Testing Periods for New API Keys

You’ll want to pay attention to this if you regularly use the E-utilities API. As we announced last fall, we are in the process of introducing API keys for the E-utilities. This post will update the schedule of this process and outline our release plan, which will include a series of testing periods.

So what’s happening?

We’re learning a lot from you!

Thanks for all of your feedback! Ongoing conversations with our users are helping us plan this release in a way that will benefit everyone as much as possible. Please continue to reach out to us with ideas and suggestions!

The effective date for release of API keys has been pushed back.

We will not be activating API keys on May 1, 2018 as originally announced. That date is being moved to be no earlier than September 1, 2018.

We’re creating a sandbox environment.

In the near future we will be providing a stable sandbox environment in which API keys will be continually active so that developers can ensure that their code is handling their key correctly. This environment will be live until we activate API keys in production.

We’ll be setting up brief testing periods.

After the sandbox environment has been live for at least one month, we will publicize a series of brief testing periods on production during which API keys will be active. These periods will occur at different times during the day and will last for no more than 1 hour.

During a testing period you should expect the following behavior on production:

  • If you don’t have an API key, then any IP you use that generates more than 3 requests/second will receive an error message
  • If you have a default API key (rate max = 10 requests/second), any requests including that key will receive errors if the rate exceeds 10 requests/second
  • If you have a high-rate API key (rate max > 10 requests/second, obtained by negotiating with us), any requests including that key will receive errors if the rate exceeds your negotiated maximum

We’re giving you time to adjust.

The time period between the opening of the sandbox environment and the full activation of API keys in production will be at least 3 months.

Please let us know if you have comments or questions about this plan. You can either comment here or use this form. We’d love to hear from you!

6 thoughts on “Testing Periods for New API Keys

  1. We are seeing errors suggesting a test period is/was in effect, yet none were announced in any of the promised venues! The string received (with an actual IP address instead of 0s) was:

    {“error”:”API rate limit exceeded”,”apikey”:”″,”count”:”4″,”limit”:”3″}

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