root cause, and possibly correlate the data to observe a pattern or prevent it from happening again.
What are the main types of APIs?
- Private API - also known as Internal API, is available only internally, within the inner circle. APIs are not published and documented in publicly available dev kits or are entirely unknown to the public.
- Partner API - These APIs serve to create deeper integrations, share sensitive information, or deliver services together. This comes in handy when you want to save funds or, on the other hand, gain another revenue stream without compromising quality, e.g., Google Maps and Uber.
- Public API - An Open API, frequently used as a third party login solution or another form of joint integration.
Top 10 API Monitoring Tools in 2023
Now it’s time to take a closer look at the Best API Monitoring Tools in 2023.
1. Better Stack
It offers a radically better monitoring solution covering all the important aspects of synthetic monitoring, such as HTTPs keyword checks, Heartbeat, SSL, Ping, TLD, TCP/UDP, POP3/IMAP/SMTP, and DNS server monitoring. Your website is monitored as often as every 30 seconds from multiple locations to prevent false alerts, and you can also set geo-specific checks to focus on location-related issues. Better Stack offers integrations with the most popular third-party tools and platforms such as Heroku, Datadog, New Relic, Grafana, On-Call, AWS CloudWatch, or Google Cloud.
Each error is documented with a screenshot and an error log, a second by second incident timeline, post-mortem, and advanced incident escalation rules. You can benefit from its On-call scheduling and integrations to plan in advance and always have first-responders on the line. In case of any downtime, you can create custom Status Pages with customizable designs that your users can subscribe to.
Better Stack Uptime is available for free in a basic monitoring and incident management package. Its premium packages start at $24/month.
Main Benefits of Better Stack:
- 30-second check frequency
- Incident Management and Status Pages built-in
With Datadog's Proactive API monitoring, you can automate site availability monitoring and reduce mean time to getting to the root cause. Datadog allows you to validate all layers of your systems (from HTTP to DNS) from several geolocations, and you can focus especially on areas that are essential to your business by creating custom locations. On top of that, you can compare application performance from both behind the firewall and outside it. Datadog also emphasizes the importance of time management with proper tools maintaining and test automatization. Thanks to the wide range of monitoring solutions, you can resolve any issues and achieve Full Stack Visibility.
Datadog's API testing starts at $5/10k tests a month. If you want to add Browser Tests on top of that, it will cost you an additional $12/1k tests per month.
Main Benefits of Datadog:
- Infrastructure Monitoring
- Log Management, Database, Network, and Serverless monitoring
Assertible is a comprehensive API monitoring tool, claiming to be the easiest way to monitor your API. They support that claim by offering custom API tests using industry-standard patterns for data validation, functional test cases, and synthetic monitoring.
On top of that, they offer Collaborative API monitoring, where you can invite your whole team to participate in diagnostics. And all this, without any coding, thanks to their built-in assertions and single-click monitoring.
You can get Assertible for free and get 10 tests for 2 services and 1000 test results retention. Their first paid plan - Standard allows you to monitor 25 services, 500 tests per service, and 5k test results retention, for $25/month. The higher-tier plans - Startup and Business offer you up to 50 web services and 1000 tests per service, 10 000 results retention, and 20 team members.
Main Benefits of Assertible:
- GitHub signup
- Swagger API automates testing
Dotcom-Monitor offers Web API monitoring in the Web Services package starting at $19.95/month. The pricing from there depends on check frequency and tasks frequency, in either 5 minutes Premium or 1 minute Platinum package.
Main Benefits of Dotcom-monitor:
- OAuth 2.0-based APIs monitors
- Infrastructure monitoring
- Web Application Monitoring
5. API Science
You can get API Science for $29/month in the BASIC package for 3 Users and 100 000 API calls.
Main Benefits of API science:
- Intelligent API diagnostics
- 60 seconds testing interval
- Customized reporting
- Test scripting capabilities
Functional Uptime monitoring allows you to check beyond the simple HTTP 200 OK response. Metrics visualization is handled by Kibana. To gain an overall idea of your infrastructure state, API Fortress automatically generates a real-time status page that collects insights about API performance for you and your team.
API Fortress' pricing depends on the deployment. You can either choose a Hosted cloud or a Self-Hosted Cloud option.
Main Benefits of SauceLabs:
- Deployment options
- Kibana visualization
RapidAPI testing offers functional API testing and monitoring, supporting any API type. It allows you to centralize and monitor worldwide operations under one roof and improve efficiency by CI/CD integration. One of the most interesting features must be RapidApiHub and Enterprise Hub, offering thousands of curated and tested APIs devised into categories according to use. RadidAPI's option to build functional test flows that deeply verify the state of REST, SOAP, and GraphQL APIs.
You can get RapidAPI for free, with 2 tests per API, 2000 API calls/month, and e-mail only notifications. The first premium bundle is Starter for $9/month and offers you 10,000 API calls/month, SMS notifications, CI/CD trigger, and 5 users.
Main Benefits of RapidAPI:
- A rich environment of other solutions for API development and testing
- Global monitoring from all over the globe
- Reports in Detailed Execution Reports
- Integration into GitHub, PagerDuty, Slack, and Twilio
8. Sematext Synthetics
Sematext has adapted both the pay-as-you-go pricing model - you build your own subscription according to your needs; and the standard subscription packages. The pay-as-you-go Synthetics starts at $2/monitor and $7/Browser monitor. Their starter package for Synthetics is Standard starting at $29/month with 40 HTTP and 5 Browser maximum with 30 days of data retention.
Main Benefits of Sematext:
- Logs monitoring
- Infrastructure monitoring
- Experience Monitoring
Postman is available for free, with a maximum of 1000 calls to Postman API, Mock server calls, and monitoring API calls. Their first paid subscription starts at $12/month in the Team package, offering you 10 integrations, 10 000 calls to Postman API, Mock server calls, and Monitoring API calls. You can upgrade to Enterprise with a maximum of 100 integrations and 1 000 000 calls to Postman API.
Main Benefits of Postman:
- Custom domains
- Training and onboarding
You can get Moesif for free with 30k events each month, 1 team member, and 7 days of data retention. Their subscriptions start at $85/month. Maybe the biggest disadvantage of the tool is its rigid pricing model.
Main Benefits of Moesif:
- user-centric API monitoring
- real-time alerting
In this article, we went through the basics of APIs. We discussed how they work and why you should monitor them. Then we proposed a list of the Best API Monitoring Tools in 2023 and their best features.
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