Media and entertainment companies rely on a large and complex ecosystem of back-end vendors to help deliver multiscreen video. Each system has its own set of shifting application programming interfaces (APIs) that Wicket Labs says are increasingly difficult for media companies to track and troubleshoot.
Wicket Labs creates a digital map of mission-critical APIs. Each API map is called a Wicket. A customized collection of Wickets is then available in the Wicket Scorecard, which is designed to automatically identify API changes and client-impacting errors or outages.
"TV broadcasters, cable networks, pay TV operators and other content providers face a common blind spot when it comes to the APIs of their suppliers," said Marty Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Wicket Labs. "These third-party APIs are a common cause of outages and other service-related problems for their websites and apps. Staying on top of all of the API changes of their vendors is difficult and labor intensive for media a company - which is where we come in. Wicket Labs automatically tracks and monitors mission-critical APIs to improve the consumer's experience."
Wickets were created to reduce the operational downtime of cloud-dependent systems, apps and sites. Wickets are designed to mirror and mimic inquiries into the API on a predetermined frequency, and are managed outside of the production traffic between clients and the API themselves. The Wicket Scorecard uses a web and mobile user interface (UI) and alerts business owners to the status of their Wickets based on three general categories:
- Good Wickets showcase a vendor's API history and performance over time. This includes data such as the number of times the API has entered a problem state, a notable change has occurred, and historic API stability.
- Notable Wickets explain changes to an API that are not expected to cause an immediate or meaningful impact to the user experience. This could be a performance improvement, an API schema change that does not impact clients, or a slight performance slowdown that is relatively imperceptible.
- Problem Wickets detail the issue and changes impacting the consumer experience and are presented for escalation to the vendor. Support information for each vendor, including the escalation contact, is listed for immediate action. Problems typically include: outages, based on timeouts, 500 or 503 errors; "brown outs," which can be from an intermittent data error or a slow response time that is outside of the normal distribution; or unacceptable responses in a data field that in some way that breaks the client experience.
Since media companies typically rely on multiple APIs from each of their vendors, they will also have multiple Wickets per vendor. The first three wickets are available in a "Friendly" level free account, tiered pricing starts after that, allowing customers to easily add additional wickets.