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Java open-source frameworks 'pose risk' to biz - report

Hibernate and don't mingle your Java and C/C++, warns software analyst

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Open-source programming frameworks revolutionised Java development during the last decade, but not enough people know how to use them properly.

That’s according to the CRASH Special Report by CAST that sampled 496 applications with 152 million lines of code and found most apps had been misconfigured. This increased the degree of risk from a security perspective and lowered the quality threshold, by letting more bugs sneak in.

CAST, who makes software analysis tools, said the most popular open-source frameworks in use with Java are Struts, Java Enterprise Edition, Hibernate and Spring. CAST reckoned Hibernate has the highest quality scores and Struts the lowest scores.

Applications built without a framework of any kind had a “huge variance in quality,” CAST said in its report.

However, CAST noted apps built using just Java EE, without a framework and without any mingling of difference languages, also scored highly on quality.

Mixing Java with C or C++ lowered the score but mixing Java with COBOL, Java-DB and Microsoft’s .NET delivered “higher quality scores.”

The common link is the framework, and knowing how to use it properly.

CAST reckoned its report showed that a large majority of applications analysed had some level of misconfiguration, indicating the need for better training or to simplify the use of frameworks.

“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,” CAST said. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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