Highlight Automated Code Scan (Command Line)

This page details how to automate source code scans by leveraging the Highlight command line and integrating it within your build or CI/CD environments.  This will allow you to continuously track and monitor software health and cloud readiness of your projects and applications. For any questions not addressed in this documentation, don’t hesitate to contact our support team.

Before getting started…

What is a Command Line?

For those who are not familiar with this concept, the Highlight command line is a Java binary which can be programmatically run using scripts and/or automated tasks. It replaces the Local Agent user interface using options you can configure in order to automate the code scan and results upload. In other words, you can configure the command line once to automatically scan the source code of a folder multiple times.  You can also exclude (for instance) some technologies/folders you don’t want to scan, and upload the results automatically to the SaaS platform on a regular timeline (e.g., every sprint/release).

Also, note that you can also run the command line as a Docker container. Our Docker is especially recommended for MacOS users.
Download the Command Line 5.4.105

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How to use the command line


Find below some examples of options you can reuse for your own code scan configuration.

A simple code scan of a Windows folder

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src"  --skipUpload

A simple code scan of a Linux folder

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "/home/user/highlight-myproject/" --sourceDir "/home/user/svn/myproject/src/"  --skipUpload

Use of a .properties file to centralize all options of the command line

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar –propertiesPath “C:\tmp\highlight.properties”

Read this article for more details

Scan only specific technologies (e.g. Java and Python)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --technologies "Java,Python" --skipUpload

Exclude folders with a specific string (e.g. test, jquery)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignoreDirectories "test,jquery" --skipUpload

Exclude paths with a specific pattern (e.g. vendor/js)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignorePaths ".*\/vendor\/js" --skipUpload

Exclude paths containing a specific string (e.g. pretestFolder)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignorePaths ".*test.*" --skipUpload

Exclude paths starting with a specific string (e.g. testFolder)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignorePaths "./test.*" --skipUpload

Scan and automatically upload results to the platform

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --login "john.doe@acme.com" --password "*******" --applicationId 1234 --companyId 5678 --serverUrl "https://rpa.casthighlight.com"

Exclude files from the scan if they contain “foo” in the file name independently of the extension

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignoreFiles ".*foo.*" --skipUpload

Exclude files from the scan if they contain “foo” name and have a .js extension

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignoreFiles ".*foo.*\.js" --skipUpload

Exclude files from the scan based on a specific file extension (e.g. .vue)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --ignoreFiles ".*\.vue" --skipUpload

Upload a result Zip file of an application that was previously scanned

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --uploadZipFile "C:\scans\HighlightResult.03_30_2022_14_40.zip" --serverUrl https://rpa.casthighlight.com --companyId 1234 --applicationId 5678 --tokenAuth *****-****-****-****-******* --workingDir "C:\temp"

Scan a Docker image (e.g., node:latest)

java -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --dockerImageNameTag node#latest --includeArchiveContent=3 --workingDir "C:\temp" --skipUpload

Command Line Options

 Displays the different options
 Print the supported technologies (e.g. Java, Python, COBOL, etc.)

Scan Options

--propertiesPath (optional)
The absolute path to the .properties file that will centralize and drive all other options of the command line.
--sourceDir (mandatory)
 The absolute path to the directory that contains the source code to be scanned by CAST Highlight.
--workingDir (mandatory)
 This is the absolute path to the Highlight working directory. Within this directory, a Highlight temporary folder ("HLTemporary") will be created and will contain scan result files (CSVs located in HLTemporary/analysis folder) and analysis log files (CSVs located in HLTemporary/discover folder). To make it short, this is the directory where you want to store scan results.
--technologies (optional)
 Technologies you want to explicitly scan in your sources. Separated by "," (See --printTechnos option above).
--ignoreDirectories (optional)
 Directory name patterns to ignore during the scan (e.g. test folders, .git, etc.). Separated by ",". Source code within directories matching with these patterns will be automatically excluded from the scan.
--ignorePaths (optional) List of regular expressions to ignore paths, separated by "|". Source code within directories matching with this regexp will be automatically excluded from the scan. Note that starting ^ and ending $ are implicit and don't need to be passed in this option.

--ignoreFiles (optional)
List of regular expression to ignore file names. Separated by ",". Files matching with these patterns will be automatically excluded from the scan. Example to exclude all files containing "foo" with a .js extension: --ignoreFiles ".*foo.*\.js"
--analyzerDir (optional) Alternate directory for Highlight's analyzer scripts.
--perlInstallDir (optional)
 Directory of perl installation (default: C:\Program Files\CAST\HighlightAgent\COTS\strawberry-perl-
--keywordScan (optional)
 Path and filename of your KeywordScan XML configuration file (e.g. C:\temp\KeywordScanner_GDPR.xml). Read this post for more information on the feature.
--skipUpload (optional)
 Will generate CSV results only, no result upload will be performed.
--analyzeBigFiles (optional)
 Will bypass the file size limitation of the analyzers (will eventually take longer to scan).
--allowGeneratedCode(optional) Will bypass the default exclusion of generated code files.
--includeAllDependencies (optional) Will bypass the automatic filtering of indirect dependencies found in node_modules.
--includeArchiveContent {levelOfDepth} (optional) Will extract content of archives (.jar, .tar, .zip, .war files) and add it as part of the scan. {levelOfDepth} is the level of depth within archives you want to apply (e.g., "includeArchiveContent 2" will recursively look into 2 level of archive files). Note that this option can increase the scanning time.
--dockerImageNameTage {imageName#tag} Will scan the Docker image corresponding to the provided tag (use '#' as a separator between image and tag). See this article for more information.

Upload Options

Below are the required options to use when you want to automatically upload scan results to the Highlight platform. Then, the option “–skipUpload” should be removed.

--login (mandatory)
 Login of an active Highlight user.
--password (mandatory)
 Password for the login indicated above.
Alternatively to login/password, you can use this option to pass your credentials encoded in base64
Alternatively to Basic authentication, you can use this option to pass your OAuth token

--companyId (mandatory) Identifyer for the company (can be retrieved from the Highlight portal, it is the ID displayed in the url when clicking on the top-level domain in "MANAGE PORTFOLIO > MANAGE APPLICATIONS" from the menu).
--applicationId (mandatory)
 Identifyer for the application (can be retried from the Highlight portal, it is the ID displayed in the url when editing an application in "MANAGE PORTFOLIO > MANAGE APPLICATIONS").
--serverUrl (mandatory)
 The Highlight server instance where the results has to be uploaded (user credentials have to work on this server). E.g. 'https://rpa.casthighlight.com'
--snapshotDatetime (optional)
 Time (epoch) to use for uploaded application snapshot.
--snapshotLabel (optional) The application snapshot label you want to display on the application result page on the portal (e.g. release version, build number, etc.).
--uploadZipFile (optional) This option will upload a result Zip file without running a code scan (the --workingDir option must be present).

Log files

The log file (HLAutomation.log) is produced after the command line is run and is stored in the working directory (–workingDir) that has been set in the options.

Running the CLI with a proxy
Running the command line from a machine behind a proxy will require to launch the CLI’s JAR with the following options.

Proxy with no password

-Dhttps.proxyHost=<your proxy host>
-Dhttps.proxyPort=<your proxy port>


Proxy with credentials:

If a password is required, add the following additional parameter



java -Dhttps.proxyHost=your proxy host -Dhttps.proxyPort=your proxy port -Dhttps.proxyUser=user -Dhttps.proxyPassword=password -jar HighlightAutomation.jar --workingDir "C:\highlight-myproject" --sourceDir "C:\myproject\src" --login xxx --password xxxx


For Windows
Java 11 and above is required.

Prior using the command line, it is preferable to install the Highlight Local Agent on your machine, in order to embed the required Perl binaries. Alternatively, you can install the required Perl distribution (Strawberry) if you don’t want to install the Local Agent. The Local Agent can be downloaded from your Highlight user account, in the APPLICATION SCANS page.


For Linux Debian/Ubuntu

The following components must be installed on your machine: Perl 5 (tested on Strawberry, libjson-perl, libxml-libxml-perl

$>perl -v
on debian/ubuntu systems
$>dpkg –get-selections libxml-libxml-perl libjson-perl

Java 11 and above
$>java -version


For Linux – RHEL/CENTOS based systems

Install the libraries: perl-XML-LibXML, perl-JSON and perl-Digest-SHA

$>yum -y install perl-Digest-SHA
$>yum -y install perl-JSON
$>yum -y install perl-XML-LibXML
$>yum -y install perl-Time-HiRes
$>yum -y install perl-Math-BigInt


For MacOS

For MacOS users, using our Docker image is recommended to run the command line as a container.

$>perl -v

$>cpan install XML::LibXML
$>cpan install JSON


For SSO/SAML users

SSO/SAML users must use user tokens to authenticate and upload result files to the CAST Highlight platform. See how the feature works.

CLI error codes

– Ok

1 – Command Line general failure
2 – Command Line options parse error
3 – Command Line techno discovery error
4 – Command Line analysis error
5 – Command Line result upload error
6 – Command Line source dir or output dir validation error
7 – Command Line result saving to zip file error
8 – Command Line upload from zip file error


CLI logs

Running the command line will create an HLAutomation.log that contains traces of a scan. This file is located in the specificed working directory (–workingDir).


Generated Code exclusion

By default, the command line excludes files that are known as generated code. These files are following the patterns below. In case you would want to scan these files, use the –allowGeneratedCode option.

*.designer.vb, *.designer.cs, *.reference.cs, *.reference.vb

Integration Templates & Tutorials

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Feature Focus: Personalized User Home Pages

CAST Highlight enables you to define the content of your home page by adding widgets that display the insights that matter the most to you. Learn how to use the feature in this article.

Feature Focus: OSS Component Lifespan Insights

CAST Highlight automatically calculates a lifespan status on open-source software (OSS) components. This status identifies whether a component is active, possibly deprecated, or immature. See in this article how the feature works and how to leverage this new SCA insight for more informed decisions.

Feature Focus: Custom Cloud Service Recommendations

In the realm of software development, harnessing the power of the Cloud has become a cornerstone for modern applications. CAST Highlight has released a new capability giving users more flexibility to define Cloud native service recommendations for their applications. With the introduction of Custom Cloud Service Recommendations, you now can manually pick and add platform-specific Cloud native services to the list of automatically recommended services for an application. Let’s see how the feature works.

Feature Focus: SBOM Import

By importing SBOMs in CycloneDX format, CAST Highlight can instantly analyze every component, check for known vulnerabilities, identify any licensing issues, and highlight any outdated components. It’s like having a super-powered microscope that can instantly see all the tiny details that you might miss, without even having to scan the source code or binaries. And that’s the interesting part of this SBOM importing capability. Let’s see how it works.

Feature Focus: Scanning Docker Images

Containerization has become increasingly popular in modern applications, with Docker images providing a lightweight and portable way of packaging and deploying software. However, scanning source code of custom applications is not enough to guarantee the security of a containerized application. CAST Highlight has developed a new capability that allows users to scan the contents of a Docker image to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities. See how the capability works.

Feature Focus: Portfolio Advisor for Software Maintenance

Managing an application portfolio is like leading a 🏀 basketball team. Just like a coach needs to carefully balance their team’s offense and defense to win games (and hopefully the playoffs), a technology leader needs to manage their application portfolio to ensure applications are performing at their best. Our new capability, the Portfolio Advisor for Software Maintenance, acts like a coach’s playbook, helping you identify which areas of your team need attention and which applications are performing well. See how the feature works.

Feature Focus: Continuous Improvement Tracker

Are you tired of feeling lost in a maze when it comes to governing your application portfolio? Like a person wandering through a labyrinth, you navigate through complex systems without a clear sense of direction or progress. You have a general idea of where you want to go, but you lack a tangible roadmap and a way to measure your progress. CAST Highlight’s new capability, the Continuous Improvement Tracker, creates a clear path through your portfolio governance journey. Learn how the capability works in this article.