What’s Cool in Software Engineering


Might sound like an oxymoron, but it's not.

As you know, I work for CAST. I work here because our product is really cool.

Let me tell you why it's cool and perhaps you'll agree as well.

The CAST Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) is cool because it goes beyond what’s available in 5 groundbreaking ways.

1) The CAST AIP objectively measures software quality, complexity, and size – attributes that have traditionally been very slippery to quantify. (Think about this for a second -- it happens to be true.)

2) CAST’s coverage of languages, platforms, and technologies is unmatched (30+ languages, all major platforms and technologies, and all major packaged software including SAP and Oracle).Trying to simulate what the CAST AIP does with open source applications or other existing products is an exercise in frustration. Not only do you end up with a patchwork quilt of systems, they don't really do what you really want them to do -- reliably detect the problems that lurk in the interfaces between technologies and platforms. Only the CAST AIP can do this.

3) Granular, surgical drill downs. The CAST AIP gives you multiple views into the end-to-end (developer, architect, project manager, business manager) and precise guidance on fixing the root cause of the problem. CAST AIP is a great example of how insight is used to guide effective actions.

4) Quantifying productivity and the effectiveness of process improvement. The very metrics that are used to measure software quality, complexity, and size can be used to track the effectiveness of improvement efforts. You can read more about it in a previous post.

5) CAST AIP goes beyond performance testing by:

  • Enabling teams to begin finding performance problems caused by design bottlenecks long before performance testing can begin.
  • Automatically tracing application performance problems to the root cause. Testing teams can find problems more reliably, fix them faster, and fix them once and for all using the precise guidance CAST AIP provides.
  • Finding performance bottlenecks that go beyond those uncovered in traditional performance testing by revealing problems that lie hidden at the interfaces between language and technology tiers.
  • Uncovering future problems, not just present ones. Performance testing doesn’t tell you how something will perform in a few months when production conditions have (invariably) changed. It won’t tell you how easy it will be to modify the system to meet a pressing business need. And it won’t tell you how difficult it will be to transfer support to another team (internal or external). CAST AIP can do all of the above.

When something is this different it takes a while to appreciate the power of it.

Filed in: Technical Debt
  This report describes the effects of different industrial factors on  structural quality. Structural quality differed across technologies with COBOL  applications generally having the lowest densities of critical weaknesses,  while JAVA-EE had the highest densities. While structural quality differed  slightly across industry segments, there was almost no effect from whether the  application was in- or outsourced, or whether it was produced on- or off-shore.  Large variations in the densities in critical weaknesses across applications  suggested the major factors in structural quality are more related to  conditions specific to each application. CRASH Report 2020: CAST Research on  the Structural Condition of Critical Applications Report
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Open source is part of almost every software capability we use today. At the  very least libraries, frameworks or databases that get used in mission critical  IT systems. In some cases entire systems being build on top of open source  foundations. Since we have been benchmarking IT software for years, we thought  we would set our sights on some of the most commonly used open source software  (OSS) projects. Software Intelligence Report <> Papers
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