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CAST Research Finds Java Frameworks Strongly Influence Security, Reliability

Today CAST (Euronext: CAS) 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. The full research with detailed data analysis results will be presented in a public webinar on Jan. 29, 2013. Some of the top-level findings include:

  • Hibernate has the highest quality scores.
  • Applications built with Struts have 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. When this happens:

  • 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.

These results were arrived at by analyzing data in CAST’s Appmarq database, the world’s largest repository of static analysis data of business applications. The Appmarq database includes over 544 million lines of source code culled from over 1,134 applications, which were provided by leading global companies in financial services, insurance, telecom, technology, government, manufacturing, energy, utilities, retail, and wholesale.

The complete CRASH Special Report and the detailed data analysis will be discussed in a live webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 from 11a.m. to 12p.m. EST. For more information on CAST, CAST Research Labs, the CRASH study, or Appmarq, visit CAST.

About CAST

CAST is a pioneer and world leader in software analysis and measurement, with unique technology resulting from more than $100 million in R&D investment. CAST introduces fact-based transparency into application development and sourcing to transform it into a management discipline. More than 250 companies across all industry sectors and geographies rely on CAST to prevent business disruption while reducing hard IT costs. CAST is an integral part of software delivery and maintenance for the world's leading IT service providers. Founded in 1990, CAST is listed on NYSE-Euronext (Euronext: CAS) and serves IT-intensive enterprises worldwide with a network of offices in North America, Europe, and India.

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