June 28, 2023

How Complying with MISRA Improves Safety in C++ Applications

Security & Compliance

At Perforce, we have a long history of supporting applications that need to be stable and secure. With over 50 years of application development experience, we have learned many things from our customers, trends, and our competitors. We have taken best practices from all areas of software development and attempted to apply those to everything we do. We adopted unit testing, automated testing, agile development, code reviews, continuous integration, and much more. Over the years, we have developed our own set of guidelines for internal development, however we’re continually looking for ways to improve. Guidelines like MISRA®C++ are an invaluable resource for identifying new checks that we can apply to our code to continue to make it better.

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MISRA: Enhancing Software Safety and Stability

MISRA had its start in the automotive industry, where maintaining high standards in software development is critical. Providing a comprehensive set of guidelines applicable to any software application, MISRA plays a crucial role in ensuring software safety and stability. These guidelines encompass various aspects, such as avoiding side effects in the right side of a comparison operator and not performing any pointer arithmetic. While development teams typically have their own code review guidelines, the inclusion of MISRA's additional set of rules, which have been extensively studied and proven to enhance software quality, represents a significant leap forward in safeguarding software integrity and reliability.

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Implementing and Enforcing MISRA Standards for Improved Development Practices

Understanding and agreeing to standards such as MISRA is an essential initial step in enhancing a team's development practices. However, the effectiveness of these standards relies on their consistent application and testing. Integrating a dedicated tool such as Klocwork, within the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) or Quality Assurance (QA) process to check for specific MISRA requirements is a crucial means of ensuring adherence to the established standards. In addition, this type of process should extend to any third-party C++ libraries incorporated into your application, such as ICU, OpenSSL, DB Client libraries, math libraries, and others. By applying MISRA standards to these libraries, vulnerabilities that arise in applications or C++ libraries can be prevented. Emphasizing and implementing MISRA guidelines throughout the development lifecycle holds the potential to significantly enhance software security and stability.

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MISRA and SourcePro 

Within the SourcePro development team, we have a very strong culture of great process, peer review, and specific testing to ensure things like MISRA guidelines are applied to all coding. When you include SourcePro in your application, you can be sure that best practices are being applied to ensure your application is built on top of a solid foundation. There are many things in software and in environments and networks that are hard to predict or control, but you should try to reduce any unnecessary dangers from within your codebase wherever possible.

Request a SourcePro evaluation to conform to security standards and increase your reliability. 

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