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Add one to the list of static analysis tools available for scanning source code for bugs, errors and departures from programming best practices. And this one’s for Mac OS X.

GrammaTech yesterday began shipping CodeSonar 3.1 Enterprise, a version of its GUI-based analysis tool that it claims finds defects others often miss. CodeSonar “performs a whole-program, interprocedural analysis on code and identifies complex programming bugs that can result in system crashes, memory corruption” and other anomalies, according to the company.

With its analysis tools for C, C++ and Ada programming languages, the company has historically addressed avionics, satellite, industrial and medical control devices and other industries developing mission- and safety-critical applications. Now GrammaTech is positioning its flagship product for other high-performance applications such as those in wireless devices, networking equipment and consumer electronics.

CodeSonar works by performing a build of source code. But unlike a compiler, which would create object code, CodeSonar creates “an abstract representation of the program,” explained on the company’s Web site. “After the individual files are built, a synthesis phase combines the results into a whole-program model. The model is symbolically executed and the analysis keeps track of variables and how they are related. Warnings are generated when anomalies are encountered.”

According to claims, CodeSonar does not require test cases, and works with a company’s existing build system. Available now, CodeSonar pricing starts at US$4,000 per seat for small projects; volume pricing is available. GrammaTech also offers the software on a free trial basis.

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