Access and Feeds

Policy As Code: Establishing Repeatable and Versionable Policies

By Dick Weisinger

Policy as Code is an automated system that defines policy and policy management though data and code. Standard software techniques like version control, automated testing and automated deployment can then be applied to the policy definitions. Encapsulating policy definitions as code and data make them repeatable and versionable.

Tim Hinrichs, CTO at Styra, wrote that “because the policy is code, just like the app is code, teams can monitor, audit, and more easily collaborate on those policies with the existing cloud-native tools, processes, and pipelines they already use.”

Some of the benefits of Policy as code include:

  • Sandboxing – the automated policy system can be implemented so that it is protected from performing dangerous actions.
  • Codification – allows policy logic can be audited and commented.
  • Version control – policies can be versioned which brings the advantages of tracking the policy history and performing diffs to see how policies have changed or evolved.
  • Testing – automated testing can be set up to ensure that policy behavior works as expected.
  • Automation – policies can be automated and managed with automation tools.
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