Api monitoring an essential tool for ensuring functionality and performance

Api monitoring an essential tool for ensuring functionality and performance

API Monitoring: An Essential Tool for Ensuring Functionality and Performance

API monitoring is a crucial automated process used to verify the proper functioning of an API. By regularly sending HTTP requests to a specified URL and checking the corresponding responses, API monitoring detects any issues related to authentication, redirects, or content retrieval. When an issue is detected, the monitoring system alerts the appropriate member of the development team.

How Does API Monitoring Work?

The API monitoring process involves sending automated HTTP requests at predefined intervals to the desired API endpoint and verifying the expected response. Depending on the specific use case, different types of requests such as GET, POST, PUT, or PATCH can be sent. Additional request parameters and bodies can also be included for more comprehensive checks. The frequency of monitoring varies based on the user's requirements, ranging from every 30 seconds for business use cases to longer intervals for hobby projects.

Typically, the desired response from the API endpoint is a 200 OK HTTP status code, although other codes may be relevant in certain scenarios. The response can also be checked for specific keywords or content to ensure accurate functionality. API monitoring also covers authentication, as every request includes user credentials. The two main authentication methods are Basic access authentication and Bearer token authentication. The monitoring system also tracks redirects and generates API incident alerts if any errors occur during the process.

Understanding API Incidents

An API incident refers to a period when a specific API service becomes unavailable or fails to function correctly. During an incident, users attempting to utilize the API may receive error messages or incorrect data. Additionally, an API incident can occur when the monitor fails to receive a response from the API within a specified time frame. The timeout duration typically ranges from 5 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the monitor's priority.

Receiving API Incident Alerts

Once an API incident is detected, it is crucial to promptly communicate the issue to the appropriate service administrators. This process, known as incident alerting or on-call alerting, ensures that the designated team member on-call receives the incident alert. API monitoring tools offer various alerting methods, including automated phone calls, SMS messages, Slack notifications, and Microsoft Teams messages. The chosen alerting method depends on factors such as the importance of the monitored service, the time of day, and team preferences.

Information Included in API Alerts

API alerts contain essential information about the specific API check that failed and the time of the incident. They also provide details about the error that triggered the incident, including the received response. The error message may indicate issues such as a "401 Unauthorized error" or incomplete API responses. API alerts typically include a call to action for the on-call team member, allowing them to acknowledge or view the incident.

API Incident Resolution Process

Upon receiving an API alert, the incident should be acknowledged immediately. Failure to acknowledge the alert within a specified timeframe, usually around 3 minutes, triggers an alert to the next team member in the on-call rotation. This escalation process continues until the entire team is alerted. However, it is best practice to have the on-call schedule structured in a way that ensures the first team member is always available to address incoming incidents.

Once an incident is acknowledged, the escalation process pauses, enabling the team to focus on resolving the issue. The speed at which an alert is acknowledged is referred to as Time to Acknowledge (TTA). Calculating the average time for different incidents yields the Mean Time to Acknowledge (MTTA), a commonly used incident management metric. The subsequent steps in the incident resolution process vary depending on the team and application. For larger teams, collaboration among multiple developers or dedicated team members may be necessary. Additionally, incident communication (both internal and external) and post-mortem analysis are essential best practices for incident management.

Why use API monitoring?

API monitoring is a crucial tool for businesses to ensure the proper functionality of their API services. By automating the monitoring process, issues can be identified and resolved quickly, minimizing the impact on users. Regular monitoring intervals, as often as every 30 seconds, allow for prompt issue detection and resolution.

Monitor 3rd party integrations

API integrations, such as payment processing, site search, or analytics, are essential components of modern applications. Monitoring the functionality of these integrations is necessary to address performance degradations or downtime incidents. It also helps in communicating incidents to users and holding vendors accountable. While some vendors may have public status pages, it is advisable to double-check their status independently.

Measure SLAs guarantee

Service level agreements (SLAs) play a vital role in enterprise offerings for software businesses. API monitoring enables vendors to gather data demonstrating adherence to SLAs, which can be advantageous during the sales process. Clients can also leverage monitoring data to ensure SLA compliance and seek penalties for any violations.

Benchmark and plan improvements

API monitoring provides valuable insights into the performance of applications over time, including availability and latency. This historical data allows for benchmarking against competitors or previous versions of the same application, aiding in planning and implementing improvements.

Benefits and drawbacks of API monitoring


  • Automated with regular frequency: API monitoring is fully automated and can run continuously, providing valuable information with minimal maintenance.
  • Simple setup and usage: Setting up monitors for any API URL is quick and straightforward, offering a wide range of configuration options for different use cases.
  • Global testing: API monitoring allows testing from multiple endpoints worldwide, enabling differentiation between regional errors and incidents impacting all users. It facilitates optimization for a global audience.


  • Limited downtime cause reporting: API monitoring only monitors the final output and does not provide detailed information about the root cause of incidents. To gain a better understanding of the underlying issues, additional tools such as application performance management (APM) or log management may be required.

Where does API monitoring fit in the synthetic monitoring setup?

API monitoring is a crucial component of synthetic monitoring for public APIs. In addition to API checks, it is recommended to include regular uptime monitoring, SSL certificate checks, and domain expiration checks to ensure website security and stability.

Getting started with API monitoring using Palzin Monitor

Palzin Monitor is an infrastructure monitoring tool that offers API monitoring capabilities. Follow these steps to start monitoring your APIs:

  1. Sign up for Palzin Monitor at https://palzin.app/register.
  2. Go to the "Monitors" section and click on "Create monitor."
  3. Enter your API URL in the "URL to monitor" field.
  4. Set the condition for alerting by selecting "Doesn't contain a keyword" and enter the desired keyword, such as "data."
  5. Choose the authentication method, either Basic access authentication or Bearer token authentication.
  6. Select your preferred alerting method, such as phone calls, sms, push notification, or emails.
  7. Click "Create monitor" to start monitoring your API.

Leveraging Palzin Monitor for Application Performance Monitoring

If you're working on a PHP or Laravel project, Palzin Monitor offers an excellent Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution that can help you optimize your application's performance. Here's how you can get started:

  1. Begin by signing up for Palzin Monitor at https://palzin.app/register.
  2. Once you're signed up, navigate to the "Projects" section within Palzin Monitor and click on "Create project."
  3. Fill in the required fields with the relevant information about your project.
  4. Refer to the provided Overview guide, which explains how to install the Palzin Monitor package using Composer in your project.
  5. Locate the "palzin.php" configuration file within your project using your preferred IDE, such as PHPStorm.
  6. Make the necessary updates to the configuration settings based on your project's requirements.

By following these steps, you can effectively utilize Palzin Monitor's APM features to monitor and enhance the performance of your PHP or Laravel application.

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