Traceable AI today announced the general availability of xAST, an API security testing solution, as part of its API Security Platform. The new feature set, after extensive beta testing with some of the company\u2019s larger customers, is available for immediate use, and builds on the Traceable\u2019s existing visibility and risk analysis features.The idea is to reduce the impact of potential API vulnerabilities early in the software development process, by making it easy to actively test an API that has made it through development but before it goes into production. Traceable uses an \u201cin-app\u201d approach to API testing, which means it\u2019s observing the behavior of software while it\u2019s actually running, as opposed the \u201ccontract\u201d model, which merely analyzes which behaviors an API should exhibit."Distributed tracking" approach to API observabilityAccording to Omdia principal analyst Rik Turner, this approach is more computationally intensive, but could provide a better window into the security or lack thereof of a given piece of software.\u00a0\u201cIn particular, Traceable argues that its \u2018distributed tracking\u2019 approach to API observability is a key differentiator,\u201d he said. \u201cNot only is it a form of tracing that is specially adapted to microservice architectures, but it allows Traceable to observe each request traveling through the system from its beginning to its end, and can be used to improve performance and understand what typical behavior looks like."Another key benefit, according to Traceable, is the speed and integration of the testing process \u2013 API scanning using xAST should not change \u201cdev-release cadences,\u201d the company said, which should help keep the testing process from being a roadblock.The xAST system provides output in the form of a scan summary, comparing vulnerabilities to the OWASP top 10 list, seeking out data exposure, misconfigurations, authorization problems and known issues like Log4shell.\u00a0It\u2019s a fairly groundbreaking new development, according to Turner, who said that Traceable is \u201cdefinitely onto something.\u201d\u201cThey initially came to market with only the in-app approach to observability, which they continue to argue is superior, but have since backfilled with out-of-band observation at the behest of major customers,\u201d Turner said. \u201cStill, if they can nudge more customers in the direction of the in-app approach, I think they will enjoy considerable uptake and force other vendors to at least pay heed to what they\u2019re doing and seek to emulate.\u201dAccording to Traceable, the xAST features are currently available to any Traceable customer who\u2019s currently using the company\u2019s API catalog, without additional charge, although the company is considering marketing it as a stand-alone product if demand is thought to be sufficient.