Saas Offering Provides Detailed Analysis of Your Software Portfolio

Are you faced with the need to do a software portfolio analysis but find the prospect daunting given the scattered nature of your operation? A new SaaS-based offering from Cast might fit the bill.

By John Dix
Thu, May 03, 2012

Network World — Are you faced with the need to do a software portfolio analysis but find the prospect daunting given the scattered nature of your operation? A new SaaS-based offering from Cast might fit the bill.

Cast, which specializes in software analysis and measurement, today announced Rapid Portfolio Analysis, a cloud-based tool that complements the company's Application Intelligence Platform (AIP), which is an enterprise software analysis measurement tool.

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"RPA is a cloud-based offering designed to do the same kind of things that AIP does, but instead of looking at one application in great detail and monitoring that detail over time, it looks across many apps in a portfolio and provides a high-level assessment of where the risks exist," says Cast Managing Director of Portfolio Analysis Solutions Peter Pizzutillo.

Like AIP, the SaaS offering is powered by a rules engine that assesses the state of your programs by taking into account software complexity and industry best practices, but it uses a smaller subset of those rules, Pizzutillo says, 14 versus 28.

Even though these tools almost always pay dividends, traditionally companies have been "more willing to pay someone to sit in the corner and flip through printouts than they have been to buy tools for this type of analysis," says Jim Duggan, VP of research in Gartner's Application Strategy & Governance group. "It's one of those paradoxes.

"This new cloud offering gives people a way to get started without having to make a big capital investment. It puts a wading pool in place so people can get started without being heavily committed."

Pizzutillo admits as much. "RPA will make it easier for us to get started with customers," he says. "They have a notional, subjective belief in where their risks lie or where the bad apples may be, so we're able to, in a week's time, evaluate all their systems and build a smart, risks-based approach to how to apply software analysis and measurement to the handful of apps that are driving the risk, driving the maintenance costs in their organization."

In use, Cast's code analyzers -- which have business rules built in -- are sent to crawl through the customer's source code counting violations against the rule set, looking for things that should be happening that aren't and vice versa. The results are sent back to the cloud where they are aggregated into different dimensions. The client's code never leaves their facilities.

Because it is cloud-based, the tool makes it easier to analyze programs that are either scattered across locations or even hosted by third parties.

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