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Another Tool in the Cloud

We saw recently that Protecode added an online capability for a quick audit of software on a one-off basis. It involves upload by a user, automated analysis by Protecode-side tools, and then a manual review at Protecode just to make sure everything looks right. The tools themselves are hidden from the user.

They’ve now gone one step further and offered their tools outright through the cloud. To understand their motivation, it helps to review what their tools do. They analyze software – and we’re talking potentially huge projects involving many thousands of files – to establish both the source of any code that came from outside the company and the rights and obligations associated with the licenses for that code. It becomes a kind of software pedigree or provenance.

Some companies use this on an ongoing basis for a wide range of development projects; these tend to be large companies, and they install the tools the old-fashioned way. But some smaller companies or even investors want to check out code ad hoc when some sort of business deal is underway; this becomes part of the due diligence. The QuickAudit is one way to do that.

But in between, some companies may do analysis a couple times a year, in conjunction with major releases, for example. They don’t need the tool running all the time, but they have bigger projects than are allowed with the QuickAudit capability.

So these guys are the targets of the cloud implementation. There’s actually a second group they’re targeting as well: developers that have grown up doing all kinds of things in the cloud, and who therefore aren’t as concerned about it.

Subscribers get a dedicated machine at RackSpace as long as they have an active account. Protecode looked into providing “suspend” and “resume” capabilities, but they decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Unlike the quick audit offering, the cloud tool is full-featured (minus some features that were nonsensical in the cloud).

They can also install the cloud version on a private cloud, presumably with suitable inducements…

You can find more in their release.

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