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Research finds that Java frameworks strongly influence security and reliability

Software analyst CAST has released the initial results from research on the use of Java in its CRASH (CAST Research on Application Software Health) series, revealing which of the enterprise Java frameworks delivers the most secure and reliable applications.

With this information, C-suite executives can now better understand how choices made in the IT department can impact the security and reliability of mission-critical enterprise applications. The data shows clearly that seemingly arcane decisions, such as the selection of a programming framework, can significantly increase or decrease the likelihood of a system crash. In today’s online business environment, when zero downtime is a necessity, the CRASH report helps inform enterprise technology selections with relevant data that will enhance the end result of those decisions.

“CIOs can no longer afford to be in the dark about their IT team’s choice of programming language and tools, because those decisions have a material impact on the business,” says Jay Sapiddi, vice president of CAST Research Labs. “With data from this CRASH study, CIOs can now have detailed conversations with their application development departments about the security and reliability of the specific framework they are using to build enterprise applications. Likewise, IT leaders should double check their choice of framework, how they mix languages, and how they enforce architectural integrity. Frameworks boost developer productivity, but they can also heighten risk and reduce quality.”

After conducting big data analysis of 496 applications with 152 million lines of code submitted by 88 organizations across six global industries, CAST researchers uncovered myriad business insights about the most popular open source Java frameworks: Struts, JEE, Hibernate, and Spring.

Some of the top-level findings include:

  • Hibernate has the highest quality scores.
  • Applications built with Strutshave show the lowest quality scores.
  • Applications that did not use any framework had a huge variance in quality, which indicates that frameworks do in fact help develop applications of predictable quality.

One common challenge for developers with framework usage is configuring them correctly. CAST data shows that a large majority of applications analyzed had some level of misconfiguration, indicating the need for better training or to simplify the use of frameworks. The research also found that application quality is affected when organizations mix multiple programming languages in a single system:

  • Applications built in pure JEE, with no frameworks or multi-lingual mingling, had the highest quality scores.
  • Mixing Java with C or C++ lowers quality scores.
  • Mixing Java with COBOL, Java-DB, and Microsoft .NET delivered higher quality scores.

The complete CRASH Special Report and the detailed data analysis will be discussed in a live webinar on Tuesday, Jan 29th from 4pm-5pm GMT.

•Date: 25th Jan 2013 • World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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