LDRA Testbed

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LDRA Testbed
Type Private
Industry Software Testing
Founded 1975
Headquarters Wirral, Merseyside, England
Area served Worldwide
Key people CEO and President: Michael Hennell
Products LDRA Testbed
Revenue N/A
Employees 73 (Dec 2011)
Website http://www.ldra.com/

LDRA Testbed provides the core static and dynamic analysis engines for both host and embedded software. LDRA Testbed provides the means to enforce compliance with coding standards such as MISRA, JSF++ AV, CERT C, CWE and provides visibility of software flaws that might typically pass through the standard build and test process to become latent problems. In addition, test effectiveness feedback is provided through structural coverage analysis reporting facilities which support the requirements of the DO-178B standard up to and including Level-A.

History[edit]

Liverpool Data Research Associates (LDRA) was founded in 1975 by Professor Michael Hennell to commercialize a software test-bed created to perform quality assessments on the mathematical libraries on which his Nuclear physics research at the University of Liverpool depended.[1]

LDRA Testbed is a proprietary software analysis tool providing static code analysis, and also provides code coverage analysis, code, quality and design reviews. It is a commercial implementation of the software test-bed created by Hennell as part of his university research. It was the first commercial product to include support for the Linear Code Sequence and Jump software analysis method, which resulted from the same research. It is used primarily where software is required to be reliable, rugged, and as error free as possible, such as in safety critical aerospace electronics or avionics.[2] It has also been used in the detection and removal of security vulnerabilities. LDRA Testbed is a part of a tool suite from LDRA, and some of the capabilities of LDRA Testbed include the following.

Static Analysis[edit]

Static Analysis initiates LDRA Testbed activity by undertaking lexical and syntactic analysis of the source code for a single file or a complete system.

Programming Standards Checking[edit]

The enforcement of programming standards (or coding standards) is commonly regarded as good practice. The adherence to such standards can be automatically checked by products like LDRA Testbed. Main Static Analysis searches the source code for any Programming Standards Violations, by checking the source file(s) against the superset supplied with LDRA Testbed, This system can be configured for:

  • User definable filters – switch standards on or off
  • Change standards from mandatory to optional or vice-versa.
  • Use annotations to switch off standards for specific instances of violations.

LDRA Testbed reports violations of the chosen set of standards in both textual reports and as annotations to graphical displays

Dynamic Coverage Analysis[edit]

Dynamic Coverage Analysis explores the semantics of the program-under-test via test data selection. It uses control and data flow models and compares them with the actual control and data flow as the program executes. Dynamic Analysis therefore forces the selection of test data which explores the structure of the source code The LDRA tool suite includes a Dynamic Coverage Analysis module. It is used to beneficial effect on software robustness and reliability during both development and maintenance cycles.

Quality Report[edit]

Quality metrics such as Halstead complexity measures, Cyclomatic complexity, Knots metric are designed to verify that code is clear, maintainable and testable. The Quality Report in the LDRA tool suite presents both a summary and detailed breakdown of quality metrics which are deduced during static analysis.

Alternatives[edit]

A selection of LDRA’s partners in the software testing market include: MathWorks who have integrated their Simulink tools,[3] as well as IBM Rational Rose,[4] Rational Rhapsody, IAR Embedded Workbench, Wind River [5] and VxWorks.

LDRA’s rivals include AdaTEST, Cantata++, Coverity, Klocwork, Parasoft and VectorCAST.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hennell, Michael (1978). "Experimental testbed for numerical software". The Computer Journal. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ M. A. Hennell and D. Hedley, An experimental testbed for numerical software. {II}. {ALGOL 68}, The Computer Journal 22(1):53--56, @feb, 1979
  3. ^ Hughes, Janice (2011). "LDRA Ltd and MathWorks Join Forces to Integrate Product to Provide Independent Verification & Lowers Embedded Development Costs". LDRA. Retrieved October 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ Mcconnel, Toni (2008). "LDRA integrates tool suite with IBM Rational Rose RealTime MDDE". Wirral, UK: EE Times. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ "LDRA integrates tool suite with IBM Rational Rose RealTime MDDE". WindRiver. Retrieved November 14, 2011.