Developers as a part of development life cycle process use static analysis tool for their code testing purposes. Developer’s code is used as input to such tool and the tool is executed for analysis. The static analysis tools also help developer to understand the code structure and enforce them to use coding standards.
Majority of programmers or developers work with stringent timelines, so they take shortcuts while writing the code. They skip coding conventions, standards and best practices of writing the code. If they work in a team, they get merge conflicts due to the coding errors. To keep consistency in code quality, developers should use static code analyzers that may take away some of their burden for bug detection or syntax errors. These static code analyzers help them detecting the errors, report code violations and vulnerabilities.
General features provided by such tools are listed below:
- Determine cyclomatic complexity
- Enforce coding standards
- Analyze code structure
- Help in code understanding
- Identify defects and vulnerabilities in code
- Analyze code dependencies
Let’s have a look at such tools and understand how they work.
The following are the types of defects/errors/vulnerabilities can be detected using Coverity® Quality Advisor:
- Insecure data handling
- Resource leaks
- Incorrect usage of APIs
- Use of uninitialized data
- Memory corruption
- Error handling issues
- Unsafe use of signed values
- Incorrect expressions
- Concurrency Issues
- Dereferences of NULL pointers
- Buffer overruns
- Insecure data handling
For more information on Code Compare, please visit www.coverity.com
Klocwork is an automated source code analysis tool that helps development team who works with agile methodology, continuous integration and works under pressure of delivering functional, safe, and compliant code on time.
Klocwork discovers the problems in the code at the earliest possible point before the build. This in turn saves cost and schedule by eliminating the tasks of testing. Klocwork provides coverage well beyond syntax and semantics, identifying critical security, safety, and coding standards issues in front of developers’ eyes – well before check in. And all this is done within many common IDEs, including Eclipse, Visual Studio, and IntelliJ IDEA.
For more information on klocwork, please visit http://www.klocwork.com/capabilities/static-code-analysis
Parasoft is a software that enables developers to efficiently deliver defect-free application faster. It is reliable tool for static analysis. It accurately detects broadest range of defects across C/C++, Java, and .NET languages.
Parasoft’s static analysis tool peforms multiple level of code analysis for the following:
- Critical leaks,
- Erratic behavior,
- Security vulnerabilities
For more information on Parasoft, please visit https://www.parasoft.com/capability/static-analysis/
CAST provides an Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) to identify code defects of a multi-tiered, multiple technology infrastructure. CAST AIP analyzes the application source code by categorizing business function into measurable unit. The code analysis tool offers a solution to application complexity, risk and quality.
Usually, the defects reside between multiple application layers in a multi-tiered environment. CAST is the right tool that highlights the defects, identifies unknown problems and captures the areas that need improvements in code.
For more information on CAST, please visit http://www.castsoftware.com/products/code-analysis-tools
FindBugs is a static code analysis tool for Java. Static analysis tool are widely used for detecting defects in the organizations. The reason to use such tool is improvisation in code quality and application performance. The FindBugs analysis engine reports nearly 300 different bug patterns. It has a plug-in architecture in which bug detectors are defined and each detector can report several different bug patterns. These detectors are written in Java using different techniques.
Some of the error detections by FindBugs are deliberate errors such as runtime exception handling, masked errors, infeasible statement, branch or situation or computation is already doomed.
It is often possible to just understand the defect with FindBug and fix it without expending the effort required to do a full analysis of the possible impact of the fault (or the fix) on application behavior. However, even simple defects show holes in the test coverage and give developers knowledge to create additional unit tests to supplement defect fixes.
For more information on FindBugs, please visit http://findbugs.sourceforge.net/
PMD is a source code analysis and bug detection tool for Java. It is similar to Coverilty, FindBugs and Checkstyle. It can be directly incorporated into an Ant or Maven build. It uses rules for performing source code analysis. It searches for inefficient code, defects and other such issues.
There is lots of similarities between FindBugs and PMD. But, the biggest difference between PMD and FindBugs is that FindBugs works on byte code, whereas PMD works on source code.
Based on the nature or type of the application artifact, the developer can decide on which one to select between PMD and FindBugs for analysis.
PMD’s focus area is to find programming bad practices , duplicate code, extra imports, variable declaration and many more. The tool reports violations that can be rectified by code refactoring. This can reduce potential problems and improve overall maintainability of the code.
For more information on PMD, please visit https://pmd.github.io/
Checkstyle is also a development tool to help programmers write Java code that adheres to a coding standard. Its focus area is to ensure the coding style adheres to a set of conventions. It would catch things like missing/improper javadoc, naming conventions, placement of braces and parentheses, whitespace, line length, etc. Basically, it is used for syntax-catch.
Checkstyle is highly configurable and can be made to support almost any coding standard. It can find class design problems, method design problems. It also has the ability to check code layout and formatting issues.
For more information on Checkstyle, please visit http://checkstyle.sourceforge.net/
SofCheck Inspector is a static analysis tool for Java and Ada. Its static analysis engine is used within the CodePeer. It detects run-time and logic errors. It assesses potential bugs before program execution, serving as an automated peer reviewer, helping to find errors efficiently and early in the development life-cycle.
SofCheck Inspector performs advanced static analysis on the program source code, and helps in eliminating programming errors, such as misuse of pointers, array index out of bounds, numeric overflows, numeric wraparounds, dimensional unit mismatch, storage leaks, and improper use of application programming interfaces.
For more information on SofCheck Inspector, please visit www.sofcheck.com
The Veracode static analysis service assesses binary code (also called “compiled” or “byte” code) instead of source code. This enables the developers to test software appication more effectively and comprehensively, providing greater security. Veracode is built on SAAS (software-as-a-service) model that allows developers to access security testing without cost. Developers simply can submit the code through online Veracode platform and quickly get back test results.
Veracode is easy-to-use and access, allowing enterprises to roll out security best-practices quickly and efficiently to development teams. Veracode has capability to evaluate code vulnerabilities introduced by linked libraries, APIs, compiler optimizations and third-party components which source code testing is unable to identify. This approach of static analysis helps developer in complete security testing.
For more information on Veracode, please visit http://www.veracode.com