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Software Intelligence

What is Software Intelligence

Digital leaders are overwhelmed by the ever-growing complexity of custom-built applications that often entail multiple layers, languages, frameworks, databases, tens of thousands of objects, and numerous relationships between them. These software systems are becoming incredibly difficult to adapt and keep up with the ever-evolving needs of the business.

Enter software intelligence: actionable insights into the inner-working and structural condition of software assets.

It enables interpretation of data and source code structures so that business and technology leaders can better understand and control the complex software systems underpinning their business processes. With software that automatically ‘understands’ custom-built applications and provides these insights into their inner workings, these digital leaders can better deal with runaway software complexity.

In practice, this means they can make smarter decisions in terms of portfolio governance, cloud migration, and technical due diligence. It also enables greater speed of application modernization and refactoring, knowledge transfer (e.g. rapidly onboarding newcomers) and performing ongoing application maintenance. Finally, it enables better control of open-source security risks, intellectual property exposures, and green impact of their software.

Types of Software Intelligence

  • Composition – Information regarding open-source and own source component that make up the software applications and the inherent intellectual property, security, and obsolescence risks involved.
  • Internal structures – All data and code elements, e.g. functions, procedures, objects, methods, etc., across all layers and how they relate to one another. For example, elements that make up an end-to-end transaction from UI to the database and back, as well as all elements that access a particular data field, what are the API dependencies, and so on.
  • Structural flaws – Flaws in the internal structures of the application that can cause resiliency, resource efficiency, manageability, safety, architectural issues, and unexpected results.
  • Software grades – The exact structural condition of the software graded against standards like ISO 5055.
  • Software economics – understanding technical debt and functional size of the application vis a vis allocated maintenance resources.

Products for Automated Software Intelligence

The use and consumption of software intelligence depends on specific context. The intelligence can be provided in dashboards, lists of findings, recommendations, and more. It can also be visualized in the form of interactive maps of application inner workings, similar to how a Google Map allows users to zoom in and out with different levels of granularity into the inner structures of a city.

Automating the extraction of software intelligence saves an enormous amount of time and effort. Just as important, it ensures higher accuracy of findings versus semi-manually reverse-engineering a complex custom software system.

For instance, CAST highlight scans software depositories and automatically provides rapid highlights across an entire portfolio, giving views, drilldowns, and recommendations. It can act as a “control tower” to give decision makers actionable understanding of portfolio’s health, composition, cloud readiness, open-source risks, green impact, and more.

In contrast, CAST Imaging takes in all artifacts that make of a particular application and automatically provides deep insights, a knowledge base of it inner workings, via an interactive application map and displays all data and code elements, their relationships and transaction flows, enabling knowledge preservation and providing needed answers in minutes instead of days or even weeks.

For more on how to leverage software intelligence and its benefits see the Software Intelligence Pulse.