Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are now the standard infrastructure for communication software. Popular infrastructures such as containers and Kubernetes have increased the demand for high-performance and lightweight solutions, and organizations are selecting API management as a preferred option, avoiding the costs of custom code.
But with this rise in popularity comes an increase in providers offering solutions, filling the market with good, and not so good, services. Suppliers must work harder to sell their product and prove that it is high-quality, profitable, and efficient. Solutions can often look the same in writing, but differ greatly in practice, so clients need guidance in finding the one that best suits their requirements.
APIs must work with high-performance computing to allow complex data to be processed at high speed. Benchmarks are a way of verifying the product, providing evidence that key features, such as latency speed, are working as they should. By using benchmarks, vendors can test and position themselves alongside competitors, recognizing those who excel in the field and proving that quality software is produced to industry standards.
Benchmark and field test reports can form the basis of bids and marketing assurance, providing an independent third-party perspective for an unbiased and professional overview. Customers respond better to marketing verified by an external source, as it gives weight to the information that is provided, over the material produced internally. It can also help you understand how two seemingly similar API management solutions differ.
High-quality API management identification
API latency tests measure the delay as data is transferred from source to destination over a network connection. It’s a key product feature for an API system: the faster communications can be processed, the more attractive to customers. If websites have high latency, bandwidth can be affected, so optimizing APIs can help reduce costs, increase customer traffic, and improve site functionality.
Customers looking for faster software may not understand the full capabilities of APIs and microservices, and creating a compelling and credible case for the reliability of a solution can take a number of forms, depending on individual requirements. The market is competitive, with more companies moving towards expanding their core platforms and the popularity of API tools is increasing, mainly due to the Service Oriented Architecture movement.
Offering a product that stands out, especially when protocols and methods vary widely within the infrastructures themselves, can present difficulties for start-ups competing with an established market and for long-term companies that need to advance and renew products. .
Customers are often looking for the cheapest option without understanding the use case for higher cost performance oriented products. You need to create a storyline for the API solution execution and delivery, so that customers understand how it works in real-life scenarios. Benchmarks allow customers to see how solutions work before committing to service and recognize providers who offer high-quality services.
Difficulties in testing performance
Benchmarking faces challenges, as can be predicted, particularly when the software is in the cloud. Configurations may favor one provider over another, or when fully managed offerings are tested where the underlying configurations (processing power, memory, networking, etc.) are unknown. A consistent testing framework allows configurations to be aligned across all solutions.
Benchmarking is often done behind closed doors, but transparent testing gives vendors and customers a full understanding of the analysis, results, and how conclusions are formed. Test environments should be designed to be as realistic and accurate as possible, so that the results mimic a credible scenario.
The goal of API management performance benchmarks is to provide evidence of how well each of the platforms supports significant transaction loads. For large and complex organizations, it is imperative to choose a system that can process large amounts of data. A benchmark report not only provides the customer with evidence of performance, it shows evidence of who is the best in the market.
APIs are driven by performance and reduced latency that they can offer businesses. Demand for APIs is increasing, and in turn, older solutions are evolving to include microservices, while newer providers try to find their place in the market.
Benchmarks can provide vendors with verified third-party endorsement using realistic environments to test performance and corroborate information in marketing collateral. GigaOm testing offers full disclosure, where other benchmarking companies conduct testing behind closed doors. For business decision makers who need support to promote an API solution within their company, these transparent and honest tests provide the evidence for a use case.