6 Common MuleSoft API Measurement Mistakes
We’ve said it before - measuring and monitoring your MuleSoft APIs can be a huge asset for your teams and bolster and improve your APIs strategy.
An API measurement strategy makes the business faster and better, while lowering costs, but there are pitfalls that need to be avoided to ensure you’re successful. Luckily, sidestepping these mistakes is pretty straightforward - you just need to be aware of them ahead of time to plan around them.
Common API Measurement and Monitoring Mistakes
Mistake 1: Assuming measurement and monitoring is just for security
We’re not saying that API monitoring isn’t essential for security. In fact, there are a variety of application metrics that can enhance your security efforts and validate that protocols are being correctly followed.
Certainly, use API monitoring for security. Just don’t stop there.
Mistake 2: Not aligning measurement strategy with API and business goals
It’s unlikely that you invested in MuleSoft and an API-led strategy without a purpose or vision for what these applications can do for IT and for the business. When it comes to measuring API effectiveness, those goals are what should be used to define what to measure, how to view the data, and most importantly, what that data says about the use and performance of the application.
For instance, a metric like “Number of APIs” is nearly meaningless on its own. If you only view that measurement and simply assume that more is more, you’re likely missing some key data. Was one of your goals for MuleSoft adoption to create re-use and accelerate development? A large number of APIs might be telling you that you’re headed in the wrong direction.
Mistake 3: Not defining what success looks like
Mistake 3 aligns closely with the one above. Not only does your measurement strategy need to align with your organizational goals, but you must also define what success looks like under those goals. These success definitions will help you set up and refine your KPIs.
Did you implement MuleSoft to save money? How much savings could be called a success?
Did you do it so that you could innovate faster? Does that look like more APIs, more deployments, or the number of contracted apps? And what does “faster” mean for you?
Or did you want to create reuse to encourage citizen integrators? Are you seeing APIs with duplicated functionality? Is the number of duplicate APIs going up or down? What’s the business coverage that looks like success, based on what you expected?
Mistake 4: Not getting a baseline (or ignoring the one you have)
It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Getting a baseline for key measurements will help you answer the question “Is our API-led strategy successful?” and “Are they doing what they were designed to do?”
Without a baseline, you won’t know if you’ve improved, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on measurement if you didn’t get this data earlier. Instead, get what data you can, even if that means you start paying attention to the information today.
Mistake 5: Only tackling monitoring and measurement at the end of a project
Just like understanding the goals and purpose of an application halfway through development is inefficient and leads to solutions that miss out on what the organization wants, the same goes for your monitoring and measurement strategy. You’ll have your goals set at the beginning of the project - the planning and design phase is the right time to define and plan your measurement strategy as well.
Waiting until the end of the project can result in measurement implementation becoming technical debt instead of a powerful tool. Once relegated to the project backlog, monitoring and measurement implementation may never see the light of day again until after you need it.
Mistake 6: The data isn’t used for decision making
Gathering data about API performance and use isn’t just about today’s applications. It’s about the ones you create tomorrow and next week and next year, too.
You likely intend to grow and enhance your integration strategy. Your API measurement and monitoring data will help you grow in the right directions. Instead of going down false paths or rabbit holes, your existing applications can teach you a lot about what to do and what not to do with new projects or as you enhance existing ones.
There is another aspect of this mistake, too - keeping the data to yourself. When your API metrics are shared with other teams and the business’ leadership, it can be a call to action as well as a means of promoting the excellent work your teams are doing for the business. That data can drive leadership decisions on investment, project planning, and budgets, too.
Avoid API Measurement and Monitoring Mistakes
API measurement and monitoring can offer a wealth of information for you and the business. It can also massively accelerate the success of your API strategy. Its importance doesn’t mean that it needs to be hard, though. Nor does it mean that you have to go from 0 to 100 overnight.
You also don’t need to start from scratch. Big Compass’s KPIs for APIs Dashboard can get you quickly moving forward with API measurement, helping you to understand API adoption, reuse, development velocity, and other fundamental data points. Built for use with the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, the KPIs for APIs Dashboard answers your questions about your Mule APIs with real-time metrics. Reach out to Big Compass today to learn more about the APIs for KPIs dashboard and how it can help your organization.