Zapier, a service that automates tasks between online services, has launched a tool that monitors 200 APIs, sometimes catching an outage before the provider does.

The new tool monitors the uptime and downtime of every API on Zapier. It is designed to monitor the realtime status of popular web APIs and their impact on customers that use the Zapier service or just want a good resource to monitor how APIs are behaving. Each API can be monitored via SMS, instant message, email or any number of methods that are supported by Zapier’s core product.

Zapier Co-Founder Wade Foster said they developed the monitoring service, because, while vendors often provide performance dashboards for their main products, they don’t do so for their APIs. This is true for such services as Amazon, and 37Signals. This can be a problem as APIs are now the glue for connecting apps. The shortcoming leaves consumers in the dark when APIs go down, Foster said in a recent email discussion. For example, the Google APIs had an outage, which Zapier discovered almost instantly.

Here’s the Hacker News thread documenting the outage. “My co-founder is the top commenter there,” Foster said. “The subsequent comments were what encouraged us to release this publicly.”

He said the dashboard has been public for about a week. Almost everything is always up which speaks to the quality of applications that are being built these days.

This is a pretty cool service. It’s important, too, especially for app developers who will often monitor multiple APIs that integrate with their apps.

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