Top 7 API monitoring tools

Top 7 API monitoring tools

APIs have become one of the core components of many software systems today. As soon as an API becomes unavailable, some or all parts of dependent software systems become unavailable, so it’s essential for software teams of any size to monitor their running APIs closely and act as soon as the API monitoring tool identifies and reports an abnormality. In our What is API Monitoring article, we went through different kinds of API monitoring; in this article, we will review top 7 API monitoring tools for functional API monitoring and API Availability monitoring.

Table of Contents

Looking for an API monitoring tool?

Testfully offers multi-step tests, Email, Slack, SMS and PagerDuty alerts, team collaboration, historical test results and many more features. Import from Postman supported!

API Availability Monitoring

API availability monitoring, sometimes called Availability check, API health check, API ping or API status check, is the process of pinging a running API by sending simple requests to the status or health endpoint in intervals. Should your API becomes unreachable, the API availability check fails, and you will receive a notification. The below diagram describes how API availability monitoring works.

Diagram for API health check monitoring


Functional API monitoring

Functional API monitoring is the practice of sending requests to one or multiple endpoints to replicate an end-user scenario in intervals. Functional API monitoring allows teams to monitor critical end-user scenarios closely. For example, the below diagram describes a functional API Monitoring task to monitor the correctness of the “Login & Fetch Profile” scenario. A scenario in which a valid user logs in and tries to fetch their profile.

Functional API monitoring diagram for login scenario


With a clear understanding of API availability monitoring and functional API monitoring, let’s go ahead and review top 5 API monitoring solutions.


Free APIs for API monitoring

If you’re evaluating different tools for your API monitoring needs, you may not feel comfortable trying out tools using your API. If that’s the case, we have put together a set of Open APIs you can use to evaluate the below API monitoring tools. Although the APIs in this section are free to use, they may impose rate limits, so please keep that in mind when setting your API monitoring tasks. In addition, we highly recommend deleting the tasks once you have finished your evaluation.

  • The Rick and Morty API is available in REST and GraphQL. Please check the docs section for more information about how to use their API.
  • HTTP Bin is a good API to use for testing API monitoring capabilities. It offers various endpoints to cover different needs.

Looking for an API monitoring tool?

Testfully offers multi-step tests, Email, Slack, SMS and PagerDuty alerts, team collaboration, historical test results and many more features. Import from Postman supported!

Postman

Website: postman.com | Price: Free, Paid plans start from $15 (per month, per user)

API monitoring is one of the features that Postman offers, albeit this feature is only available for registered users (including free plan users). Postman API monitoring is in the form of running a Postman collection on the cloud and based on the defined interval. The number of monitoring tasks, how often Postman runs them, and the delivery of alerts depends on your current billing plan.


Postman pros for API monitoring

  • You can use your API integration tests for monitoring
  • Monitoring is available for users on the free plan


Postman cons for API monitoring

  • Postman does not support request chaining (multistep tests), so you are limited to tests with a single step
  • Although you have access to past test runs, the log is minimal
  • To set validations for tests, you need to know Javascript


How to monitor API using Postman

As we mentioned earlier, you need to sign up for an account to enable the API monitoring feature of Postman. API monitoring in Postman is a 3-step process: Create a collection, add a test to your collection and create a monitoring task. Please follow the below steps to create your API monitoring task in Postman:

  1. Log in to your account and click on the “Collections” icon on the left bar
  2. Click on the + icon to add a new collection to your workspace in Postman
  3. Hover over the collection and click on the little “…” icon, then click on the Add request link
  4. Complete the form as you wish; click on the “Send” button to test your test
  5. Click on the “Monitors” icon on the left menu bar to open the monitoring feature of Postman
  6. Click on the “+” icon to add a new monitoring task
  7. Complete the form and click on Create button
  8. Click on the “Run” button to run the monitoring task manually
  9. Postman starts running your API monitoring task in the background


Testfully

Website: testfully.io | Pricing: Free, Paid plans start from $49 a month

Testfully has focused on API testing and API monitoring. As a result, we offer a great range of features for API health-check monitoring and API functional monitoring, which are available to all users, including users who are on the free plan. Using Testfully, you can define your test cases, add them to collections and run the collection against your desired environment. Testfully alerts you as soon as one of the monitoring tests fails.


Testfully pros for API monitoring

  • Testfully offers a free plan
  • Unlike other tools, free users can run API monitoring tasks as fast as every minute.
  • Unlike Postman, you can define multistep (request chaining) monitoring tests in Testfully
  • Testfully offers various filtering options to narrow down test results for monitoring tasks
  • Testfully offers a comprehensive test log for any executed test


Testfully cons for API monitoring

  • You can only monitor Restful & GraphQL APIs using Testfully. Soap APIs are not currently supported.


How to monitor API using Testfully

Monitoring API using Testfully is a simply 2-step process: Add a test and add a collection. To create your first monitoring task in Testfully, please follow the below steps:

  1. Log in to your Testfully Dashboard and click on the “Tests” link.
  2. Click on the “New Test” button
  3. Add your test case and click on the “Save” button
  4. Click on the “Collections” link of the navbar
  5. Click on the “New Collection” button
  6. Pick a name for your collection, select the test cases you wish to include in your collection, and fill in the monitoring task details
  7. Click on the “Save” button to add your collection and monitoring task
  8. Testfully starts running your task on defined intervals.


Runscope

Website: runscope.com | Pricing: Free Trial, Plans start from $79 a month.

Using Runscope, you can define functional tests and schedule them to run in the background. However, unlike Postman and Testfully, you cannot group multiple tests under one monitoring task, so each test is scheduled separately, which increases your maintenance overhead.


Runscope pros for API monitoring

  • Runscope supports request chaining (multistep tests)
  • Details of each executed test is available via a web-based dashboard


Runscope cons for API monitoring

  • Runscope does not offer a free plan
  • Setting JSON body validation for a request can be time-consuming
  • You cannot group multiple tests into one schedule for API monitoring
  • Runscope stores the full step (HTTP request/response) details for the last 100 successes and the last 100 failures.


How to monitor API using Runscope

  1. Log in to your Runscope dashboard and click on “Create Test” and then “New test” button
  2. Complete the form and click on the “Create Test” button
  3. Add the requests you wish to include in your tests and click on “Save” after completing the form
  4. Click on “Run Now” to run your test manually; make sure You get the “Passed” message on left
  5. Click on the “Schedules” link on the left menu bar to open the schedule UI
  6. Click on the “Add Schedule” to add a new schedule
  7. Set values as you wish and then click on the “Save Schedule” button
  8. Runscope starts running your tests in the background


API Fortress

Website: apifortress.com | Pricing: 30 days trial, Contact API Fortress for pricing

API Fortress is another tool with a focus on API testing & Monitoring. Similar to Testfully and Postman, API Fortress allows you to define integration tests and use them for API monitoring purposes. However, you cannot group multiple tests and schedule them in one go, so you need to schedule your tests one by one. Nevertheless, API Fortress test results are comprehensive and easy to use for debugging purposes.


API Fortress pros for API monitoring

  • API Fortress supports Multistep tests (request chaining)
  • API Fortress provides multiple filtering options to narrow down test results for monitoring tasks


API Fortress cons for API monitoring

  • API Fortress does not offer a free plan
  • Your monitoring tasks run as frequently as every 5 minutes.
  • You cannot group multiple tests into one monitoring task.
  • Monitoring test results do not contain responses to HTTP requests.


How to monitor API using API Fortress

Monitoring an API using API Fortress is a 4-step process: Create a project, add test, publish the test and schedule the monitoring task. To monitor your API using API Fortress, please follow the below steps:

  1. Log in to your API Fortress dashboard and click on the “Create project” button
  2. Complete the form and click on the “tick” icon to save the project
  3. Click on the “Tets” button within your project snippet
  4. Click on the “+ New Test” button
  5. Complete the form and click on the “tick” icon to save the test
  6. Click on the “Compose” button
  7. Click on the “Add Request/Assertions” button
  8. Click one of the HTTP methods to create the HTTP request
  9. Complete the form and click on the little “tick” button on the right corner of the form
  10. Click on the “Save” button to save your test
  11. Click on the “Run” button to try the test; make sure it passes
  12. Click on the “Tests” button and then click on the test you just added
  13. Click on the “Publish” button to publish your test
  14. Click on the “Schedule” button to schedule your test for monitoring
  15. Click on the “Create new run” button
  16. Complete the form as you desire and click on the Save Run button
  17. API Fortress will start running your test in the background for you


Assertible

Website: assertible.com | Pricing: Free, Paid plans start from $25 a month

Assertible’s focus is on API testing and Monitoring, similar to Testfully and API Fortress, so that you can use your API integration tests for Monitoring purposes as well. Assertible allows you to group multiple tests and run them as a monitoring task. Depending on your plan, you get different frequency options. Assertible can run monitoring tasks every minute.

Assertible pros for API monitoring

  • A very easy to use dashboard
  • Offers a free plan with monitoring capabilities included


Assertible cons for API monitoring

  • Assertible does not support request chaining


How to monitor API using Assertible

Creating a monitoring task in Assertible is a 3-step process: Create a service, add a test, and add a monitoring task. To create your first API Monitoring task in Assertible, please follow the below steps to add your monitoring task to your Assertible task:

  1. Log in to your Assertible dashboard and click on the “Services” button and then the “New Web service” button (skip if you have already added service to your account)
  2. Provide the URL of your API in the “Enter a URL” section and click on the “Import URL” button
  3. Click on “Create service and tests” to create your new service
  4. Assertible creates a new service for you alongside an environment called “Production” and a test called “200 OK”
  5. Click on the “+” button and then click on the “Create basic test” to create a new test
  6. Complete the form as you desire and then click on the “Save” button
  7. Click on the “Run test” button to run your test
  8. Click on the “Monitoring” tab to open the API monitoring feature of Assertible
  9. Click on “Add another schedule” to create a new monitoring task
  10. Complete the form as you wish and then click on the “Create schedule”
  11. Select the test cases you wish to run as part of this monitoring task
  12. Click on “Done” to create the task
  13. Assertible starts running your monitoring task based on the defined frequency of execution
  14. Check the “Results” tab for test results


Data Dog Synthetics

Website: datadoghq.com | Pricing: Free Trial, Paid plans start from $5 a month

DataDog offers a range of products in the monitoring and security space, and synthetic monitoring is one of them, allowing you to monitor your websites, web applications, and APIs. It tracks web pages and APIs at any network level in a controlled and stable way using API Tests, Multistep API Tests, Browser Tests.


Data Dog Pros for API monitoring

  • DataDog synthetic monitoring offers multistep tests (Chained requests). For example, you can use the multistep test to authenticate first and use the token to send the main request to your API.
  • You can use globals to reuse values in multiple tests
  • You can run monitoring tests every 30 seconds


Data Dog Cons for API monitoring

  • DataDog synthetic monitoring doesn’t offer a free plan.
  • You cannot group multiple tests into one monitoring task, so if you want to run multiple tests simultaneously, you need to create multiple monitors.
  • The response headers and body of the request become available when a test fails, so there is no way to see the response when the test passes.


How to monitor API using DataDog synthetics API monitoring

  • Log in to your DataDog account; on the welcome page, from the vertical bar located on the left, click on the sun-shaped sign. On that menu, select the Synthetic Tests
  • From the three test options, choose a new Test API.
  • Define your request by selecting the HTTP request Methods on the dropdown menu, then write a valid desired URL.
  • Click on the advanced option if you want to add some more to the request. For example, to give a request body, select the body type, then fill in the request body.
  • You can always Test the given Url by clicking on the Test Url.
  • Fill out the name box.
  • Define assertions, click on the new assertion, define the assertion type; for example, choose “status code,” then complete the assertion by filling in the blanks.
  • Select Locations
  • Specify Test frequency. You can decide how API repeats a test in chosen intervals.
  • Define the Alert conditions. It defines on what state the test returns the “Alert” status code.
  • At last, you can select to notify the team by sending a message to their email addresses if the test status is Alert.
  • Click on the Create Test button.
  • The DataDog API will run your test in the given interval.


SemaText Synthetics

Website: sematext.com | Pricing: Free Trial, Paid plans start from $5 a month

Sematext Synthetics is Another API monitoring tool. It can monitor APIs and Web URLs, websites, and user experiences from many different locations worldwide. It helps you to detect the performance and downtime of your APIs. For example, we can simulate the hectic workloads on our API and see how it works. You can monitor your local API by installing the Sematext agent as well.


SemaText Pros for API monitoring

  • Very simple UI.
  • We can set Private Locations.
  • We can configure the Alerts and their intervals in case of failure.
  • SemaText has many integrations for alerting, including Slack, Telegram, and Microsoft Teams. You can also receive alerts via email.
  • Sematext offers Status Page for each monitoring. It’s publicly available, and you can share it with your customers or include it on your website.


SemaText Cons for API monitoring

  • SemaText synthetic monitoring doesn’t offer a free plan.
  • You cannot define multistep tests. For example, you cannot use one endpoint to get a token and use the token in the next step.
  • We can’t config a global variable to reuse it on the tests.
  • We cannot group multiple tests into one monitoring task.
  • Sematext shows the response headers and body only when the monitoring fails.


How to monitor API using SemaText synthetics API monitoring

  • Log in to your SemaText account
  • From the vertical bar on the left, choose the Synthetics with a happy face sign. On that menu, we can see the All Monitors and All Apps menus.
  • Select the All Apps menu, create a new Synthetic App
  • Fill in the name of the App, then click create.
  • Now, we are In the created App; select Monitors, and create a new Monitor.
  • On the pop-up window, select HTTP Monitor.
  • Fill in the name, HTTP method, URLs, interval, and tick locations; it can be more than one location.
  • Click “Continue”
  • Configure Request menu allows you to configure the request headers, body, query params, and cookies.
  • Click Continue when you’re done
  • In this section, we can configure Alerts. When a condition fails, we will be alerted.
  • Use the Conditions section to configure asserions for your test.
  • Click on Create button to create a monitor


Comparison Table

So far, we went through the top 5 best API monitoring tools and reviewed each of them. The table below lists some of the most common features of an API monitoring tool and compares their availability.

Feature Testfully Postman Runscope API Fortress Assertible DataDog SemaText
Free plan Yes Yes No No Yes No No
Request Chaining (Multistep test) Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No
Group tests for monitoring Yes Yes No No Yes No No
Execution frequency 1 minute 1 minute 1 minutes 5 minutes 1 minute 30 seconds 1 minute
Execution frequency (Free plan) 1 minute 1 hour - - 30 minutes - -
No Coding Required Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Looking for an API monitoring tool?

Testfully offers multi-step tests, Email, Slack, SMS and PagerDuty alerts, team collaboration, historical test results and many more features. Import from Postman supported!

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