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Know the truth behind static analysis

Posted: 18 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:static analysis  defect detection  bug 

Perhaps the most unexpected thing about static analysis is not that it can detect memory leaks, buffer overflows, or incorrect pointer assignments at compile time, but rather that users of static analysis will often fail to fix such detected defects.

One of the most frequently misunderstood aspects of static analysis is that it is distinctly different from other bug finding techniques. Static analysis users are often aware of the advantages it provides in defect detection, while simultaneously failing to realise that a different approach must be taken for defect resolution.

Static analysis has never been "just another way" to detect defects, nor is it just a way to detect defects earlier in the development cycle than was previously possible. Static analysis testing reports defects in a different way than dynamic testing and user reported defects; these differences must be understood and appreciated to effectively improve software quality with any static analysis tool.

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