Managing Code, Database and Storage Expansion

By Brian T. Horowitz  |  Posted 2011-01-20 Print this article Print

I have some visions: I'm working with some of my colleagues in Europe about offering a common portal for all applications and sponsors, not just with intelligent forms but also with software service providers. So that depending on the size of the pharmaceutical company, they can go there to get whatever they need so they can have quality good submission of dossiers to the regulators. And, of course, we also need to do this worldwide.

We're entering a period with very severe pressures on budgets. We have very strong pressure to reduce the cost of operation and also the cost of development.

How does the EMA's structural analysis software measure and scrutinize the 70 terabytes of data the agency stores?

We're using a product from a French company called Know and Decide, which allows us to monitor the consumption of actual storage used.

For us, this addresses two important issues: to understand where we have duplicates we can throw out, and the second, which in many ways is more demanding, I find myself at the beginning of every year signing purchase orders for what are large amounts of additional hard disk storage. My people assure me that that will be comfortably enough for the next two years.

What is Cast and how does it work?

Cast is a tool that analyzes source code. It looks at tables that don't have foreign keys.

If you have a source code versioning system, then you try to provision a project team for licenses for Cast and ask them to run against code produced at least once per iteration. And you would look at the results. It reports against a whole number of headlines to do with performance, maintainability, to do with several other issues. There are a total of six or seven headings. It will actually report to myself as the CIO-but more important to the project manager and the software architect-a state of health of that source code.

We are now moving into a better proactive use of the tool. At the moment we have 125 seats licensed for the use of Cast.


Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company,, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents,, USA Weekend and, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.

Follow him on Twitter: @bthorowitz


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