The API Ratings Agency (TARA), an industry-wide effort to create an advisory council for API monitoring standards, has named four members to its board.
In addition to David O’Neill, CEO of APImetrics, members now include:
• Brian Costello of the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence
• Don Thibeau, formerly of the OpenID Foundation
• John Musser, founder of Programmable Web and API Science
• Lorinda Brandon, VP of Software Development at BetterCloud
“APImetrics has been working in something of a vacuum for the last few years as we have pushed for better standards for API measurement, particularly in the area of Open Banking” O’Neill said. “At the moment there are no real standards on what should be measured, how it should be measured, and how to read those measurements. It’s incredibly painful to see situations where both sides on an API contract think the other is wrong and to eventually realize the truth lies somewhere else.”
The API Ratings Agency will focus on the following critical items:
• Defining best practices for production monitoring. Many banks are unable to monitor production systems because internal risk teams are blocking efforts.
• Agreeing on global performance and quality targets. Currently, targets are set regionally.
• Agreeing on like-for-like monitoring requirements. The industry currently self-reports performance uptime, availability, and latency metrics, leading to disagreements between parties and a lack of trust.
“The role of the API Ratings Agency is absolutely essential,” Thibeau said. “Without commonly agreed ways to measure and talk about measurement, we will continue to see disagreements between providers and no clear ways for national regulators, especially in financial services, to talk about what is happening.”
Brandon said, “If you use APIs from different providers, how do you agree on what is good and what is not? Can you be sure that they are measuring the same things, in the same way and that if there’s an issue, you’re all on the same page? We see this as a key concept moving forward to get us all in alignment."
“The API economy is growing up. Standards need to grow with it.” O’Neill said. “For our API.expert ratings site, we don’t want to rate in a vacuum. But we think quality ratings and the methodologies we use should be set by the industry, not by us. We’d like clear external guidance on how often we should measure, from where, and what a profile’s representative sample should look like. We’re excited that others are interested in the same things.”
The API Rating Agency is just starting its work but aims to release an operating charter and working goals by the end of the year, with its first standards to be published in 2022. Additional board members will be announced later in October.
APImetrics launched the first independent production monitoring dashboard for Open Banking APIs earlier this year.