Coverity vs SonarQube for Coders – The BEST Static Analysis Tool? [2022]

As developers, we constantly fight technical debt and reduced code quality, and having automated or integrated tools that help along the way during the building of a couple of new features before the deadline can be helpful not to break the codebase.

That’s what Coverity and SonarQube help to do. You probably did a Google search for the best code quality and code security software to use in your startup or business, and both repeatedly come up.

In this article, we help you decipher the features, integrations, support, pros, and cons of each software to make an informed decision.

With an increasing number of developers, exceptional code quality and security can be a hassle to maintain.

Especially within rush cases, therefore, as a business or startup, every help you need is welcomed to improve the code quality and organize the codebase even before it goes to production.

For this review, we compare and contrast Coverity (from the USA) and SonarQube (from Switzerland), code and software integrity tools that can help organizations and more specifically, engineering departments organize and secure their codebase better.

Coverity by Synopsys provides accelerated development and increased security and quality with security testing.

With Coverity, there is provision for analysis and security vulnerability checking that find and fix software defects.

However, SonarQube provides a detailed solution to allow your engineering team to write cleaner and safer code. Like Coverity, SonarQube provides application security and helps maintains a clean codebase with reduced technical debt.

Both Coverity and SonarQube have two classes of services, Code Quality, and Code Security. In addition, there are classified in application development, security, static application security testing (SAST), and static code analysis.

Coverity vs SonarQube

SonarQube

SonarQube has great documentation that’s instructive and detailed to guide developers and operations managers to able to set up, upgrade, integrate and initiate project and instance administration.

Various benefits of using SonarQube include the enhanced workflow, clean-as-you code, multi-language support, and integration with popular version controls such as GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, and other cloud platforms like Docker and Azure DevOps.

Features provided by SonarQube make it an outstanding software as a service platform from SonarLint to Quality Gate.

With SonarLint, a free IDE extension that helps you and your dev team finds bugs and vulnerabilities while you code, there is a reduced amount of effort that goes into quality assurance during peer-reviewing.

As with QualityGate, it provides a detailed report on vulnerabilities, bugs, coverage, and duplications.

In addition to SonarLint, there is Security and Maintainability Analysis which provides hotspot and vulnerabilities specifics as it concerns injection, broken access control, insufficient logging, etc.

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Coverity

Coverity provides scalable SAST solutions for the dev and security team within your organization or business.

To support, the Code Sight IDE plugin is a great add-on that improves the experience you get with Coverity to incremental analysis on the code that your team writes and provides fixes across security and quality.

You can integrate, automate and scale the static analysis across very large applications and teams using Coverity’s parallel analysis.

Furthermore, you have the option of local or cloud support for providing security and software integrity depending on the specifics of your team.

There is support for 22 languages and over 70 frameworks including the popular languages such as JavaScript, Python, Java, and PHP.

Additional benefits of Coverity by Synopsys include cross-product reporting, flexible security testing, real-time incremental analysis, and an in-depth learning platform for developers.

For enterprise scalability, Coverity with its support for languages such as Java and its frameworks (Spring Boot, Android SDK), Node, Express, and CI Build Servers and the use of analysis engines that run over the cloud.

To support all of these, there is Coverity on Polaris to help with application security testing. Similar to SonarLint, CodeSight has support for all the popular IDEs, general or specific (Visual Studio, Code, Eclipse).

There is even support for issue tracking platforms such as Jira and Bugzilla. In addition, detailed language information is provided per language or platform which is useful for rather large institutions.

Detailed Comparison Between Coverity and SonarQube

Here is a quick comparison of Coverity vs SonarQube:

Sign Up Process, Ease of Use & Setup

SonarQube takes the prize here. You can easily sign up for SonarQube software via its free version or free trial that allows you to test its full features. Though, the setup process can be time-consuming and complex.

However, for Coverity, you have to request a demo, and upon approval, then be allowed to use the platform for a limited time. SonarQube gets a lot of reviews for its extreme ease of use.

Fees and Pricing

Just as with the Setup process, SonarQube makes it easier with pricing. There is a free version that gives you access to certain features, and there is priced version that starts from $150 per year.

SonarQube is more individual-friendly than Coverity as the latter is more targeted at teams. With Coverity, pricing differs per team and a request for a demo is required before pricing can be discussed.

Features

SonarQube targets developers with development teams of all sizes, while Coverity seems focused on organizations or enterprises with developers. It might not seem much of a problem, but depending on the context of your organization.

For example, a company like Microsoft will be more suited for Coverity, and a startup like GitLab might be more suited for SonarQube. Therefore, there is no true winner here, but a more context favourite.

Security

SonarQube provides remediation guidance for developers to understand and fix the issues within their codebase and inspect for code quality and security via their IDE plugin, SonarLint.

Also, Coverity covers similar activities via its CodeSight plugin and can be integrated with your CI/CD pipeline providing a SAST solution for developers and their teams.

Both provide detailed security and vulnerability reports on the codebase, but Coverity provides reporting and issue management dashboard.

From an overall perspective, Coverity is a better option when it comes to security and can help developers with little knowledge of security be more secure.

Integrations

Just at the overview describes, there is the deployment of the SonarQube and Coverity via the Cloud, Mac, Windows, Linux, and On-Premise via Windows and Linux.

Language Supports

SonarQube takes the prize with more language support than Coverity, with 29 languages compared to 22. The language type matters and SonarQube doesn’t drop the ball as it supports the ‘important’ languages, especially for enterprises and startups.

App Platforms and Frameworks

Whether it’s platforms, frameworks, or compilers, Coverity has you covered with security and quality. SonarQube gives support for platforms but not as much as Coverity.

In addition, it doesn’t provide framework support which is important right now in the developer ecosystem. Coverity has support for Vue, Node, Ruby on Rails, and many more.

Customer Support

Coverity takes the prize when it comes to customer support with more assistance mediums than SonarQube. With Coverity, you can support via Email, FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Phone, and Live Rep which is available 24/7.

The only support mediums available for SonarQube customers are Email, FAQs, forums, and Phone. Both are reasonably adequate, but Coverity takes it a step further and better.

In addition, SonarQube provides Webinars, Documentation, and Videos. However, Coverity provides all these and more with In-Person and Live Online training.

Pros

Coverity provides detailed reports about your code potential defect (often in real-time) and has great integration with ticketing and issue management applications and Jenkins.

Different features exist to support developers such as Contributing Events which help developers understand code defect’s root cause.

In addition, according to reviews from different developers, there are not a whole lot of false positives. Also, their support team turnaround time is exceptional and seems detailed to issues faced with the software.

SonarQube helps with development, especially with the SonarLint plugin which saves a lot of time and changes the coding approach to increase code quality. Also, it allows you to customize the rule (which are often different for different engineering teams).

With different reviews, it is found to be extremely user-friendly, easy to access, and offers great scalability and stability.

With security scanning, your security is high (even with non-security experts), and it covers the necessary standards and vulnerabilities that are expected within codebases.

There is an open-source version, and the community edition is free which is great for developers starting. Fees are applicable with the developer, enterprise, and data center editions.

When it comes to pricing, they are largely beneficial and satisfying for lots of customers.

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Cons

With Coverity, it is not easy to specify your validation and sanitation routines, and the pricing is a big difference (which is an issue for many developer teams) – it is very expensive.

The Coverity application is quite large (~1.2GB) which can make it difficult to work within cloud and virtualization environments. The User Interface and Experience are very hard to use.

The vulnerabilities report could be a little bit clearer on SonarQube, and upon request, developers should be able to the issues directly.

Also, there is a lot of dashboard integration that can be introduced that is not there yet especially when it comes to functionality.

Furthermore, the SonarQube support needs to be more comprehensive and technical. The check rules are a bit strict and can be very difficult to integrate with Jenkins which is popular with a lot of companies’ tech stacks.

For both, based on different reviews, developers want dynamic testing which is not currently available via both software (Veracode offer such).

Conclusion

Both these applications do an extremely good job of tracking your codebase and giving real-time code analysis and quality control that’s beneficial for developers, enterprises, and organizations.

However, we believe for large enterprises aside from the core technologies and software features, Coverity has the edge.

Though not as user-friendly as SonarQube, the supports, integrations, and platforms technologies, Coverity gives just the right things. For normal businesses and mid-sized startups, SonarQube is just enough.

If you are a freelance agency or business, there is no reason to use Coverity, as SonarQube will be more of a top valued software for your business. From a developer-centric point of view, SonarQube delivers.

For a lot of independent work and single-use, SonarQube helps developers and provides a unique value that Coverity won’t.

The free version of SonarQube will be great for developers learning to be safe and quality conscious with their development and get used to understanding vulnerabilities and fixes reports and dashboards.

Coverity gives all these and more for enterprises, mid-size and large businesses with more details than needed.