February 20, 2019

MISRA and AUTOSAR to Unite C++ Coding Guidelines — What This Means

Security & Compliance
Static Analysis

The use of C++ is growing. Key emerging industries, from connected and autonomous vehicles to AI, are adopting the language.

Ensuring safety in C++ code remains critical, especially when the language is used in the development of safety-related systems. 

Writing safe, modern C++ is about to get easier. This is because two of the most popular C++ coding guidelines — MISRA C++ and AUTOSAR guidelines — will soon merge. 

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MISRA C++ and AUTOSAR Will Be Integrated

In January 2019, MISRA® announced the integration of AUTOSAR C++ coding guidelines with MISRA C++. 

Integrating these two sets of guidelines will yield a single source of truth for best practice programming in C++.

The new guidelines will provide a common set of rules that support software developers in safety-critical industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Medical Devices
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What Does This Mean For Me?

If You’re Using MISRA C++…

This simply means that you can use a more recent version of the C++ language.

MISRA C++ was published in 2008, based on C++03. A lot has changed since then. For example, the ISO 26262 automotive functional safety standard was released. And the C++ language has been completely reinvented.

So, AUTOSAR guidelines were developed using MISRA C++ as a starting point. AUTOSAR then extended these guidelines to include modern C++ — C++11 and C++14. This enabled their use for the development of safety-critical systems.

The new integrated, MISRA-led guidelines will incorporate C++17. And there are plans to keep the rules up-to-date with future language changes.

If You’re Using AUTOSAR Guidelines…

This means you’ll get access to rules that have been reviewed by a larger group of experts.

MISRA experts are widely regarded in safety-critical industries. (And MISRA C is a de facto standard, particularly in automotive software development.) So, bringing the knowledge of these experts together will be an advantage for everyone.

There may be rules in the AUTOSAR guidelines today that don’t make it into MISRA. AUTOSAR rules may be reworded to match MISRA style. And new rules may be added, too.

If there are any rules that you’d still like to apply, you can include them in your custom coding rules. Static analyzers, such as Helix QAC, make it easy to continue to apply these rules.

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When Will the Integrated C++ Coding Guidelines Be Available?

We don’t yet know when the new, integrated C++ coding guidelines will be available. But we will update you as soon as we can. 

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Why Helix QAC Is the Best Static Code Analyzer

Helix QAC is the best static code analyzer for MISRA C++ and AUTOSAR.

Our experts serve on the MISRA C++ and AUTOSAR committees. And we were uniquely involved in the development of AUTOSAR guidelines. (Plus, AUTOSAR guidelines were tested using Helix QAC.)

As the guidelines integrate, using Helix QAC will make the transition easier. Our experts will ensure that the tool is updated to cover the new rules with greater accuracy than other tools. And you’ll be able to use whichever ruleset you need, whether it’s from the original MISRA C++, AUTOSAR guidelines, or the new, integrated guidelines.

See for yourself how Helix QAC makes compliance with coding standards easy.

➡️ Helix QAC free trial

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