API Monitoring
March 20, 2020

What Is API Monitoring?

API Lifecycle Management
Developer Portal

API monitoring is how you measure success or failure of API management. In this blog, we discuss the most important aspects of API monitoring and how to achieve greater business value with your APIs through sound monitoring strategies. 

Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you most:

What Is API Monitoring?

API monitoring is the practice of monitoring application program interfaces (APIs) to gain insight into their availability, performance, and functionality.

By monitoring APIs, you'll know:

  • How your APIs are performing.
  • How they are being used.
  • Whether they are driving business value and revenue.

What Should Your API Monitoring Strategy Cover?

Your API monitoring strategy needs to cover how your APIs are performing, how they are being used, and whether they are driving business value and revenue. Monitoring key API metrics helps you keep an eye on API health and performance.

This is especially important for enterprise APIs, which are becoming a key part of digital transformation.

In a modern digital ecosystem, APIs are emerging as a leading means for connecting apps, services, environments, and external tools. APIs unlock faster digital transformation results because they require far less technical effort to integrate and implement, when compared to monolith or legacy applications. 

In fact, full 83% of IT professionals report that API integration is a critical aspect to their digital transformation efforts. 

APIs can unlock a singular digital management environment for an enterprise. This is also known as API management. When select APIs are made available publicly through an API portal, organizations can create new sources of revenue and lines of business. When done securely, this makes your apps, services, and digital tools available for consumption in new channels.

Likewise, innovative businesses are integrating external third-party APIs within their own digital footprint. This new economy of APIs has created thousands of API monetization opportunities across dozens of industries. 

API Monitoring Is Key in Enterprise API Management

Enterprise API management helps you drive digital transformation initiatives. And API monitoring is a key part of this. Learn how to leverage APIs in your strategy in this white paper: Enterprise API Management, Defined.

📕 Get the White Paper

Why Is API Monitoring Important?

API monitoring is important because when APIs break down, your applications fail. As organizations have rapidly adopted API management, many have not appropriately staffed or planned for the maintenance of their growing API footprints.

Like any software or system, APIs can break down, experience latency, or simply fail in a new environment. Sound API monitoring practices allow organizations to keep track of the healthy functioning of APIs across a variety of environments.

But to succeed in API monitoring, you need to gain visibility into the right API metrics.

What Are API Metrics?

API metrics are typically operational. They measure the performance of an API. You should use API metrics to determine the stability of your APIs.

There are three types of API metrics:

  • Operational: Health, availability, throughput, latency, and billing metrics.
  • API: Developer community engagement, API package consumption, lifecycle state monitoring.
  • Business: How are the APIs affecting the business, how is business being transacted, and how is this changing over time.

How Do I Monitor API Health?

You can monitor API health based on performance and security.

Developer Portal Performance

This answers the question how are my APIs being consumed? 

You can monitor how readily developers are integrating your APIs, and whether they face any issues in accessing APIs via your portal. 

Functional or Technical Gateway Performance

This answers the question are my APIs functioning appropriately? 

You can monitor throughput, latency, fault, and success in order to gauge the technical health of your APIs. You can also track 4xx and 5xx HTTP responses, as well as gateway request counts to determine the functional health of your APIs.

Security

This answers the question are my APIs experiencing security issues or are there any vulnerabilities?

API security is a critical component of your monitoring strategy and should account for authorization, privacy, non-repudiation, and attack prevention. An overall focus on avoiding misuse or malicious attacks should be emphasized. 

What's the Best API Monitoring Tool?

The best API monitoring tool for the enterprise is the Akana API platform. The Akana API platform makes it easy to create, deploy, and monitor APIs. by using Akana, you'll get key insights into your business. 

Not all API management softwares come with monitoring tools. In order to be successful, any API monitoring tool you select must include API analytics. Akana, for example, provides key insights into your business by evaluating API interactions across your entire API ecosystem. 

API monitoring is typically implemented after APIs have been scaled into production. While there are monitoring-only softwares available, we recommend leveraging software for the full API lifecycle. This can simplify both the implementation and monitoring of your APIs. With the metrics provided, poor performing applications can be improved and high performers can be identified and strengthened to optimize your entire digital business.

As APIs have become leading tools to usher in a digital transformation, it is critical that your API management software come ready-baked with an analytics engine. Without understanding the importance of metrics, opportunities can be missed, blind spots can be created, and business value will be lost.

👉 Become an Expert. Explore the API Lifecycle Hub >>

 

How to Monitor APIs With Akana

Here's how to monitor APIs by using Akana.

  1. Use policy-based data collection to get the data you need.
  2. Review out-of-the-box reports to get instant insights.
  3. Build custom visualizations and data to dive into your key business metrics. 
  4. Embed charts to dig into your data.
  5. Import data from external business systems.
  6. Export data into your analytics and BI platforms. 

Plus, Akana uses MongoDB to provide a high-performance and extremely scalable approach to the collection and processing of data.

Analytics Flow

Akana uses the same single-page web app UI framework as is leveraged in our developer portal. This allows us to easily integrate the products and provide an appealing interface.

Envision Screen

See for yourself how Akana API analytics tools can make a difference at your business. Watch the on-demand demo to see API analytics in action.

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