New Tool Serves as Code ‘Spell-Checker’

In a rush to meet in-house or contract deadlines and lacking any mid-process analysis procedure, many software developers test applications for defects before they go to production, when 90 percent of the code is written. 

IBM Rational Software Analyzer, which officially debuted in the summer but has been available to IBM customers since 2006, scans software code for quality and defects before the application is built. The company claims the product can reduce bugs by as much as 20 percent.

Initially used internally to identify software defects earlier than the quality-assurance and testing phases, the solution then was integrated into IBM Rational Application Developer and IBM Rational Software Architect as the static quality-analysis component. When customers demanded improved quality analysis for the IBM solutions they were purchasing, the company broke out Rational Software Analyzer as its own product for the commercial market.

Developers in the auto, airline, financial, insurance and government sectors use the product. Some check for specific issues unique to their programming environment.

“IBM Rational Software Analyzer was created in response to several drivers,” said Scott Nordstrom, senior product manager for IBM. “Externally, we saw clients struggling with the adoption of tooling/process for code-level quality assurance and program understanding. Internally, development teams in IBM were handcrafting custom static analysis solutions.”

These efforts overlapped in functionality enough that in 2004, concentrated cross-departmental development seemed to be in order.

IBM Rational Software Analyzer provides a common platform for code-level analysis. Adopters can create…


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