CodeQL vs Semgrep: Fun and Friendly Showdown of SAST toolsπŸ₯Š

CodeQL vs Semgrep: Fun and Friendly Showdown of SAST toolsπŸ₯Š
CodeQL vs Semgrep: Fun and Friendly Showdown of SAST toolsπŸ₯Š

In the world of application security, choosing the right Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tool can feel like a never-ending game of "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe." πŸ€” But fear not, dear reader, for today we'll dive deep into the showdown of two popular SAST contenders: CodeQL and Semgrep. We've even prepared a delightful comparison table for your viewing pleasure. Let's start with it first before diving into the nitty-gritty with code snippets and a few chuckles along the way:

Criteria ✨CodeQL πŸš€Semgrep 🌟
Language Support 🌐Broad language supportWide language support
Open Source πŸ’»Partially open sourceFully open source
Learning Curve 🧠Moderate to steepEasy to moderate
Speed ⚑️Slower analysisFaster analysis
Customization πŸ› οΈHigh (Queries in QL)High (Rules in YAML)
Integration πŸ€–GitHub-native, CI/CDCI/CD, GitLab, Bitbucket
Community & Support πŸ‘₯Large community, GitHubGrowing community, r2c
Pricing πŸ’°Free for open source, Paid for commercial useFree for open source, Paid for commercial use
False Positives πŸ”Lower rateHigher rate (configurable)

Round 1: Language Support 🌐

CodeQL: "I support a broad range of languages, like Java, JavaScript, Python, C#, and C++, just to name a few."

Semgrep: "Hold my beer 🍺, I've got wide language support too, including JavaScript, Python, Java, Go, and Ruby!"

Winner: It's a close call, but CodeQL takes this round with a slight edge in language support.

Round 2: Customization πŸ› οΈ

CodeQL: "I allow you to write complex queries in my very own QL language, making me highly customizable."

Semgrep: "That's cute, but I use YAML for my rules, which is way simpler and easier to learn. Plus, who doesn't love a good YAML file?"

Winner: Semgrep wins this round with its simplicity and ease of customization.

Round 3: Speed ⚑️

CodeQL: "I may take a bit longer to analyze code, but you know what they say, 'Slow and steady wins the race.' 🐒"
Semgrep: "You must be a fan of dial-up internet, then. I'm all about that need for speed, baby! 🏎️"

Winner: Semgrep speeds ahead and takes this round.

Round 4: Integration πŸ€–

CodeQL: "I'm GitHub-native, baby, and I play well with CI/CD pipelines!"
Semgrep: "Well, I can integrate with CI/CD pipelines, GitLab, Bitbucket, and more. How 'bout them apples? 🍎"

Winner: Semgrep takes the cake in this round with more integration options.

Round 5: Community & Support πŸ‘₯

CodeQL: "I've got a large community and the backing of GitHub. Talk about a power couple! πŸ’ͺ"
Semgrep: "My community is growing, and the folks at r2c have my back. We're like the cool kids on the block. 😎"

Winner: CodeQL takes this round with its more extensive community and GitHub support.

Final Score

The final score is... drumroll πŸ₯... a tie! πŸ† Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, so the best choice for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. Now let's dive into some code snippets to see these two SAST warriors in action, all while keeping things simple and light-hearted.

CodeQL Code Snippet: SQL Injection Detection πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™€οΈ

from SqlExpr sql, string constant
  sql.fromSource() and
  constant = sql.getAChild().getStringValue() and
select sql, "This SQL statement has a suspicious comment: " + constant

Look at CodeQL, working like a detective to sniff out potential SQL injections! But, oh, you might need a magnifying glass and some patience to decipher this QL code. 🧐

Semgrep Code Snippet: SQL Injection Detection πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

- id: python-sql-injection
    - pattern: |
        $X.execute("SELECT ... WHERE ... " + $Y)
  message: |
    Possible SQL injection vector.
    - python

Ah, now we're talking! Semgrep keeps it simple and elegant with YAML, making it easy for even Sherlock Holmes to understand. πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈπŸ”

So, dear reader, we hope this little showdown has brought some clarity and a smile to your face. Remember, whether you're a CodeQL fan or a Semgrep enthusiast, what matters most is finding the right SAST tool that suits your needs and keeps your code secure. And who knows, maybe one day we'll see these two SAST tools join forces to form a dynamic duo! πŸ¦Έβ€β™‚οΈπŸ¦Έβ€β™€οΈ

Final Words 🌟

If you're considering implementing a SAST project for your organization and need some expert guidance, the team is here to help! With our experience in automation, manual, and hybrid approaches, we will ensure that your application security is top-notch.

To get started, simply fill out their project scoping form online at With on your side, you can confidently choose the right SAST tool and strategy for your needs. Happy coding and stay secure! πŸ”’πŸ’»