In Germany, the official API for querying the validity of a tax ID, has opening hours. It can only be queried from 5 am to 11 pm, and a response may take up to multiple minutes.

This is the most German thing I can think of. My assumption is that there's an employee manually checking the ID and then pressing a button depending on the result, which then triggers the response.

This API is supplied by the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, which is basically the German version of the IRS: https://evatr.bff-online.de/eVatR/...

  • 24
    I hear Human Depended APIs are all the rage these days. 😄
  • 4
    Yeah in Switzerland we have opening hours for our air police, but never thought of expanding this to an API. That takes it to a new level! :)
  • 22
    That's not how the internet works!! That's not how any of this works!!!
  • 10
    In find the wording a bit strange, but reasonable:
    - The cannot guarantee service outside the timespan (e.g. they reserve maintenance hours). Not every IT system is built for a 100% uptime.
    - The minute long answer is because they contact external APIs of other European countries and they intentionally do not cache results.
    - "The results make take several minutes" - according to the website, this depends on the internet speed of the person using the API

    Nonetheless, quite funny.
  • 4
    Read through it and my thoughts....

    ... website looks at it is made in the 2000's
    ... why calling a variable camel case and with the dashes USt-IdNr ?!?
    ... had to google XML-RPC
    ... they don't provide any asstistance to their shitty api
    ... and what is cool: they have a pretty good disclaimer, that the are not responsible for anything
  • 3
    That's hilarious.
  • 6
    Welcome to Germany.
    I love my country and the people.
    About Infrastructure, well don't even try to reform anything here to be better.
    You won't succeed.
  • 1
    @Ranchu We have in Switzerland some IT projects, where government is trying to set up a database, 100 mio blown away nothing is working. So it seems to be usual 💁‍♂️
  • 2
    @blubberfish Have you heard of BER? We win! :D
  • 1
    @Geexor no never, what it is? Tried to search but only getting those 100's from our budgets
  • 0
    @blubberfish Well ,they provide exams code and a description which parameters (of which type) have to be submitted.
    XML-RPC quite old, but is implemented in many languages.
    And they even have example code!
  • 0
    @blubberfish the usual in the centre of Europe?
    Yes sadly
  • 0
    @sbiewald just because it was there in the 90's, doesn't mean to take it to the 20's
  • 0
    @TechNomad seems your pro and contra nato, maybe a bearded man born and raised in western countries...
  • 1
    The longer response time might be okay to prevent brute force checking/abuse.
  • 0
    @Quirinus sure, but there are other ways, aren’t there? Rate limits come to mind... or API tokens with your address assigned so that they can block your token and contact you immediately.
  • 3
    @blubberfish BER is our never ending airport project: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
  • 2
    @Geexor @Quirinus The long response times are because of two factors:
    - The German API calls APIs that may be slow (e.g. if you are verifying an Austrian ID the API will contact the API of Austria). Those results probably cannot cached for league reasons (e.g. if the API returns it is legal "now" it should the return if it is legal "now" and not "an hour ago").
    - They calculate slower internet speed of the client (e.g. your internet speed) into the "API may be slow" statement.
  • 0
    can I call the api on the weekend?
  • 0
    this is weird but I was working on a project that has the same use case. Is the api useful though?
    Were you able to find an alternative?
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