Regulatory API Monitoring For Validating Algorithmic Assertions07 Oct 2016
As I was learning about behavior driven development (BDD) and test driven development (TDD) this week, I quickly found myself applying this way of thought to my existing API regulation, and algorithmic transparency research. BDD and TDD are both used by API developers to ensure APIs are doing what they are supposed to, in development, QA, and production environments. There is no reason that this line of thought can't be elevated beyond just development groups to other business units, up to a wider industry level, or possibly employed by regulators to validate data or algorithmic solutions.
I am not a huge fan of government regulation, but I am a fan of algorithms doing what is being promised, and APIs plus BDD and TDD testing is one way that we can accomplish this. Similar to how the federal government is working together to define OAuth scopes which help sets the bar for how a user data is accessed, BDD assertion templates can be defined, shared, and validated within regulated industries.
Right now we are just focused at the very local level when it comes to API assertions. With time I'm hoping an API assertion template format will emerge (maybe already something out there), and I'm hoping that we evolve ways for allowing the average business user to be part of defining and validating API assertions. I know my friends over at Restlet are working towards this with their DHC client solution, which provides testing solutions.
BDD, TDD, and API assertions still very much exist in the technical environments where APIs are born and managed. I'm hoping to help define the space, identify opportunities for establishing common patterns while encouraging more reuse of leading patterns. Like other layers of the API economy, I am hoping that API assertions will expand beyond just the technical, and enjoy use amongst business groups, including industry leaders, and government regulators when it applies.