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CAST AIP (Application Intelligence Platform) is a suite of applications, tools and components designed to measure software health, size, flaws and generate architectural blueprints of multi-tiered, multi-technology software. This documentation page provides a very high level architectural overview of CAST AIP and provides information about the role each application/tool/component within the "suite" has.

Typically, the applications, tools and components within the CAST AIP "suite" can be divided into the following groupings:

Each component is explained in more detail below:



Management

AIP Console

CAST AIP  is piloted via the AIP Console - a front end web application that can be installed on Microsoft Windows or Linux and provides services that are required to configure and run AIP analyses remotely on multiple analysis machines. It supports the full AIP analysis process from registering the application to producing the snapshots and viewing the dashboards. It integrates the features coming from different components, for example -

  • Server Manager, an application to manage CAST AIP schemas and server-side components which are already installed on a selected schema.
  • Management Studio, where source code analysis and snapshot generation is done.
  • Transaction Configuration Center, which maps end-to-end transaction flows in an application starting from UI layer to database layer.
  • Architecture Checker, which enables enterprise design and architecture checks

AIP Console is designed such that it allows you to - 

  • Manage multiple "nodes" (i.e. AIP Core analysis engines) to spread the analysis load
  • Create Applications
  • Deliver source code for analysis
  • Configure analysis
  • Run analyses/snapshots
  • Check logs
  • Manage CAST extensions
  • Manage transactions
  • Manage architecture models
  • Direct access to CAST Dashboards to check analysis/snapshot results

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Production

AIP Core analysis engine

AIP Core is the analysis "engine" - a software package installed on Microsoft Windows. It can be installed on one or multiple Windows servers (or "AIP nodes") and is fully managed by the AIP Console front end web application. This is known as the "CAST AIP setup" in "legacy" terms.

AIP Node back-end

A software package that provides the communication between the AIP Core analysis engine and the AIP Console front end web application. The AIP Node package must be installed alongside the AIP Core analysis engine, on each server (AIP node) managed by the AIP Console.



Storage

CAST Storage Service / PostgreSQL

Data produced by the AIP Core analysis engine needs to be stored somewhere before it can be "consumed". This requirement is fulfilled by the open-source RDBMS PostgreSQL which CAST AIP is optimized to work with. PostgreSQL has been chosen largely due to its low cost (i.e. free) and fast performance. CAST provides PostgreSQL as a custom Windows installable package, or it can be installed on all mainstream Linux distributions via the repository system. CAST highly recommends the use of PostgreSQL on a Linux instance as this consistently gives the best performance during analyses.



Consumption

Results produced by the AIP Core analysis engine are consumed/exploited via browser based "dashboards". These are delivered:

  • as an embedded package of the AIP Console (allowing direct access from the Console)
  • as a separate standalone package

Dashboards require an Apache Tomcat web application server on a dedicated Microsoft Windows or Linux server.

Health Dashboard

  • Designed to provide an "at-a-glance" summary of your software health in terms of robustness, security, efficiency, changeability, transferability and quality.
  • Accurate sizing metrics
  • Heatmap to quickly find the highest risk
  • Trending analysis to benchmark performance over time
  • Fast facts on the evolution of your software

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Engineering Dashboard

  • Detailed information about multi-component software flaws
  • Ability to validate against industry standard rules

  • Drill-down to identify specific code location of critical flaws

  • Architectural flaws inside the riskiest objects and transactions

  • Action plans based on optimized list of high impact issues

  • Insight into why specific defects are occurring and guidelines for fast remediation

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Imaging System

Software visualization solution for navigating through the application architecture layer by layer. It is a single page application that can be accessed by any developer, architect, business executive to get insight into architecture, technologies, frameworks and other functional layers of the application. It provides a multi-dimensional view and lets you drill down up to 5 layers of the application. The software is entirely standalone and can be installed on any dedicated Windows server.

Enlighten

Software package delivered as part of the AIP Core analysis engine. Provides blueprinting of complex software to understand as-is architecture and the impact of changes.

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Configuration

Transaction Configuration Center

A software package delivered as part of the AIP Core analysis engine and also in the AIP Console front-end web application. Designed to provide calibration functionality for the initial automatic Function Point count produced by the AIP Core analysis engine (using OMG-compliant Automated Function Points). Calibration includes removing technical and temporary objects from the list of Function Points counted, aggregating and splitting several function points into one and changing the type of the Data or Transactional Functions.

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Architecture Checker

Architecture Checker is an installable software package that provides the ability to create custom architecture and quality rule models for a given application. Models are validated during source code analyses and results are produced in the form of violations of the model. The software is entirely standalone and can be installed on any Windows server. In addition, the majority of the capabilities provided in the installable software can also be found directly in the AIP Console front-end web application.

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Reporting

Report Generator

Report Generator is an installable software package for automatic generation of reports based on data generated by CAST AIP. The solution provides the opportunity (for example) to prepare and automate assessments for each new version of application analyzed with CAST AIP. Documents are based on Microsoft Office templates and can be modified to prepare a specific template to meet a particular use case or to comply with a company format. After generation, the resulting document can be further adapted if necessary.



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