Adding Some Wisdom to Software Intelligence


We have plenty of data. How about some actionable information?

Years ago when I was working for Microsoft, the company embarked on a major re-branding initiative for its search engine, called “Windows Live Search” at the time. I remember joking with some members of the search brand team about how the “other folks” can help you search for stuff, but Microsoft will actually help you find what you are seeking. Why not just re-brand our search engine as “Find”? I am not sure if my idea was ever considered seriously, but obviously the brand team liked “Bing” better, and the rest is history.

This did get me thinking about the current state of analytical software products we use in business every day. We are inundated with data constantly. But, what do we actually do with all of this data? What we really need is more actionable information. This is what we constantly stive for with CAST Highlight and Software Intelligence. With the latest release of CAST Highlight, I believe we really nailed it this time.

Making Software Intelligence More Actionable

Cloud Readiness insights have been part of CAST Highlight for over three years and we have continued to enhance this capability in every release. The product automatically analyzes application source code and delivers valuable insights about an application’s cloud readiness, such as: cloud migration blocker patterns (obstacles), cloud service recommendations, remediation effort estimates, containerization requirements, and much more. One of the more popular dashboards in the product is the CloudReady Decision Matrix, shown here:


This dashboard plots every application within a portfolio on a matrix that includes Business Impact and CloudReadiness as the axes, along with the number of migration roadblocks represented by the bubble size. Although this dashboard provides very useful data, it requires some added wisdom from an architect to interpret the results and make recommendations on how to segment applications in a portfolio into different migration categories, such as Rehost, Refactor, Replace, etc.


For years, the product team has discussed how valuable it would be to automate segmentation recommendations and prioritization of an application portfolio. We have all the data. Can we build some wisdom on top of our Software Intelligence and make these recommendations even more actionable? Can we also make it flexible enough for users that have a little more insight into their portfolio to modify the recommendations if needed? The answer to these questions is now yes!

Introducing the Portfolio Advisor for Cloud

In this latest release of CAST Highlight, we have added a layer of wisdom on top our Software Intelligence via the innovative Portfolio Advisor for Cloud. This new capability automatically segments application portfolios comprised of 100s (or even 1000s) of apps in seconds using a model similar to the ubiquitous Gartner 5 Rs. By clicking a button, it automatically recommends which applications are the best candidates to Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild, or Retire using fact-based Software Intelligence derived from the source code. Users can customize the recommendations and tailor their roadmaps directly within the Portfolio Advisor for Cloud user interface.


We know CAST Highlight has proven time and again to dramatically reduce the time to assess an application portfolio by up to 5x. We cannot wait to see what out partners and clients can do now that we have automated even more of the process by adding a little bit of wisdom to our Software Intelligence in CAST Highlight.

Read more below about the other new capabilities in this latest release of CAST Highlight.

What’s new in CAST Highlight?

Portfolio Advisor for Cloud

Portfolio Advisor for Cloud

Dramatically speed up the time for developing a cloud migration portfolio roadmap with automatic recommendations on how to segment applications into different migration categories such as: Rehost, Refactor, Retire, etc. This new version of CAST Highlight now includes the innovative Portfolio Advisor for Cloud, a dedicated portfolio-level report that automatically recommends migration segments for each application. Future versions of the Portfolio Advisor will enable users to customize the model and segment names as well as support other use cases.

Automated Security Insights (CWEs) on Open Source Components

Automated Security Insights (CWEs) on Open Source Components

Reduce security risk by analyzing potential vulnerabilities of Open Source components before they even become officially reported CVEs in the NVD. With the new Open Source Software Intelligence Database (OSSIDB), CAST Highlight automatically identifies Common Weakness Enumerations (CWEs) within popular OSS components, leveraging CAST’s unique structural code analysis capabilities. These CWEs represent potential future CVEs detected automatically by CAST technology.

Atlassian BitBucket Code Scan Plugin

Atlassian BitBucket Code Scan Plugin

Speed up the onboarding process for applications that use BitBucket as a code repository with the new CAST Highlight BitBucket plugin available in the Atlassian marketplace. Select the repositories to be scanned directly from within BitBucket and the plugin orchestrates CAST Highlight’s command line to do the rest.

Industry Benchmark Reporting

Industry Benchmark Reporting

Optimize your application portfolio and prioritize software development efforts by comparing your applications against other organizations in the same industry. The CAST Highlight benchmark report now includes industry and a few other new dimensions.

Go Support for Software Health Insights

Go Support for Software Health Insights

CAST Highlight increases its technology coverage by now supporting Golang with 30+ software health code insights for assessing applications developed in Google’s statically typed programming language.

Data Retention Policy Notifications

Data Retention Policy Notifications

Gain clarity and an optimized user experience with the new data retention policy report. CAST Highlight now gives you a preview of available scan data points that will be archived on a quarterly basis.

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.

Filed in: CAST Highlight
Tagged: Highlight
  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
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
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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