Difference between dynamic code analysis and static code analysis
Static analysis is the testing and evaluation of an application by examining the code without executing the application whereas Dynamic analysis is the testing and evaluation of an application during runtime.
Many software defects that cause memory and threading errors can be detected both dynamically and statically. The two approaches are complementary because no single approach can find every error.
The primary advantage of dynamic analysis: It reveals subtle defects or vulnerabilities whose cause is too complex to be discovered by static analysis. Dynamic analysis can play a role in security assurance, but its primary goal is finding and debugging errors.
Level of in-depth review
The key difference between a static and dynamic code analyser is the how in-depth the code review
process is. By default, static code analysis combs through every single line of source code to find flaws and errors. For dynamic analysis, the lines of code that get reviewed depend upon which lines of source code are activated during the testing process. Unless a line of code is interacted with, the dynamic analysis tool will ignore it and continue checking active codes for flaws. As a result, dynamic analysis is a lot quicker since it is able to review code on the fly and generates real-time data. However, static code analysis provides peace of mind that each and every line of source code has been thoroughly inspected. It may take longer, but static code analysis runs in the background and is crucial for creating a flawless web application.
Catching errors early and making recommendations
The primary advantage of static analysis: It examines all possible execution paths and variable values, not just those invoked during execution. Thus static analysis can reveal errors that may not manifest themselves until weeks, months or years after release. This aspect of static analysis is especially valuable in security assurance, because security attacks often exercise an application in unforeseen and untested ways.
As mentioned before, dynamic analysis reviews codes during the testing process and generates real-time results. While it is great for fine-tuning the user experience, it has one major drawback: any errors highlighted by dynamic code analysis tools requires developers to go all the way back to the source code, make changes to the code itself and then make changes to everything that has been modified as a result of changing the source code. This is a very time consuming and expensive process; one that companies and developers like to avoid at all costs. Static code analysis tools highlight any errors immediately and allow developers to makes changes before proceeding any further. Moreover, static code analysis tools are more feature-packed than their dynamic counterparts. One important feature is the number of errors it can detect and the recommendations it can make to fix that error. If configured, static code analysers can automatically make the required changes and let developers know what changes have been made.
Cost of code analysis tools
Just like any other business, software application companies have to find a fine balance between application costs and profit margins. With respect to price, static code analysis tools are always cheaper than dynamic analysers. Moreover, having a dynamic code analyser requires a company to hire professionals trained in the use of dynamic analysis tools. A static code analysis tool can be used by any web developer with ease, thus guaranteeing that it won’t turn out to be a long-term expenditure.
Static code analysers are absolutely essential for application developers, whereas dynamic code analysers can only be used in conjunction with static analysis tools.