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CAST AI Administrators

Summary: this page explains how to configure Domains, Applications and the Delivery Manager role to organize access to and register new Applications.

Introduction

In previous versions of CAST, the tactical step of initiating the analysis process and the delivery of source code for analysis was responsibility of the "AI Administrator" (Application Intelligence Administrator) at the AI Center. The source code delivery did not follow a strict process and there were no tools to enforce a specific delivery format. This resulted in the source code being delivered in different formats and packaged differently between successive versions. This led to inconsistencies between versions and "pollution" of the source code analysis results and metric data.

CAST has now introduced a method for initiating, managing and automating the delivery of source code for analysis that is tightly integrated into the existing AI Center processes. This method brings together previous options and processes that have been available to CAST users for some time (namely the Discovery process - in the CAST Management Studio - for source code identification) and provides a new standalone tool that is used to manage the delivery of source code.

This method is known as source code delivery automation and the tools that are used to achieve this are known as the CAST AIC Portal and the CAST Delivery Manager Tool (or DMT). The aim of this document is to help position these tools and explain how they are configured and used.

Basic concepts

CAST AIC Portal

The CAST AIC Portal is a web application that is deployed on a supported Application Server (for example Apache Tomcat) in the local environment. It is designed to be accessed via a browser by the Delivery Manager(s) - when accessed, the CAST AIC Portal will "push" the CAST Delivery Manager Tool as a "local" installation on to the workstation of the Delivery Manager.

As such, multiple Delivery Managers can run the CAST Delivery Manager Tool on their own local machines and package only the source code they need to. Source code packaged by Delivery Managers is delivered to one central location (the Source Code Delivery Folder) managed by the CAST AIC Portal, which can then be retrieved by the AI Administrator using the CAST Management Studio (which is configured to retrieve the delivered source code from the central storage location managed by the CAST AIC Portal).

Note that the CAST AIC Portal contains a basic built in documentation that explains the main aspects of the Delivery process and how it works:

CAST Delivery Manager Tool

The CAST Delivery Manager Tool is a standalone application that entirely manages the discovery, selection, extraction and delivery of source code ready for analysis in the CAST Management Studio. It can be used in different scenarios and is designed to be flexible to accommodate most options. It is "pushed" by the CAST AIC Portal and is installed on the local workstation. It can be relaunched whenever required.

The Delivery Manager(s) is the person within the application team who is responsible for providing source code for analysis. The source code can be of different types including:

  • raw source code files
  • compressed archives containing source code
  • access details of Source Code Management (SCM) systems
  • access details for RDBMS

Regardless of the type of source code, the Delivery Manager(s) can use the CAST Delivery Manager Tool to package and deliver it to the CAST AIC Portal and then into the AI Center for analysis. There may be more than one Delivery Manager, for example when multiple technologies or distributed development teams are involved. The CAST AIC Portal supports and facilitates this distributed delivery model.

CAST schemas, Applications and CAST AIC Portal

CAST schemas and Applications

CAST recommends that each Application you need to onboard and analyze with CAST is configured to have sole use of a "triplet" of CAST schemas as follows:

Application 1 uses:

  • Management Service A
  • Analysis Service A
  • Dashboard Service A

If you need to analyze any additional Applications, CAST recommends that for each additional Application you install a new additional "triplet" of CAST schemas:

Application 2 uses:

  • Management Service B
  • Analysis Service B
  • Dashboard Service B

Onboarding multiple Applications in the same triplet of CAST schemas can cause inter-Applications links to be created and other potentially undesirable side-effects.

With regard to Measurement Services that are required for the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard, you can choose to:

  • Consolidate all Applications (regardless of whether their snapshot data is stored in multiple CAST Dashboard Services) in one Measurement Service - in this way, snapshot data from all Applications will be visible in one CAST Application Analytics Dashboard
  • Consolidate each Application in a separate Measurement Service and CAST Application Analytics Dashboard - this ensures that Application snapshot data is segregated.

Example setup

One example setup (when using the CAST Storage Service) would be to:

  • install all four CAST schemas in one go and onboard the first Application
  • install a "triplet" of CAST schemas in one go for each additional Application you want to onboard. Snapshot data from these Applications can be consolidated:
    • in the Measurement Service installed initially for the first Application (snapshot data for all Applications is consulted through one single CAST Application Analytics Dashboard)
    • or can be consolidated in additional standalone Measurement Services (snapshot data is segregated and is consulted for each Application through a dedicated CAST Application Analytics Dashboard for that Application)

CAST AIC Portal

CAST recommends using one CAST AIC Portal to manage source code for all Applications that you need to analyze with CAST. However, the CAST AIC Portal is CAST AIP version aware and can only manage Applications that are being administered with the same release of CAST AIP (in other words you cannot mix Applications that are being managed on CAST AIP 8.0.x with Applications that are being managed on CAST AIP 8.1.x - for example).

Please see Installing and configuring the CAST AIC Portal for more information.

Configuring domains and applications

As explained in CAST AIC Portal - Configuring user authentication, the configuration of Domains, Applications and the Delivery Manager role is achieved using the CAST AIC Portal GUI. Only a user that is a member of a group that has been assigned the Platform Administrator role (see also CAST AIC Portal - Configuring user authentication) can configure Domains, Applications and the Delivery Manager role, therefore you must connect to the CAST AIC Portal with a user that has this role (for example the default "cast" user).

Configuring Domains

 

Note that:

  • domains are used to group Applications together and associate them to a group of users that will manage their delivery (Delivery Manager role).
  • Note that only a user with the Platform Administrator role can configure Domains.
  • Connect to the CAST AIC Portal using the defined URL, for example: http://server:8080/CAST-AICP
  • Login with a user that is a member of a group that has been assigned the Platform Administrator role, for example the "cast" user if you are using "Default Authentication", or another user that is a member of an LDAP group that has been configured with the Platform Administrator role
  • When successfully connected, a list of Domains will be displayed. If this is the first time you have connected to the CAST AIC Portal, the "Default domain" will be the only available domain and will show 0 Apps (Applications) associated to it:

  • You can either add your Applications to this default domain, or you can create a custom domain and add Applications to this new custom domain.

Creating a new domain

  • To create a new domain, click the Register button (if you do not see the Register button, you do not have the Platform Administrator role) and select Register new domain from the drop down list:

  • Enter a name for your new domain (in this example we are creating a domain called "Back Office" to group all our back office Applications together) and click the Register button:

Note that you can configure your Delivery Managers when creating the domain, however, this process is explained separately in 1.2. Delivery Managers and other key participants.
  • Your new domain will be displayed alongside the Default domain and can now be used to register Applications:

Rename or delete an existing domain

  • To rename or delete an existing domain, click the three dots next to a domain name:

  • This will give you the choice of either editing the domain to rename it or deleting the domain entirely:

Note that if you attempt to delete a domain that contains Applications, the following confirmation message will be displayed:

Clicking OK will remove the domain and all its attached Applications. Any instances of the CAST Delivery Manager Tool that refer to an Application that has been deleted will no longer function.

Registering a new domain using the command line

If you want to employ an automated solution to create the domain and assign users and groups to this domain as Delivery Managers, you can do so using a command line tool provided with CAST AIP. Please see Automating CAST AIC Portal Configuration tasks for more information.

Configuring Applications

Note that only a user with the Platform Administrator role can configure Applications.
  • Connect to the CAST AIC Portal using the defined URL, for example: http://server:8080/CAST-AIC
  • Login with a user that is a member of a group that has been assigned the Platform Administrator role, for example the "cast" user if you are using "Default Authentication", or another user that is a member of an LDAP group that has been configured with the Platform Administrator role
  • When successfully connected, a list of Domains will be displayed. If this is the first time you have connected to the CAST AIC Portal, the "Default domain" will be the only available domain and will show 0 Apps (Applications) associated to it.
  • You can either add your Applications to this default domain, or you can create a custom domain and add Applications to this new custom domain (see section above about creating new domains).

Adding Applications to a domain

  • Click the Register button and select Register new Application from the drop down list:

  • A new interface will be displayed allowing you to choose the Domain you want the new Application to be associated to and the name of the new Application:

  • Choose the Domain you want to associate the Application to (in this example we are associating the new Application with the Back Office domain we created earlier):

  • Now enter a name for the new Application and click the Register button when ready:

Note that the Application Name field cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? " < > |

  • Your new Application will be displayed as follows:

Rename or delete an existing Application

  • To rename or delete an existing Application, click the three dots next to the Application's name (you may need to click the Domain name to "expand" the section in order to view the Applications):

  • This will give you the choice of either editing the Application to rename it or deleting the Application entirely:

Please note:

  • Deleting the Application will remove all trace of it, i.e. any Versions or Packages that have already been created/delivered will also be removed - this also applies to the CAST Management Studio - i.e. the Application will no longer be available to work on. Any existing instances of the CAST Delivery Manager Tool that refer to an Application that has been deleted will no longer function.
  • After renaming an Application, the Application name will also be updated in all associated tools - the CAST Management Studio and the CAST Delivery Manager Tool. However, to ensure the update is propagated correctly, you must do the following in the CAST Management Studio:
    • Use the File > Save All option (or save your modifications when exiting the CAST Management Studio) to ensure that the new Application name is saved in the Management Service schema
    • Run the Synchronize action manually in the CAST Management Studio (right click the CAST Dashboard Service and select Synchronize) or automatically as part of a another action (such as a snapshot generation) to ensure that the new Application name is saved in the Dashboard Service schema and is therefore displayed correctly in the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard (or the legacy CAST Engineering Dashboard):

    • Click the Upload Snapshots to Measurement Service option in the Application editor > Execute tab) to ensure that the new Application name is saved in the Measurement Service schema and is therefore displayed correctly in the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard:

Moving the Application to a different domain

When moving the Application to another domain, all users belonging to groups assigned to the other domain will gain Delivery Manager rights on the Application you move.
  • To move an existing Application to another domain, click the three dots next to the Application's name:

  • Select the Edit option:

  • Choose the new Domain in the drop down list and clicking Update to make the changes:

Note about invalid Applications

Note that if an Application is deemed "invalid", it is displayed in the CAST AIC Portal in red:

The only option available is to delete the Application.

An Application is generally considered to be invalid if it has been registered in the CAST AIC Portal but does not exist in the Delivery folder.

Registering a new Application using the command line

If you want to employ an automated solution to create the Application, you can do so using a command line tool provided with CAST AIP. Please see Automating CAST AIC Portal Configuration tasks for more information.


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