Aviva tackles code quality with Coverity

Aviva is taking a strategic view of software testing with a quality assurance programme powered by static code analysis tool Coverity

Aviva is taking a strategic view of software testing with a quality assurance programme powered by static code analysis tool Coverity.

The company has been using the toolset in general insurance where its software teams develop front-end applications, partner applications and administration systems for quotations and new business. 

“The QA function has traditionally been a testing function at the end of the lifecycle,” said Ben Riches, head of application design and delivery at Aviva UK’s GI division. 

The company is using Coverity to push back quality to developer teams and designers. 

“Putting quality much earlier in the process to reduces costs. We are actively driving a focus on quality throughout the software development lifecycle, and development testing represents a key enabler in our ability to uplift the quality of our IT solutions and online services, and ultimately our customer satisfaction and brand,” said Riches.

He said the software development teams test code continuously to improve quality code. 

“Using Coverity gives us insight into what the code looks like, to prevent defects early in the production process,” said Riches. 

Coverity is used at the pre-test stage, providing a static analysis of C, C# and Java, showing defects in developers’ code.

Aviva began piloting Coverity in November 2011. It started implementing the Coverity system in March and has completed the first phase of the roll-out. 

Commenting on the push-back to developers checking their code, he said: “Any time you introduce a new technique in a developer’s workflow, there is a risk they won’t take to it. 

"We initially had some issues, but we ran workshops to show how it worked. We have now reached a point where the take-up is very good.”

Aviva is using Coverity’s  Static Analysis tool, as well as Coverity Architecture Analysis for architecture visualisation, Coverity Integrity Manager for developer collaboration, and Coverity Integrity Control for policy management and code governance. 

Aviva hopes the Coverity development testing platform will provide benefits to the software development, quality assurance team and senior management team, from accelerated time to market to cost reduction.

Coverity integrates with HP’s cloud-based Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) 11.0 service that Aviva uses for quality assurance. 

Riches said that the integration will help Aviva make code quality part of application quality. It will also enable development and QA teams to share defects and quality issues, which should improve the quality of the in-house developed applications.

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