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Introduction

The Extensions Strategy setting provides various options for managing at a global level (i.e. for all Applications managed in the AIP Console) the extensions that are used in each Application analysis. The main objective of these options is to ensure that the extensions that are available for use in an analysis by an Application owner or Analysis Manager can be controlled - for example, admins can choose to do any of the following:

  • allow/prevent the use of specific extensions depending on their status (LTS, funcrel, beta, alpha etc.)
  • allow only specific extensions and specific versions of extensions to be used in all analyses - a white list
  • force the installation/use of specific extensions in all analyses

The settings can be seen as controlling mechanisms to prevent or grant access to any specific official or custom extensions that have been published by CAST. It is not mandatory to make any changes to the default options, however, CAST does recommend that you evaluate the correct strategy for your own environment.

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Out of the box settings

Out of the box, AIP Console will have the following pre-defined settings:

The Extension Version Range is set to Funcrel and LTS. This means that Beta and Alpha releases will not be automatically installed:

A set of extensions (providing reporting capabilities) have been added to the whitelist and set to force install out of the box (and also after upgrade). This means that these extensions will be will be installed for all Applications managed within AIP Console during the next source code delivery:

The extensions are the following (those marked with a * are User Community extensions):

These extensions provide reports post analysis to help you validate your results. It is not mandatory to use them (they can be disabled), but they do provide additional insight. Some additional notes:

  • If any of these extensions are already installed on your Applications, then nothing will happen, the version you are using will not be overridden.
  • If you are using CAST Extend Offline or CAST Extend local server and you intend to use these extensions (i.e. leave them enabled) you must ensure that you update your service to include these extensions.

Extension versions range

This option provides the option to control which type of extensions can be used for Application analyses (you can see more about this in Release types).

  • LTS (or longterm: Long Term Support)
  • Funcrel (i.e.: Functional Release)
  • Beta
  • Alpha

For example, it may not be desirable to allow the use of extensions that are in Funcrel, Beta or Alpha status in a "production" analysis. Therefore the slider can be adjusted to allow only LTS extensions:

When the strategy is updated, a notification is displayed:

This strategy change will be visible at Application level when looking at the Available Extensions tab (see Application - Extensions) - only extensions whose version status matches the strategy chosen at global level will be available for selection - in the image below, Funcrel, Beta and Alpha extensions are no longer available since the strategy has been changed to LTS only:

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Enable auto update

When activated, this option provides a global (i.e. for all Applications managed in AIP Console) method of ensuring that:

  • all Applications will always use the latest release for all Included extensions (AIP Console will respect the setting applied via the Extension versions range slider - in other words, if you only permit LTS or funcrel via the slider, the "latest extension" will be the most recent LTS or funcrel release - any other more recent alpha or beta releases will be ignored)
  • and that a manual update of an extension release is disabled (i.e. not possible to change the extension release in the Application - Extensions screen):

In addition, when this option is activated (not the default position):

  • the setting will be applied only to those Applications where the Enable Auto Configuration option is already enabled (default position):

Enable white list

This option controls which extensions and which versions of extensions can be used in all analyses (a white list). By default the option is deactivated:

When this option is activated:

  • AIP Console will only offer (via the Available Extensions tab (see Application - Extensions)) extensions that have been explicitly added to this list. I.e. if the extension is not present in the list, it cannot be downloaded and used in an analysis.
  • any extension that is automatically "discovered" by AIP Console (i.e. required for analysis) or automatically installed via an Objective MUST be present in the list before an analysis can proceed. If not, the analysis will fail.
  • the Enable auto update option will be automatically disabled.
  • the version number locking mechanism is also enabled (see below)

Before activating the option you need to first decide which extensions you will add to the list. You can select the extensions by clicking the ADD button and then choosing the extensions you want:

Note that you can also:

  • search for a specific extension using the search field at the top of the dialog
  • use the ALL FROM PRODUCT option to add ALL extensions to the list

Extensions that you have added will then be visible in the list - in the example below, the Apache Tiles extension has been added. Note that there is no specific version number listed - this will only appear after the first analysis run.

If you no longer wish to retain an extension in the list, you can remove it using the trash can icon - note that removing an extension from the list when the Enable white list option is enabled will prevent an analysis from proceeding if the extension is required (i.e. "discovered").

Version number locking mechanism

The version number locking mechanism is only active when the Enable white list option is active. It will ensure that a specific version of the extension is always used for your analyses, therefore providing result stability. During the first analysis following the addition of an extension to the list (whether for White list or Force installation purposes), the version number of the extension used in that analysis will be displayed, and then all subsequent analyses will always use this specific version of the extension - i.e. the version number is "locked".

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To change the release number of an extension once it is "locked" to a specific version requires the following process:

  • Remove the extension from the list (use the trash can icon)
  • Deactivate the Enable white list and/or Enable force installation options
  • Go to the Included Extensions tab at Application level for the next Application to be analyzed (see Application - Extensions) and select the appropriate version of the extension you require
  • Return to the Admin Center and re-activate the Enable white list and/or Enable force installation options
  • Re-add the extension to the list
  • Run an analysis for the next Application to be analyzed
  • The new release number for the extension will now be displayed and "locked"

Enable force installation

This option controls which extensions will always be used for all analyses (i.e. force the use of). By default the option is active:

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You now need to decide which extensions you will add to the list (some extensions are already listed "out of the box"). You can select the extensions by clicking the ADD button and then choosing the extensions you want:


Note that you can also:

  • search for a specific extension using the search field at the top of the dialog
  • use the ALL FROM PRODUCT option to add ALL extensions to the list

When this option is activated it will make the force install sliders available for each extension that has been added to the list. If the Enable force installation option is disabled, then the Force install sliders are also disabled:


You can therefore enable a Force install slider for a specific extension - by doing so, the extension will ALWAYS be used in an analysis. This strategy change will be visible at Application level when looking at the Included Extensions tab (see Application - Extensions) and filtering on Force Installed:

If you no longer wish to retain an extension in the list, you can remove it using the trash can icon - note that removing an extension from the list when the Enable white list option is enabled will prevent an analysis from proceeding if the extension is required (i.e. "discovered").

Rules

The following rules are in operation:

  • After source code delivery, extensions discovered by AIP Console will be used:
    • except if the white list is enabled and the extension is not present in the list (in which case the analysis will not be permitted to proceed)
    • latest/recommended release of the extension is used if the extension is in the white list but not yet "locked" to a specific release
    • "locked" release is always used if the extension is present in the list and "locked" to a specific release
    • if the "locked" release is an LTS, all Service Pack releases can be also selected for use at Application level. If a Service Pack releases is manually selected, it will be used for the current Application only
    • if the release of any dependent extension is older than the "locked" release, then the "master" extension cannot be used in the current Application
  • After source code delivery, extensions set as "force install" will be used:
    • latest/recommended version of the extension is used if the extension is not yet "locked" to a specific release
    • "locked" release is always used if the extension is "locked" to a specific release
    • if the "locked" release is an LTS, all Service Pack versions can be also selected for use at Application level. If a Service Pack release is manually selected, it will be used for the current Application only
  • After source code delivery when extensions are present in the list and Enable white list option enabled, it is only possible to add additional extensions that are in the list:
    • latest/recommended release of the extension is used if the extension is not yet "locked" to a specific release
    • "locked" release is always used if the extension is "locked" to a specific release
    • if the "locked" release is an LTS, all Service Pack versions can be also selected for use at Application level. If a Service Pack version is manually selected, it will be used for the current Application only
    • it is not possible to change the release of a "locked" extension
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