Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Elizabeth White, Jyoti Bansal, Yeshim Deniz, AppNeta Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

API Design Using Behavior | @CloudExpo #API #DevOps #Microservices

It's easy for us as programmers to become focused on the details of our system

API Design Using Behavior Driven Development
by Erik Dietrich

Test-driven development (TDD) has been around for a while now.  Behavior-driven development (BDD), a comparably recent methodology, emerged from the practice of TDD and could reasonably be called a narrower application of TDD.

The TDD process allows a developer to use a failing unit test to express a shortcoming of the system.  The next step is to modify the production code to get the failing test to pass without making existing tests fail.  BDD more or less takes this same concept and adds the idea that the tests should be written in easy-to-understand language describing the problem domain, and that tests should express user acceptance criteria.

So instead of

void testErrorMessageOnNull()
you would have

Given a text box that has been left empty, when I click submit, I should receive an error message.
As a practice, this has found its way into the agile canon. It has given rise to something conversationally termed "three amigos," in which a representative of "the business," a tester, and a developer get together and agree on a few things: what the requested feature is, what it means, what it looks like when done, and how to verify completion.  In teams practicing BDD, the output of this conversation will often be an acceptance test, expressed in the Gherkin specification language.  When added to the codebase, this test will, of course, fail.  The folks implementing the feature know that they're done when they've succeeded in making the test pass.

If we put agile aside for a minute, this is a pretty commonsense approach for any team.  The essence of it is, "let's define and be clear about what success looks like and then automate a check for it."  So you don't need to be an agile team for this to make sense - you just need to be a team looking for clarity.

BDD in the API Provider World
Everything about BDD makes perfect sense in the line-of-business and traditional product development worlds.  In those worlds, "the business" wants stuff from "the geeks," and that basic operating paradigm creates the need for something like Gherkin to be necessary.  As elegant as it may seem, Gherkin could easily be viewed as pidgin developer-business talk.

But what happens when you're in the business of making products for developers?

I've worked with teams in the past that built a product with no user interface, to be consumed only by other software developers.  For teams like this, the people on and around the team may all have software development chops.  Testing is achieved through first-class programming automation.  People that function as project managers or business analysts are comfortable discussing the details of a method invocation or POSTing JSON to an endpoint.  The business is entirely technical, so there is no understanding deficit among the team members when talking shop.

So BDD doesn't apply for such teams, then, right?

Actually, it does.  In fact, I believe that it applies just as much to a project with technical consumers as it does to a project with business or public consumers.  And the reason for this is relatively simple.  While it may seem counterintuitive, BDD isn't ultimately about finding common ground in the language between "business people" and "geeks."  It's about being clear about what users can expect from a system, using terms both users and developers can agree on.

To be clearer about this, let's consider a problem domain for reselling tickets to events.  If we were building a website to be consumed by the public, we might write an acceptance test that's something like the following to drive system behavior:

Given there are 2 tickets available for the Rolling Stones Concert
When I request all tickets for the Rolling Stones Concert
Then I see 2 tickets
This test would call into the presentation/controller logic of the web application. It would seed the application with two available tickets, make a request for all tickets, and then verify that the two tickets were returned.

But what if there were no website? What if the product was just a backend service for a series of resellers to use to drive their own sites? In that case, our users would be the developers at those reseller companies. In that case, why not write a test like the following?

Given there are 2 tickets available for the Rolling Stones Concert
When I issue a GET to ~/concerts/RollingStonesConcert
Then I receive JSON with 2 ticket entries
Most people aren't used to Gherkin that looks like this, but it's perfectly valid.  The language is intended to describe your application's behavior in the terms of its domain.  And if your product is an API that provides this service, HTTP verbs, JSON, resource paths, and entries are part of your domain (along with tickets and concerts).

Representing Your Users
It's easy for us as programmers to become focused on the details of our system.  What's the performance like?  What should the preconditions and invariants be for this object instance?  Have we considered all the edge-case scenarios for this call?  And it's doubly easy to get caught up in these sorts of details when our users are fellow programmers who would be completely empathetic.

Don't get me wrong.  The details are important - very much so.  But the way users perceive and interact with your system is just as important, if not more so.  BDD forces you to think about that.  It forces you to form a common understanding of what success looks like with the people that are using your system.  The fact that you work on a technical product isn't a reason to pass on that opportunity. It's a reason to double down on it.

this didn't make sense to me the way it stood-"be written in language about ." I still don't know if it makes sense.

More Stories By SmartBear Blog

As the leader in software quality tools for the connected world, SmartBear supports more than two million software professionals and over 25,000 organizations in 90 countries that use its products to build and deliver the world’s greatest applications. With today’s applications deploying on mobile, Web, desktop, Internet of Things (IoT) or even embedded computing platforms, the connected nature of these applications through public and private APIs presents a unique set of challenges for developers, testers and operations teams. SmartBear's software quality tools assist with code review, functional and load testing, API readiness as well as performance monitoring of these modern applications.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Loom Systems works with customers across industries around the world.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating the organization can lead to inconsistent masking and exposure of sensitive data. But some organizations are adopting a new method of data management for DevOps that is delivering transformational business outcomes in faster time to market, lower costs, and great control. In his session at DevOps Summit, Brian Reagan, Managing Director of Blackthorne Consulting Group, an Actifio company, revi...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore the ways that Nutanix technologies empower teams to react faster than ever before and connect teams in ways that were either too complex or simply impossible with traditional infrastructures.
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a single platform to drive unprecedented simplicity in the data center. Customers can start with a base infrastructure and scale to multi-site and multi-geo infrastructures with predictable economics and performance.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the application economy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Addteq will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Addteq specializes in creating innovative solutions to solve business processes through the use of DevOps automation. Addteq was founded on the firm belief that automation is essential for successful software releases. Addteq's products and services are centered around the fundamental approach of understanding the proper balance between knowing when to integrate software and when to automate software. For software teams looking for build and release management services, Addteq is a one-stop shop for all of their development needs.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organizations must focus on what is most relevant to deliver value, reduce IT complexity, create more repeatable agile-based processes and leverage increasingly secure and stable, cloud-based infrastructure platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathematical analysis and forecasting Big Data Analyze and Control.
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one technically superior to the other? What about performance and security? Does IT need either one, or both?
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new insights into how to build your own satisfying and rewarding career by rising above the ordinary and mundane to build an extraordinary life and career as a world-class Compassionate Geek.
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverless applications, such as the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM), Chalice, and ClaudiaJS.
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transition into and take advantages of these emerging service models.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ability. Many are unable to effectively engage and inspire, creating forward momentum in the direction of desired change. Renowned for its approach to leadership and emphasis on their people, organizations increasingly look to our military for insight into these challenges.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly provision resources and deploy unique, mission-critical, self-designed solutions to add-onto or create any type of infrastructure as per the business requirement. HTBase is the first company to enable a true multi-cloud strategy, enabling organizations to automate movement of data and workloads between private and public clouds. This means that organizations can now move data and workloads between pub...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you can concentrate on running a better service for your users.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project managers in house, specializing in the world-class mobile and web development.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with Tintri's web services architecture and APIs. Impress your DevOps team with smart and autonomous infrastructure.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.