Monitoring Private APIs using the Swagger Inspector Extension

  February 14, 2019

Understanding the performance of your internally facing APIs in production can seem like a daunting task. In fact, up until recently, most teams were not actively monitoring their APIs. With recent market changes, more teams are picking up API Monitoring as a priority for both their Ops teams and their QA teams, so that each release is properly tested & a monitor is set up to ensure that this performance continues in production. We’ve seen in our State of API Survey 2019, that teams who view API monitoring as a top priority are vastly outperforming those that do not at resolving performance problems.

76% of teams that have a formal API monitoring process & view monitoring a top priority resolve API performance issues within the first 24 hours.

SmartBear State of API Survey 2019

It is no surprise that understanding what's going on in production can help remediate issues faster than if you were to hear from your customers that your APIs are slow or not performing as expected. What is surprising is the number of teams that do not have a monitoring process in place. SmartBear began to investigate how we could make this process easier for teams that prioritize API quality and found that in order to help catalyze API Monitoring adoption, it has to fit seamlessly into the current processes that teams have.

What’s API Monitoring?

API Monitoring involves leveraging a monitoring tool, more commonly a synthetic monitoring tool, to drive traffic to your APIs & record your API behavior with this given traffic. This process empowers your teams (DevOps, Ops, QA, and Performance) to get insight into what’s going on in production. It’s extremely helpful in pinpointing the root-cause of any slowness, incorrect functionality, and downtime. A good synthetic monitoring tool will be able to notify you of any performance deviations, manage SLAs, and alert your team when something is amiss.

How do I monitor my APIs, without uprooting my release process?

The first step to integrating API Monitoring into your release cycle without disrupting the current flow is trying to identify where you can reuse assets and how you can automate your API Monitoring process. If your team uses Swagger, OpenAPI Specification, or SwaggerHub, you're already one step closer to begin monitoring your APIs. AlertSite, a synthetic monitoring tool from the same team behind SwaggerHub, can automate monitor creation with your OpenAPI Specification files. Plus, in it's newest release, you can now begin monitoring your private APIs with the Swagger Inspector extension. 

Getting started with API Monitoring for both private (or internally facing) APIs & public APIs is actually quite easy. If you’re familiar with the Swagger Inspector, it will be even easier.

In this case, we’re using AlertSite (Synthetic Monitoring Tool from SmartBear) for a few reasons:

  1. AlertSite can automatically create a new monitor with your OAS files or simply by pasting an Endpoint URL.
  2. AlertSite monitors API transactions (validate each API call & make sure the entire process is performing as expected).
  3. AlertSite can monitor SLAs
  4. You can programmatically drive your monitoring process with the AlertSite APIs
  5. AlertSite alerts are super configurable, fast, and accurate – so the right team is alerted when need be.

Monitoring Private APIs with the Swagger Inspector Extension

The Swagger Inspector extension can enable direct connectivity to this endpoint from your browser. Click the "Use Swagger Inspector" checkbox to enable the Swagger Inspector extension and re-validate the endpoint.

Monitoring Public APIs using OpenAPI Specification Files

To start monitoring your public facing APIs, all you'll need is the OAS file or an endpoint URL to get started.

To get started, try monitoring your APIs with AlertSite. We offer a free 30 day full feature trial so you can see how it works for your team.