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Static Source Code Analysis Tips

Doing a decent static source code analysis is always part of a quality control test methodology. Running security tools against source code has long been the so-called cornerstone test method that technicians use to make sure that a particular piece of software works as intended. Many people don’t understand the value of testing this way, and they don’t realize that it can actually save a lot of money. Static tests aren’t new, but they’re still extremely valuable.

statistical data analysis schema

Static Code Analysis Techniques

One of the big benefits of doing a source code analysis is the fact that the tools are mature. The benefits of integrating source code tests right into the SDLC framework have been promoted for years. Even with this knowledge, however, there are many people who still actually lack experience with this form of static source code analysis.

What’s sad is that many of these people are developers, network managers, security experts and quality assurance personnel. That creates problems at the end of the day. The biggest tip possible is to make sure that everyone is familiarized with what’s involved in the procedure.

Static code analysis is the procedure of analyzing computer software without actually executing any of the code. Rather than a dynamic analysis or coding in social science research where the program is run, the analysis here is preformed directly on the source code. In a few cases people might actually run it on compiled object code, but not actually run the object code.

The term is generally applied when an automated tool is used. Human analysis techniques make up something called program understanding, which is a different field. Code review and program comprehension are, however, still quite important. Some tools only really consider the behavior of individual statements or declarations. Others actually look at the source code as a whole, which is very useful. In fact, these kinds of systems might be the best because they have all the benefits of actually running the code without doing so. They might find some security faults in the process as well.

Those who are concerned about running code should definitely go this way first. Nothing can damage a system since nothing can actually be executed to begin with.

The Value of Testing

source code analysis

Some people still neglect the importance of performing a static code analysis as well as a statistical data analysis. They figure that code might run well enough for them with the bare minimum of testing, and some developers say that if a program is only being made in-house for some sort of statistical analysis than it isn’t important to work every possible bug out of it. While this might be true, source code could still theoretically have a backdoor or two that a computer criminal could use against the software. Therefore running these kinds of tests is still a good idea even for code that will only be used once.

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