We have profiled a number of banks within the US, UK, and France in recent weeks, and as we come across features that we found helpful, and interesting to us in our journey, we like to document the experience for future reference. One interesting feature we came across in our work this week was the Capital One DevExchange Sandbox, which provides a virtual testing environment that simulates the way the live APIs would respond in a production environment. Providing a secure and isolated space where developers can test their applications code without touching any real account or user data. A feature that we feel should be available by default in all financial and banking APIs platforms.
We will be adding a sandbox to our API definition, which we will use to rank and sort APIs listed in the Streamdata.io API Gallery. Having a sandbox API environment that reflects the production environment as a staging area for production, but also as a proving ground for new ideas, is critical to the on-boarding process. Developers are more likely to feel safe playing around with an API if they know it isn’t going to change any real account information, and API service providers like Streamdata.io will feel safer working in a sandbox when prototyping some feature built on top of banking APIs –making sandboxes pretty key to doing business in the banking API economy.
Once any application is ready for production, it can request production access–meeting whatever requirements a bank puts forth. In reality, I bet less than 10% of application ever make it to production, which also makes the sandbox essential to the developer community being able to work through the quality and usefulness of any application, before it is even worthy of operating in a production environment. We will keep tracking on banks that have sandbox environments, and work to do a round-up at some point showcasing the different ways in which banks are sandboxing their on-boarding process. There are a lot of signals, and real time events occurring in a sandbox environment, making for an interesting place to keep playing around, looking for any interesting stories.