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3 Things Nobody Told You About API Development

3 Things Nobody Told You About API Development

By Ashley Waxman on .

Many factors in API development are brought to light after development is done: documentation, testing and caching. However, in order to develop APIs successfully and have an easier time maintaining and iterating on those 3 things, it is critical to include them in the development stage, and not as an afterthought. We recently sat down with Phil Sturgeon, author of Build APIs You Won't Hate, to debunk some of the misconceptions around what to include in development vs. post-production. 

In the video below, Phil explains how and why to include building tests, documentation and caching during the build phase of the API lifecycle. This video...

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Categories: community, testing, webinar, api ecosystem


How to Monitor Live Production API Traffic with Runscope Traffic Gateways and Alerts

By Neil Mansilla on .

Runscope started off several years back as an API debugging tool that allowed developers to inspect in-flight API traffic and debug integration issues. Even as our product evolved to include comprehensive API testing and performance monitoring, we’ve always stayed true to our original mission of helping our customers not just detect API problems, but also solve them. With our latest release of Live Traffic Alerts, we provide our customers with a new layer for API problem-solving—catching key API transaction errors with live production traffic monitoring. By notifying your team about failed API calls in near real-time, your team can respond and remediate issues quickly.

Many businesses can be deeply affected by errors or anomalies that occur in production and cannot be simulated with traditional functional monitoring. Some of these scenarios include catching declined credit card payments or...

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Categories: webinar, product, monitoring, howto, debugging


5 Steps to API Monitoring Success

By Ashley Waxman on .

Whether you’re using APIs to power your infrastructure like Omnifone or your apps like Syncano, you need tools and processes in place to make sure those APIs are running smoothly at all times. To stay on top of things, you’ll want to make your APIs aren’t just up, but are also running at top speed and returning the correct data. We’ve shared with you the 6 biggest API testing mistakes you’re probably making and how to fix them, which is a great place to start. API monitoring is essentially just running API tests on a schedule, so once you’ve got that foundation down, here are 5 ways to make sure you’re effectively monitoring your APIs.

1. Monitor your APIs frequently

This first one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to reiterate that APIs are dynamic and have a lot of dependencies—monitoring them on a consistent, continuous schedule is critical to getting an accurate view of API performance. Doing occasional synchronous testing is great for debugging, but you need to capture data flowing through your APIs constantly in order to spot trends and asses API performance. Of course, syncing those test schedules up to the notification channel your team uses, like Slack, PagerDuty and HipChat, will ensure that when your tests do catch a failure, you can dive in and solve the problem immediately.

2. Monitor key API traffic in production

All kinds of unpredictable things can happen in a production environment, triggering random or intermittent problems, which is why production monitoring is so important. This is especially true in the case of transactional APIs. Take, for example, when a customer is in your app putting a charge through a payment API, creating a new lead in a CRM or sending an email to a lead. If an API fails in these circumstances—a credit card payment returns an error and doesn’t go through—you need to be able to detect that error as soon as it happens, before your customers leave your app, losing you revenue. Unfortunately, these types of API calls cannot be simulated, and proactive API monitoring won’t catch them.

Real-time API monitoring logs live API traffic and alerts you of key API transaction failures and anomalies for the APIs you rely on most, whether they’re yours or third-parties’. You can learn more about real-time API monitoring in our free live demo of Runscope Live Traffic Alerts tomorrow, November 3 at 10 a.m. PT. UPDATE: This event has passed.

3. Monitor third-party and partner APIs

Oftentimes, apps and services today rely on partner or third-party APIs to provide a key feature or functionality, like geolocation or social sharing. While you may be monitoring your own APIs, are your partners monitoring theirs? Be sure that those third-party APIs that your apps depend on are living up to your expectations by incorporating them in your API monitoring practices. Companies like uShip, whose main channels for their product involve key API integrations, have a large proportion of their API tests devoted to partner and third-party APIs. When your app breaks, your customer doesn’t know that your partners’ API is the one that’s broken. Monitoring third-party APIs keeps your partners accountable and your customers happy.  

4. Monitor for API correctness

An API may be up and running fast, but if it’s returning the wrong data, then all your customers see is a broken app and a bad experience. Data validation is an important part of holistic monitoring. By adding assertions to your API monitoring solution, you can drill down to the data level and make sure your APIs are returning the data you expect. Assertions allow you to specify expected data in the response to a request made in a test run. When a test is run, the outcome is determined by whether or not all the assertions pass.  

5. Get a complete performance picture

You also want to check that your API is performing up to speed. It is just as important to identify slowly degrading performance—from intermittent error counts to increases in latency—as it is to know when the service is down entirely. These trends can help you address more complex issues with your API, such as database or hardware related issues, early on, before your API comes screeching to a halt.


See how you can tie all of these best practices together to keep your team in the loop about API issues before your customers notice in our latest webinar, below. Then get started with Runscope for free to cover the bases of API issues and solve problems fast.

Categories: community, howto, monitoring, product, webinar


How to Test Private & Local APIs with the Runscope On-Premises Agent

By Ashley Waxman on .

Different teams need to access and test APIs in different environments and stages of the development lifecycle. Being able to reuse these tests across every stage is critical for effective collaboration and efficiency, and running tests against APIs during development or APIs that live behind a firewall should be just as easy as testing APIs in the public cloud. The Runscope On-Premises Agent downloads easily to your local machine and executes requests in the location that makes the most sense for your infrastructure, all while keeping your test management in the cloud.

In the video below, Neil Mansilla, VP of Developer Relations at Runscope, provides an in-depth demo of the On-Prem Agent and how you can leverage API testing in your organization, no matter where your APIs live. This video covers:

  • How to install the Runscope On-Premises Agent and instantly begin testing APIs behind the firewall
  • Different use cases for testing APIs in a local environment, including testing private APIs and testing APIs in the beginning of the development process
  • Ways to incorporate API testing into your continuous integration (CI) processes

The On-Prem Agent is available during the Runscope free trial and on any paid plan. Give it a try today to begin testing private and local APIs in minutes.

Categories: testing, howto, product, webinar


How to Implement Functional API Monitoring Across the API Development Lifecycle

By Ashley Waxman on .

Today’s APIs power everything from internal services to front-end applications, and knowing that those APIs are working is critical to operations and customer satisfaction. Implementing tools that can be used across developer, QA and DevOps teams alike is essential to staying in the know about API health. Companies of all sizes rely on Runscope API monitoring in every stage of the development process to make sure that their APIs are up, performing and returning the correct data.

In the video below, John Sheehan, Co-founder and CEO of Runscope, shows you how to get up and running with the Runscope suite of API monitoring and testing tools by going through functional, real-life use cases. This video covers:

  • How to create your first API test
  • How to schedule API tests to meet your organization’s needs
  • Methods for adding multiple steps, conditions, dynamic data and more to your API tests
  • Ways to keep your team in the loop when API tests fail through integrations with tools like Slack, PagerDuty and more

Let us know if you have any questions about getting your team started using Runscope. Don’t have an account? Signing up is easy, and free!

Categories: howto, monitoring, product, webinar


Webinar: How to Leverage Runscope Environments & Streamline Collaboration in Your Organization

By Ashley Waxman on .

Our recent environments feature release represents the biggest foundational change to the Runscope product in more than a year. Runscope environments is a big step directly aimed at responding to the most reported requests for improving the management of API tests across your teams and supporting continuous integration and deployment workflows. By allowing you to seamlessly reuse API tests across multiple environments, our latest feature streamlines collaboration within your entire organization, from infrastructure to development to engineering to product teams.

 A graphic highlighting three different boxes representing a local, a staging, and a production environment. Each box has a different set of initial variables and additional settings. For example, the Local Environment box has the initial variable baseURL set to "http://localhost:5000", while staging has the same variable set to "http://staging-api.example.com". And they all have lines at the bottom connecting them to the same test steps for API requests.

In the video below, Neil Mansilla, VP of Developer Relations at Runscope, demonstrates how to create and schedule API tests leveraging Runscope environments. This video covers:

  • How to create API tests for different environments, from local dev to staging to production

  • Multiple use cases for how you can benefit from API monitoring

  • In-depth demo of the Runscope suite of API tools

Let us know if you have questions or feedback about our latest release. You can try out Runscope environments for yourself by signing up for free.

Categories: howto, product, webinar


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