21 API Monitoring Tools That Will Make You a Developer Superhero in 2023!by@dkdavor
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21 API Monitoring Tools That Will Make You a Developer Superhero in 2023!

by Davor KolencJanuary 27th, 2023
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With the rise of API-as-a-service companies, API-driven platforms and applications, it is essential for organizations to have a simple-to-use, centralized platform/tool in place to monitor and manage these services. I’ve been looking extensively at API monitoring and observability tools for the past 2 years.

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83% of the internet is API! And this is according to research from 2020. So, it’s probably even more today. It would be cool if someone did research on how many API-as-a-service companies got founded in the last decade. I’m betting that number is increasing exponentially.

With the rise of API-as-a-service companies, API-driven platforms and applications, it is essential for organizations to have a simple-to-use, centralized platform/tool in place to monitor and manage these services.

API-centric and General Monitoring Tools

I’ve been looking extensively at API monitoring and observability tools for the past 2 years and I’ve noticed that many tools are basically, something else first 😅 and then they also have some API-centric metric or (usually) a way to test your APIs through checkpoints from all over the world. Not many differentiators there I must admit. I’ve decided I shall call these ones “General Monitoring Tools”.

For some of you this is maybe the way to go, depending on your need. However, as I am writing this piece of content my colleague just sent me the news of how T-Mobile got hacked through API data breach 😲😬. Data from 37 million accounts stolen! API attacks increased by a staggering 681% last year alone.

I am not trying to bash any of these tools, however, threats to your APIs are real and maybe (just maybe) metrics like uptime and you running your own test isn’t good enough anymore. To actually know that something like this is happening you’ll need a more API-centric tool that can tell you what is actually happening so that you can react faster and on time. So, the first part of my list will have some of the tools that can help you with that since some of them can provide you with real-time API metrics generated by your users.

Here are my picks (there are more, so don’t hesitate to ask me for more if need be).

9 API-centric and API Observability Tools/Platforms

Some of these are a bit older, but you know what they say: an oldie but a goodie. However, recently some tools emerged answering the call for more observability and transparency. In these “hAPI Hacker” times, it is a good time to consider using one of those.

The first 3 tools on this list are more focused on answering this requirement, the rest is still API-centric, but offer more of the traditional things engineers are used to following, like uptime, speed and such.

1. Treblle

Treblle is an all-in-one platform for the entire API lifecycle. A very intuitive UI gives value to almost everyone who needs to work with APIs.

Advanced API metrics, enriched data at a glance and even a helpful hand to grade your REST API.
Auto-detection of endpoints, and real-time API traffic with enriched data points that give you useful metadata about who, how and from where is your API being accessed, auto-generated docs and more.

Treblle - all-in-one API monitoring and observability platform

It’s a premium-looking product with accessible pricing for everyone and it’s basically brand new (founded in July 2021).

Integration is simple and if you are versed in the language of your choice it shouldn’t take you more than 4-5 minutes to have this puppy up and running with virtually no impact on your API.

It has great apps!

Treblle is also the only one on this list with super-optimized native apps for iOS, Android and Windows, so you can monitor your APIs and get notified about potential problems on the go.

Pricing: Treblle has a free forever (no credit card required) account that gives 250K requests that renew every month and they even award you with extra requests if you integrate within 24 hours of signing up.

If you need more, there are also team and enterprise options.

A great bonus with apps is that you can run local tests without them being counted as a request from your plan. So, test away as much as you love!

2. Akita Software

This is an interesting tool in beta. Similarly to Treblle, it detects your endpoints and proceeds to paint a picture about your API performance from there.

You can have your eye on everything that is happening in the dashboard, however, it doesn’t provide you with as many data points and analytics as Treblle does. However, it is in beta, so if you just want to dip your toes in the water of this kind of observability, then this might be a way.

If you are serious about APIobservability and monitoring your endpoints, then this is a tool that should enter your consideration.

3. Moesif

Moesif is another API analytics platform that can help you analyze how your API is being used.

Features that can help you do this are funnel analysis, web analytics, behavioral emails and behavioral cohorts. Similar to RapidAPI, Moesif also offers a solution for monetizing your APIs. So, analytics come in handy if you are looking to grow and cash in.

Pricing: Moesif offers a 14-day free trial. As with Treblle, there is no credit card required. You get 30K events for maximum of 1 user on the free options.

4. API Science

API Science is another modern API monitoring tool that understands REST, JSON, OAuth and XML.
It works by setting up monitors where you set up your tests. It’s a good tool for trying out different scenarios where the tool lets you test up to every 1 minute from around the world.

The user experience is great and the interface is intuitive and easy to understand. What is also great is that API Science is a great tool if you rely on 3rd party APIs.

You can easily keep track of any API in your “API supply chain” by setting up custom monitors.

Pricing: Pricing starts from $20 for a Starter package where you get 30K API calls to work with. The largest plan offers 750K API call for $500.

5. Assertible

Assertible seems to be very straightforward in what it offers. It’s (again) all about testing and making sure your API is delivering. The tool provides you with simple but powerful assertions to test and monitor your websites and APIs.

Pricing: Similar to Treblle, Assertible also offers a free forever plan. It seems to be going for smaller teams and is currently not aiming at enterprises.

6. Postman

Postman is probably the most recognizable name on this list with over 20M developers actually using the product in one way or the other. The most popular way of using Postman is for API testing, which you can do with their desktop app.

Postman API Workspace

The app itself is fine. However, it could be a little bit more optimized for my taste. Other than the most popular way to use Postman the platform itself comes with a set of tools that can cover your API design and API governance needs.

Pricing: There is a free option that comes with core tooling and can be used by up to 3 users, all the way up to enterprise level where the pricing becomes $99 per user.

7. RapidAPI

RapidAPI is probably the best place to learn a lot about how to use, build and ship APIs at the moment. They own the world’s largest API Hub where you can find, connect and manage APIs.

RapidAPI offers a variety of products depending on your needs, however in my opinion they are more suited for larger teams if you are looking for a tool to help you manage your APIs.

Pricing: RapidAPI does have a free trial. It is not super straightforward on the rest of the pricing model. However, this is the platform where you can actually monetize your API product and I suspect this is where RapidAPI also gets some of its revenue from.

8. Checkly

Checkly is definitely more on the modern side of things when it comes to API monitoring. It still requires some setup to show its full potential, however, it might be worth the time. With Checkly you can automatically collect error traces, screenshots and performance metrics with every browser check you run.

Pricing: There is a free forever option that gives you a 14-day free trial of team option.

9. Runescope

Runescope is another tool that emphasizes testing and uptime. However, they are.. a bit more API-centric than some of the other tools on this list. Similar to some features on Treblle it can tell you information about the response size, speed and if the return payload was correct.

Pricing: Runescope offers free trial for its plans that start from $79 for 250K requests.

11 General Monitoring Tools you can use for more traditional API monitoring

These are mostly tools that are not new, with most of them being used by enterprises with big DevOps and engineering teams that prefer all of their monitoring requirements in one place. That is of course convenient.

It becomes inconvenient when the same tool simply can’t or doesn’t have the power to show you advanced API statistics that are becoming more and more important. Especially if we are talking security.

Nevertheless, these are still note-worthy and quite big and famous tools and platforms.

10. Saucelabs

If all you do is test everything, every day, as much as you can, then this might be the sauce you need with your meal. Saucelabs covers much of what you might need like mobile app testing, cross-browser testing,  UI/Visual Testing and of course API testing.

There are also options depending on your needs, so you can do continuous testing, automated or live.

Pricing: For startups and medium teams the pricing starts from $39 up to almost $5K (depending on how many parallel tests you need.)

11. Sematext Synthetics

Sematext offers synthetic monitoring for your APIs and Websites. The key word here is uptime, which is sometimes really the only information you are looking for. So if you need to know info about the availability of your website, APIs and critical web transactions, then this might be a solution to consider.

Similarly to API Science, it requires you to set up designated checkpoints that will run the tests you want learnings from.

Pricing: Pricing page looks a bit complicated, but it seems there is a free option for monitoring, although it is mainly for infrastructure monitoring, not just APIs.

12. Dotcom-Monitor

Dotcom-Monitor is an overall great platform with a little bit of something for everybody. If you are mainly looking to see what is happening with your API, then you’ll look at Dotcom’s Load/Stress Testing solution.

This is a real browser-based load testing for websites, web apps, APIs and streaming media.

Pricing: Dotcom offers a free trial period of 30 days. It’s not super straight forward on what the pricing actually is after that.

13. DataDog

Alongside Postman, probably the most recognizable brand on this list. Both have been around for a while. As a platform, it offers a lot and in enterprise-level DevOps teams is where it probably brings the most value.

Can it show deep and enriched data about API requests automatically like say Treblle or can you learn all about APIs like with RapidAPI? Probably not! However, the main strong argument for DataDog is the centralization of everything that needs to be monitored, including APIs. It just depends on how much data is enough for your team to be efficient.

Pricing: I am not even going to try to get into this. There are however free trials for whatever you might want to try out.

14. Better Uptime

This is mainly an infrastructuremonitoring tool. It does check your API among other things (hence the name).

It has an interesting approach to how it logs errors on an API. It records the response message and basically screenshots the webpage. This could be helpful to someone, however, there are tools that can tell you more actionable details.

Pricing: There is a free forever option that gives you 10 monitors and 5 status pages and it also has enterprise solutions ready.

15. Prometheus

Prometheus is an open-sourced monitoring solution, usually used alongside Grafana (a little bit further down the list). It’s a very specific tool with a lot of integration options, so depending on your needs it might be worth your time to take a look.

Integration time might be an issue if you need some information fast. Integrating this kind of solution usually takes up time, and on top of that, there will most probably be alearning curve on how to actually use it.

16. Graphite

This is a very interesting solution that on top of getting valuable information for you, also allows you to get it in graph visuals for your website.

I wouldn’t say this is the way to go if you are serious about API monitoring, but if you just need some simple and fast data that you can show, then Graphite might be a fun tool to use.

17. Uptrends

Uptrends is another tool that gives you a solution for uptime, web app, web performance and API monitoring.

When it comes to API monitoring, with Uptrends you can build out multi-step monitoring and run tests from 231 global checkpoints.

Pricing: There is a 30-day free trial with no limitations, after which you can choose the plan that suites you the most, starting from $17.5/month

18. App Dynamics

This Cisco product is advertised as full-stack observability for apps. Although it does bring some interesting solutions, and it does visualize infrastructure performance, I’d say in terms of monitoring APIs, it is similar to most tools.

However, if you are a part of an app development team, this tool might be an interesting one to consider.

Pricing: The website gives you the option to get a quote, so I don’t have a disclosed price range, unfortunately.

19. ReadMe

ReadMe is primarily a tool that helps you with your API docs by essentially turning the into interactive developer hubs.

However, among other features, they also have API metrics that can help your developers understand what is happening with the API.

Pricing: On a free plan you get 1M API logs, which sounds great, however it is restricted to one project. If you want more, you’ll need to refer to one of the paid plans, starting from $99.

20. Grafana

Grafana is too big not to be mentioned. Although Grafana offers a lot of possibilities and integrations, to me it also looks like a trap. It takes forever to integrate and requires continuous setup and learning, figuring out how to get what you want and so on.

Big companies stick to the software even if it doesn’t cover all of their needs because of all of the work that went into setting it up in the first place.

Pricing: This will depend on how and what you’ll use so it stands to reason that there isn’t any straight forward pricing for Grafana.

21. Open Telemetry

OT is essentially a collectionof APIs, SDKs and tools that you can use to get data you are interested in (like API metrics).

It is free andopen source, so if you are up to the task of finding what works best for you and you have a way to visualize the data, then maybe Open Telemetry is a way to go.

Wrap Up

So there you have it folks. Like I said at the start, there are more tools out there, and if you think it’s worth your time and resources you can always try to build something instead of taking something off the shelf.

However, most of the things on the list have a free trial, and some come with free forever plans, so I would recommend trying some of those before you decide to commit to building.

If you are already using something, 2023 might be a good year to make a switch to tools that will ensure your security and provide you with advanced observability which can position you ahead of your competitors.

Whatever you decide, stay hAPI!