Black Duck spruces up UI in software compliance system

Black Duck Software on Monday is releasing an upgrade to its protexIP system for software compliance management featuring an AJAX-based (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) user interface to increase responsiveness. A new software development kit also is a highlight.

Black Duck's platform helps companies comply with license terms of different software components. protexIP/development manages software component licenses through an application development process for all parties, including developers, attorneys and managers, the company said. Users can benefit from component-based software development while avoiding complications presented by licenses affecting specific components.

Version 4.0 of protexIP includes the new UI, a streamlined visual workflow and an obligation checklist to speed the software compliance management process, the company said. Precision code-matching technology is featured to increase productivity.

The UI provides a visual representation of work steps in compliance management, Black Duck said. AJAX increases the interface's responsiveness, particularly when navigating large code bases. Work steps include project management, code identification, component review and approval and reporting. Previously, Black Duck has provided a Web-based interface but the new interface is cleaned up a great deal and illustrates workflow, Jim Berets, director of product management at Black Duck, said.

A code navigator in the interface provides for review of all code within a project. Code can be highlighted that appears to have originated from an open source project or other external source. Or, the code can have an origin that requires legal or business approval for use.

The interface's obligation fulfillment checklist details license obligations accumulated from components in use in a project to verify adherence to obligations. The checklist can be extended to reflect customer-specific compliance checks.

The protexIP 4.0 SDK allows for integration of the protexIP platform with existing systems already in use in software development environments. Black Duck and partners can provide off-the-shelf integration solutions with development tools and environments such as software configuration management systems.

Black Duck previously has had internal APIs for integrations with some partners, but has not made an SDK available to customers until now. The company is offering the SDK as a fee-based option because not all of its customers need an SDK, Berets.

protexIP 4.0 features a role-based architecture to handle larger projects. Elements of the architecture include "precision technology" to speed code reviews and dependency analysis to report components outside of a project that might be of use in a project. Archive analysis is included to identify reused components that might be contained within composite files.

Version 4.0 of the product will be available in mid-November and is sold on an annual subscription basis that includes software, a knowledge base, product updates and customer support. ProtexIP/development Professional Edition, which is geared to individual users, starts in price at US$9,500. The Enterprise Edition, which is a multi-user, collaborative environment, is priced starting at US$25,000. The SDK costs US$10,000 and upward and requires base protexIP/development subscription.

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