Reasoning Study Shows Apache Defects are Similar to Commercial Apps

7/2/2003 - Reasoning, the leading provider of automated software inspection services, announced the results of a study the company conducted in which it inspected the code of the Apache Open Source Web Server V2.1. Reasoning found that the Apache Open Source server had a similar defect density compared to the average defect density of several commercial equivalents. This finding, when considered alongside an earlier Reasoning study released in February ( ), suggests that as software applications mature, there is a correlation between code inspection/peer review and the resulting defect density. The results Reasoning announced are the second published comparison of Open Source software versus equivalent commercial software applications.

In its most recent study, Reasoning found 31 software defects in 58,944 lines of source code of the Apache http server V2.1 code. A key reliability measurement indicator is defect density, defined as the number of defects found per thousand lines of source code. The defect density of the Apache code inspected was 0.53 per thousand lines of source code, while the commercial average defect density came to 0.51 per thousand lines of source code.

“In our February study that compared the defect density of the Linux TCP/IP stack to the average defect density of commercially developed TCP/IP stacks, we concluded that Open Source had a significantly lower defect density compared to commercial equivalents,” said Bill Payne, President & CEO of Reasoning. “We received numerous inquiries about that study and took seriously requests for us to examine defect density rates in a less mature Open Source application and compare it with the commercial equivalent. Taking advantage of our database of automated software code inspection projects, we were able to do exactly that, and found the difference in defect density between the two was not significant.”

Reasoning’s code inspection service is based on a combination of proprietary technology and repeatable process. The results are objective and comparable across software applications, development methodologies, and coding styles, which has enabled Reasoning to build the world’s largest database of code quality metrics.

The results of Reasoning’s Apache V2.1 inspection can be obtained free-of-charge by visiting

About Reasoning
Reasoning Inc. is the leading provider of automated software inspection services that help development organizations reduce the time and cost involved in finding software defects. The company's business is focused on organizations that develop Java, C, and C++ applications. Reasoning is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Contact Reasoning at 650.316.4400 or at

Reasoning and the Reasoning logo are trademarks and/or service marks of Reasoning, Inc.

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