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Feature Spotlight: API Checks

API checks are as simple or complex as you need them to be, offering a great deal of functionality in checking the uptime of your own tools. Combined with a powerful programming interface like REST API, your checks can prove quite useful.

These checks are multi-step, meaning you can ask it to do almost anything so long as you present those requests in a syntax your server understands. The key to an API check is formatting your requests properly. Before playing with this tool, make sure your server will accept the queries you send to it.

Ready?

Let’s look at what the API check can do for you.

Using the API Check

First, let’s add an API Check. Click Monitoring, followed by Checks and then Add New. Select API from the Check Type dropdown.

In our API Check Basics support article, we utilized 8 steps to test for URL-encoded data, to be sure the server was accepting it.

API checks can grow in complexity, as you can imagine, so another tip we want to hammer home is to debug your requests during setup. Uptime.com includes functionality that carefully analyzes what the server returns. You don’t even need to leave the page with data available inline. Neat!

Although most of this tool is a mixture of GET and POST requests, it may help to read over the Field Explanation support article for more detailed information about Uptime.com fields.

API Check Use Case for Enterprise

Enterprise clients might maintain API to help developers connect with their services. We maintain API here at Uptime.com for this purpose, with the goal of interfacing with the notification app of your choice.

Good server infrastructure guarantees your uptime, and most downtime will occur only at off-hours for a website. But what if the problem persists? How many of your customers would suddenly find functionality cut off, and how would that affect your brand’s reputation?

We’ve already shown how an 8-step command can maintain around the clock awareness so this nightmare scenario never plays out. We know this because we designed this tool to cover our own nightmare scenarios. A loss of functionality is not just frustrating, it is catastrophic for your customer base. With an API check, we maintain awareness and can mount first response as needed.

We think many SaaS websites will find this tool invaluable.

Use Case for Bloggers

We talk a lot about startups and industry use cases, but individuals benefit from Uptime.com too. In this case, we want to show how growing bloggers might utilize an API Check.

Your blog has been linked to by a major influencer and you’re seeing the benefits! The past few months were hectic as you hired some writers and started to find presence in the market. You now rank well, and you accept guest posts you can afford to pay for!

Your site has also grown to a massive size over the years, and finding an old post or picture is a very slow process. Using REST API, you could quickly retrieve this data and even work with some of it, assuming your server is available and accepting such requests.

WordPress and REST API work very well together. You can use REST API and Uptime.com to query your server and check that it is accepting these requests. Automating this process gives you advance notice when there is an issue with your blog. Using an example similar to our setup, you can query for status codes and send test data to be sure your server is ready to accept your commands.

Final Thoughts

API checks do not have a one-size-fits-all approach, but they are extremely flexible and accommodate a variety of requests. We’ve emphasized utilizing checks as a method to “green light” your future API requests, or to maintain awareness when a tool goes down. We also want to point out that this tool, like every other Uptime.com function, provides valuable information about how long the server takes to respond and what your receive during a query.

You can use a combination of check steps and validators to test the functionality and response time of your server. International users will find this functionality especially useful, as Uptime.com provides the ability to ping from most major hubs of use.

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Richard Bashara is Uptime.com's lead content marketer, working on technical documentation, blog management, content editing and writing. His focus is on building engagement and community among Uptime.com users. Richard brings almost a decade of experience in technology, blogging, and project management to help Uptime.com remain the industry leading monitoring solution for both SMBs and enterprise brands. He resides in California, enjoys collecting and restoring arcade machines, and photography.

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