Apitally Blog

4 facets of API monitoring you should implement

Build and maintain robust APIs by adopting a comprehensive approach to API monitoring, which includes tracking traffic, performance, errors, and uptime.

Simon Gurcke//4 min read


Issues with APIs often have the potential to cause major disruptions to businesses. Proactive API monitoring is therefore essential for tech professionals who are responsible for maintaining the integrity and performance of business-critical APIs.

In this blog post we’ll take an in-depth look at the four fundamental aspects of API monitoring every tech professional should consider to implement:

  • API traffic monitoring
  • API performance monitoring
  • API error monitoring
  • API uptime monitoring

Having these in place can empower teams to preemptively address potential issues, optimize API performance, make data-driven product and engineering decisions and ultimately deliver a seamless experience to end-users.

API traffic monitoring

This aspect of API monitoring involves tracking the volume and type of requests an API receives. It allows developers and product owners to understand how their APIs are being utilized in real-world scenarios, enabling them to make informed decisions about product development and enhancements. If the APIs are being used for integration with other internal systems, analyzing API traffic sheds light onto the behaviors of these systems and can reveal issues or opportunities for optimization.

An equally important benefit of API traffic monitoring is the ability to detect anomalies in usage patterns. Sudden spikes or drops in traffic to certain endpoints can indicate underlying issues, including malicious activities aiming to compromise the API. By setting up alerts for such irregularities, teams can quickly investigate and address the underlying causes, minimizing the risk of downtime or security breaches.

In essence, API traffic monitoring is not just about keeping tabs on the volume of requests; it’s about leveraging data to drive strategic decisions, enhance user experiences, and maintain the robustness and integrity of APIs.

API performance monitoring

Performance is often a key differentiator for APIs. Fast response times not only enhance user experience but also increase the overall efficiency of applications that rely on your API. API performance monitoring involves measuring the time it takes for an API to respond to requests. This is done for the API as a whole, as well as for individual endpoints.

By tracking these latencies over time, you can identify trends and patterns, such as endpoints that consistently take longer to respond. This can help you pinpoint performance bottlenecks and optimize your API for better responsiveness.

Setting performance benchmarks based on these metrics is also crucial. They serve as a standard against which the API’s ongoing performance can be measured. Any deviations from these benchmarks should trigger alerts to the API team to investigate and rectify potential issues. Thus, effective API performance monitoring leads to a faster, more reliable API and a smoother user experience.

API error monitoring

When talking about errors in the context of APIs, it makes sense to distinguish two different categories: server errors (5xx responses) and client errors (4xx responses).

Server errors

Server errors result from issues in your application or infrastructure. When API consumers hit server errors, all they can do is retry the request. Server errors can be temporary, for example, when there are intermittent networking issues within your stack. However, when a bug in your application consistently prevents certain requests from being handled successfully, there is nothing API consumers can do but to wait for you to fix the underlying issue. This is why it is vitally important that you have the right tools in place to alert you when these types of errors occur.

Client errors

Client errors are typically part of the API’s regular operation. Monitoring these can provide valuable insights and identify ways to enhance the API’s usability for end users. A sudden increase in client errors could indicate problems with your API, such as a new validation rule being too restrictive, or reveal issues with consumer systems providing malformatted input to the API.

In essence, API error monitoring not only helps in pinpointing and fixing issues within the API but also aids in understanding the end-user’s interaction with the system. By effectively tracking and analyzing both server and client errors, teams can create a more reliable and user-friendly API.

API uptime monitoring

Uptime monitoring is another critical facet of API Monitoring. It refers to the act of ensuring that your API is available and functional at all times. Any downtime can lead to significant disruptions to connected systems, making uptime monitoring a crucial part of maintaining a high-quality user experience.

API uptime monitoring involves checking the availability of your API at regular intervals. This can be done by sending requests to various endpoints and verifying the responses. In addition to simple availability checks, uptime monitoring could also consider the ‘health’ of the response. This might involve checking that the response time is within acceptable limits, or that the data returned in the response is as expected.

Setting up robust alerting is another key aspect of uptime monitoring. Teams should be immediately notified when the API is down or experiencing problems. This allows them to quickly identify and rectify the issues, minimizing the impact on users.

In essence, API uptime monitoring ensures that your API is consistently ready and accessible, providing the high-quality, reliable service that your users expect.


In conclusion, effective API monitoring involves a comprehensive approach that takes into account API traffic, performance, errors, and uptime.

Fortunately, the technological landscape is filled with tools to assist in these areas. We’ve gathered some of them in the list below as a starting point for your own research. They range from simple and easy to implement to comprehensive and complex, catering to different use cases.

Recommended tools

  • Apitally: Simple and easy-to-use API monitoring tool covering traffic, performance, errors, and uptime.
  • Sentry: Error monitoring for applications, including APIs. Also offers application performance monitoring (APM).
  • Postman Uptime and performance monitoring for APIs.
  • Datadog: Comprehensive monitoring platform.
  • New Relic: Another comprehensive monitoring platform.
  • Prometheus: Open-source monitoring system. Often used together with Grafana.