CAST this week announced the availability of Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) 6.1, its automated code inspection system. The AIP analyzes all the components of complex applications to identify issues with technical quality, and it delivers metrics based on industry standards from organizations such as the International Standards Organizations (ISO) and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).
AIP 6.1 offers a new graphical user interface with an underlying role-based approach, as well as greater customization of the CAST dashboard and a more in-depth look into the quality of an organization's application development.
CAST uses various "health factors" to measure technical quality, such as performance, robustness, security, transferability, maintainability and changeability, according to Lev Lesokhin, vice president of marketing at CAST, which has U.S. headquarters in New York. He differentiates "technical quality" -- Are there issues in the application that will make it perform poorly? Will it be difficult to test? Are there places in the architecture where security is being bypassed? Does it follow the conventions of good software? -- from "functional quality" -- Does it meet user needs? Does it have the right dialog boxes?
AIP "looks across applications to see if the components all work together," he said. "We allow organizations to measure/monitor/assess the technical quality of custom software they're building or software they're buying, as they move through the development cycle, from requirements to build to test to release." Lesokhin continued, "Functional testing is keeping the box closed; stress testing is shaking the box. We're looking inside and seeing if there's a mess of wires that could explode, or if it's well engineered and built."
AIP 6.1's new GUI was the primary of focus of the release, according to Lesokhin. With the role-based approach, each stakeholder in the application development process now has easier and quicker use of important application intelligence information for their specific needs. For example, he said, there's a compliance view for tracking compliance to standards for the architect, a service-level agreement (SLA) view, and a project manager view.
In addition, Version 6.1 now supports Hibernate 3.2, which includes Java Persistence API (JPA) and an expanded rules knowledgebase. AIP 6.1 also expands the coverage of SAP ABAP, including ABAP-specific quality rules, as well as integrates the AIP dashboard with CAST's Discovery Portal for greater visibility into current development practices.