CAST

Spring Cleaning the Software Shop

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A Forced “Spring Cleaning” in 2020

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt far and wide across the globe. From healthcare to business to politics to education and beyond, this pandemic has affected so many lives in such a short time. In the world of Software Intelligence, we are seeing the impact in a very pragmatic way. The effect it has had on IT in most organizations is forcing these organizations to take a step back and truly assess the state of their application portfolios. In other words, they are taking this opportunity to “clean up the shop” and better prepare the organization’s technology assets for the new working environment. Coincidentally, this trend has occurred at the exact time as many perform “spring cleaning”. It got me thinking about the origins of spring cleaning, and what it could mean for a software shop.

Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house in the springtime. There are several possible origins identified including Persia, Judaism, and Catholicism. However, over the years, spring cleaning became a common practice especially in climates with cold winters. In the continental and wet climates of North America and Northern Europe, it became a tradition for more practical reasons. Early spring was warm enough to start opening windows to air out the house, yet cool enough to not worry about insects. The desired outcome of spring cleaning was to get the home in shape for the warmer months when there will be more socializing, entertaining, and holiday activities later in the year. For particularly larger households, the intent was to improve health, efficiency, and make room for new furniture, accessories, etc. These same principles mirror the assessments we have seen many large IT organizations perform on their application portfolios over the past few months.

Tidying up the Application Portfolio

We’ve all heard the trends around COVID-19’s impact on IT, including an increase in work from home, significant internet traffic spikes, and an emphasis on infrastructure cost reduction. The predictions vary somewhat and it’s still early for reliable statistics. However, one trend that appears to be a universal consensus is the accelerated adoption of cloud computing by many organizations. At CAST, we have seen significant growth in the CAST Highlight business over the last two quarters. CAST Highlight now has 40K applications onboarded across hundreds of clients, and subscriptions have grown by 84% year over year. New clients include AT&T, U.S. Air Force, Microsoft, Deloitte, and Amazon, to name a few. This is not surprising since CAST Highlight’s ability to rapidly assess application portfolios helps organizations perform smarter application rationalization, accelerated cloud migration, and enhanced open source risk management. In other words, it enables spring cleaning for the software shop.

The June 2020 release of CAST Highlight enables more effective spring cleaning for your application portfolios with several new key features including:

  • The ability to now search the entire database of 78+ million third party components and manage approved / unauthorized policy lists, thereby reducing the risks associated with open source software;
  • An estimation of the effort to make a portfolio or application cloud-ready, enabling smarter cloud migration planning; and
  • New cloud-ready patterns for mainframe applications including COBOL, facilitating a deeper dig into the IT closet to uncover opportunities to migrate legacy software to the cloud much sooner.

These are just some of the new features in the CAST Highlight June 2020 release that demonstrate our continued commitment to innovate Software Intelligence for rapid application portfolio analysis. See below for the rest of the new features in this release:

What’s new in CAST Highlight?

SCA Component Search and White/Black List Management

SCA Component Search and White/Black List Management

Search the CAST Highlight database made up of over 78 million third-party components and add them to a whitelist or blacklist based on their security, license or obsolescence risks. To improve compliance processes, this is now possible even if the component is not already in your application

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CloudReady Effort Estimate

CloudReady Effort Estimate

Get an estimate of the required effort to remove Cloud Blockers from your applications to speed up migration to cloud PaaS. CAST Highlight comes with an out-of-the-box effort template that you can customize for each supported technology.

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CloudReady patterns for Mainframe

CloudReady patterns for Mainframe

This new version of CAST Highlight adds a brand new series of CloudReady patterns dedicated to Mainframe applications. 15 blockers and 10 boosters are now available for COBOL.

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Portfolio and App-Level Cloud Service Recommendations

Portfolio and App-Level Cloud Service Recommendations

CAST Highlight integrates Software Intelligence analytics of an application to help cloud architects identify the best cloud services to adopt for their custom apps from Cloud vendors. Today, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are supported.

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Extended Single Sign On Support

Extended Single Sign On Support

We recently made significant progress on SAML2 that makes SSO integration much easier and the user experience smoother. Don’t hesitate to contact CAST’s Professional Services team to enable SSO for your CAST Highlight instance.

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JIRA Server Extension

JIRA Server Extension

The CAST Highlight JIRA extension is now available for JIRA Server. This extension allows you to automatically create JIRA issues based on CloudReady and SCA results and assign them to your teams.

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Campaign Management Improvements

Campaign Management Improvements

Several new features have been added to optimize the campaign management experience including: a Blind Contributor role, Re-send user invitation, and the campaign launch message length is extended to 4,000 characters.

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Useful resources to get started

Useful Resources to Get Started

The CAST Highlight team has developed very useful resources to help you onboard the platform, operate automation and API tools and leverage our software analytics within your organization.
Visit the Product Tutorial page.

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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
In our 29-criteria evaluation of the static application security testing (SAST)  market, we identified the 10 most significant vendors — CAST, CA Veracode,  Checkmarx, IBM, Micro Focus, Parasoft, Rogue Wave Software, SiteLock,  SonarSource, and Synopsys — and researched, analyzed, and scored them. This  report shows how each measures up and helps security professionals make the  right choice. Forrester Wave: Static Application Security Testing, Q4 2017  Analyst Paper
Making sense of cloud transitions for financial and telecoms firms Cloud  migration 2.0: shifting priorities for application modernization in 2019  Research Report
Greg Rivera
Greg Rivera Vice President
As Vice President of CAST Highlight, Greg leads product strategy for the CAST SaaS platform helping customers and partners accelerate app modernization / cloud migration, rationalize their app portfolios, and reduce open source risk. He has worked with Fortune 1000 companies such as Microsoft, IDG Communications, and Arrow Electronics for over 20 years in technology and media, helping them make successful digital transformations. Greg has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Management of Technology and is passionate about applying technology to improve business and our everyday lives.
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