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How to Select a Static Analysis Tool


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Static Analysis helps developers prevent and eliminate defects—using thousands of rules tuned to find code patterns that lead to reliability, performance, and security problems. Over 15 years of research and development have gone into fine-tuning Parasoft's rule set.

For more information about Static Analysis please click on the link below.

Published in: Technology
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How to Select a Static Analysis Tool

  1. 1. How to Select a Static Analysis Tool 2011
  2. 2. Agenda for this session Define static analysis Layout strategy for evaluating and choosing a static analysis tool that will actually work in the field List possible evaluation criteriaParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  3. 3. About Parasoft Founded in 1987 27 Patents for automated quality processes Build quality into the process Static Analysis tools since 1994Parasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  4. 4. Parasoft Capabilities Technologies Quality Policy Management Task Management Code Analysis – Pattern Based Code Analysis – Flow Based Code Analysis - Metrics Code Review Unit Testing Framework Memory Error Detection Runtime Analysis Message/Protocol Testing Application Behavior Emulation Functional Testing Load TestingParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  5. 5. What IS Static Analysis? Variety of methods Peer Review / Manual Code Review / Code Inspection Pattern-based code scanners Flow-based code scanners Metrics-based code scanners Compiler / build outputParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  6. 6. First things first More organizations are adopting formal policies regarding static analysis Many companies use a bake-off to choose tools Bake-offs are not very useful to select the best toolParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  7. 7. Assess Your Needs What pains do you plain to address? FDA, MISRA, PCI, etc. Is your current development process stable, repeatable, and streamlined? Have you tried static analysis before? Why did it fail – how can you prevent a repeat How is your organization structured? Corporate wide config or varied by group/project Will analysis apply to all projects? New Code? Legacy? Where do you want to be in the future?Parasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  8. 8. Compile Candidate List Get recommendations Perform due diligence Even if the tool comes highly recommended Even if the tool has been used by someone in the group Your code, process, culture, and environment are unique Keep the big picture in sightParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  9. 9. Explore Vendors You’re committing to a relationship with a vendor What is their vision? What best practices do they have? Do they have a coherent strategy for the enterprise If they don’t have best practices you’ll need to develop them Reputation Who uses tool? Case studiesParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  10. 10. Talk with Vendors Evaluations are disruptive – get data upfront Are your visions in sync with vendor? Explain what problems you want to solve? Find out if they think static analysis will resolve it Can they set objective criteria to assess success Describe your environment How have they helped others like you? Explain your vision for deployment and adoption for the next 2-3 years Do they believe its feasible?Parasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  11. 11. Handling vision mismatch Vendor should accept requests that fit their general business If they vendor disagrees with your strategy do they have a convincing explanation and alternative? Does the vendor bend over backward? Even for unreasonable requests?Parasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  12. 12. Pilot Top Candidates Setup test bed and run preliminary tests Familiarize yourself with the tool Identify obstacles Be ready to assist those doing the actual pilot Select one group Real project – not static legacy code Engineers who like new thingsParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  13. 13. Work with pilot users Don’t just give pilot users the program and expect useful results Explain How to use it in your workflow What parts of the application to test What code should be tested What to look for while using the toolParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  14. 14. Pilot tasks Pilot users should have a list of tasks How did the tool make their lives better? What could make it even better? How did the tool make their lives worse? How bad was the learning curve?Parasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  15. 15. Compare Post-pilot Candidates Zero in on required functionality Evaluate vendors response to requests and issues Judge what the relationship will be likeParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  16. 16. Evaluation Criteria: Rules Number of built-in rules you’re really willing to enforce Quality of built-in rules you’re really willing to enforce Depth and breadth of analysis Feasible means to reduce noise Few to no false positives Tolerable number of missed negatives Ease of adjusting built-in rules Ease of adding custom rules Level of complexity possible in new rules Vendors plan for adding new rulesParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  17. 17. Evaluation Criteria: Workflow IDE integration Batch mode Violation reporting / review mechanism Automated assignment of errors to responsible developers Legacy code identification and support Rule severity customization Ability to suppress violation reporting Automated violation correctionParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  18. 18. Evaluation Criteria: Scalability Scalable usage model Ease of updating the rule set team-wide or organization wide Ability to support tiered rule sets Extensibility – API Support for additional languages and verification methods (unit test, code review, etc) Speed of analysis (end-to-end)Parasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  19. 19. Evaluation Criteria: Vendor Product stability Having some issues is inevitable Defect reports Feature requests Overall supportParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  20. 20. The 2 Most Important Questions Will our engineers really adopt it and use it? Can you make the tool work on real code with zero noise? Will it scale? Is the work-flow practical? Is this a long-term solution? Evaluations consume a lot of time and effort Don’t settle for “it’s good enough” Will it help reach your corporate goals? Time spent now will reward you later Avoid continuous product evaluationsParasoft Proprietary and Confidential
  21. 21. Q&AParasoft Proprietary and Confidential