We have now discussed the design details of many large-scale systems. In each design problem, our goal was not only to meet the functional requirements but also to ensure that non-functional requirements like scalability, availability, and low latency were met. While we designed our problems carefully, system (API) failures are inevitable because many factors can adversely affect the operation of the API, resulting in service disruption or outage.

In this chapter, we will learn about API failures, their impact on businesses, and what causes them. We will also look at the details of some real-world examples of API failures and discuss their corresponding mitigation techniques.

What is API failure?

APIs can enhance user experience and benefit companies if they’re working as intended. However, APIs can underperform or may experience a service disruption. An API failure refers to the malfunctioning (returning unexpected errors or being completely inaccessible) of API-based services. API failure is not limited to direct request and response failures.

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