MergeBase Vs BlackDuck

Choosing the right software composition analysis solution to protect your enterprise from open source vulnerabilities is critical. Here is the best information that can help you make the right decision.


Whether you are a global corporation or a dynamic tech startup, modern software development uses open source libraries to rapidly deliver customer value. Unfortunately, open source software is routinely exploited by cybercriminals and is the single largest source of data breaches today. Only SCA can protect your enterprise fully against this risk. Only software composition analysis (SCA) can help protect organizations from open source risks. With the growing adoption of SCA, this guide identifies the differences between MergeBase and BlackDuck (Synopsys), so you can decide the right level of open source security needed for your business.



MergeBase offers open source security that meets the demands of a dynamic modern DevSecOps environment. Its solutions provide visibility into the real risk of open source with the lowest false positives in the industry.


BlackDuck (Synopsys):

Synopsys’s SCA solution, BlackDuck, has been in the application security space the longest for over 15 years. It added security capabilities in 2015, where previously, they were focused on license compliance.

5 Criteria (that matter) when Selecting an SCA

Since the most infamous breach at Equifax in 2017, adversaries routinely exploit open source vulnerabilities. Most recently (2020), the Department of Homeland Security published an alert that adversaries are continuously targeting these vulnerabilities, and the best defence is to vigorously maintain your ability to track and mitigate these emerging threats.

To protect your organization, here are the most important criteria to consider.

visibility iconVisibility

With the rising use of open source at enterprises, open source security solutions must effectively detect vulnerabilities. With adversaries taking advantage of vulnerabilities within days, you need a solution that goes beyond traditional vulnerability databases for completeness and speed. Many solutions that are good at detecting vulnerabilities have an undesirable side effect of high false positives. Having high false positives, in turn, waste your valuable developer resources time triaging false positives and creates vulnerability fatigue that puts your organization at risk.


MergeBase accurately identifies the highest number of true vulnerabilities with the lowest false positives. MergeBase provides security analysts with an instant component inventory and “live” vulnerability reports for a given application.

Visibility: High, accurate

BlackDuck (Synopsys)

While BlackDuck found a large number of vulnerabilities, they contained the largest number of false positives. Further investigation revealed that many false positives were duplicates. BlackDuck’s SBOM is available, but unfortunately, it is imprecise and contains duplicate issues.

Visibility: Limited, imprecise

developer friendly iconDeveloper Friendly

Sophisticated cyber-security requires intense collaboration between development and security to establish a fully integrated modern DevSecOps team. In support of this high paced team, you need developer-friendly solutions and implement your enterprise controls. These robust controls enable your organization to be proactive with open source security early in the SDLC (aka “shift Left”). The earlier in the development life cycle that defects are resolved, the lower the cost and customer impact.


CodeGreen by MergeBase empowers developers to code securely. CodeGreen gives developer-friendly tools, guidance, integration directly into your code repositories, and enterprise controls so that they have early awareness to help your organization “shift left.”

Developer Friendly: Yes, Complete

BlackDuck (Synopsys)

BlackDuck does not offer developer-friendly tools out of the box but instead provides organizations with the means to build it themselves. Developers are not provided with guidance and the means to prioritize vulnerabilities.

Developer Friendly: No

integration iconIntegration to your SDLC

Integration can be a significant effort with any new solution. It adds costs and time that takes away from your efforts to protect the enterprise. Some solutions give you a one-stop-shop approach but force your enterprise to adopt your vendor’s entire solution rather than your own. When did that ever work for you? Look for solutions that integrate well into your existing SDLC and your security ecosystem, and you will accelerate adoption and collaboration to your open source security program.


MergeBase has a set of three integrated solutions that are tailor-made for each stage of the development lifecycle, be it coding, building and deploying or production.MergeBase integrates seamlessly into your security workflow, and the onboarding process is fast and can take from hours to weeks.

SDLC Integration: Complete

BlackDuck (Synopsys)

Integration to SDLC is possible; BlackDuck offers API’s that allow you to build integrations into your security workflow. Complex implementation is one of the main reasons that BlackDuck’s onboarding process is famously long and complicated and can take up to a year to gain the full value of the solution.

SDLC: Limited

Triage and Remediation Options

Many mature security organizations have the means to identify vulnerabilities but often lack the ability to triage and remediate them. According to IBM research, 49% of organizations reported a breach despite having a patch available for a known vulnerability. It was just not applied. These organizations need open source security solutions that provide the means to accelerate triage, effective prioritization based on deep insights and provide multiple options for you to remediate the vulnerabilities.


MergeBase provides intelligent remediation options. It provides guidance to developers on what version to move to, or you can surgically block or monitor suspicious pieces in open source libraries. MergeBase offers remediation guidance so that developers are empowered with security information that helps them prioritize and automated workflows to save them time.

Triage and Remediation Options: Advanced

BlackDuck (Synopsys)

BlackDuck offers no ability to prioritize vulnerabilities, and remediation options are limited. Their remediation guidance left developers having to invest a lot of time to research answers themselves. be it coding, building and deploying or production.MergeBase integrates seamlessly into your security workflow, and the onboarding process is fast and can take from hours to weeks.

Triage and Remediation Options: Limited

wallet iconTotal Cost of Ownership

Open source security solutions have costs that go beyond the purchase of the solution. For example, false positives can add to your total cost of ownership (TCO). It creates additional work and often a lot of back and forth between different groups in the organization. Your valuable resources are directed to triage and resolve false positives. The people, technology, and process costs need to be factored into your total cost of ownership calculator to get a sense of the true cost of your open source solution.

Do you know your true cost of securing open source? Calculate my TCO


MergeBase total cost of ownership is amongst the lowest compared to its industry peers. It is a SaaS solution from the ground up which automatically enables continuous upgrades streamlines the onboarding process and operations. The low false positives help reduce resource, technology, and process costs to own and operate your open source security program.

Total Cost of Ownership: Low

BlackDuck (Synopsys)

BlackDuck has the highest total cost of ownership in the industry. On technology alone, BlackDuck costs a minimum of 25% more than MergeBase. When you include implementation, complex upgrades, and cost of false positives (which are the highest in the industry), the TCO for BlackDuck is a minimum 10X more than MergeBase. If you are looking for more complex scans, you will need to buy additional BlackDuck solutions.

Total Cost of Ownership: Highest

The MergeBase Advantage

MergeBase x BlackDuck (Synopsys)

Criteria MergeBase BlackDuck (Synopsys)
Visibility High, Accurate Limited
Developer Friendly? Yes No
Integration to your SDLC Complete Limited
Triage and Remediation
Advanced Limited
Total Cost of Ownership Lowest Highest

Selecting the right open source security solution is critical to protecting your organization and your budget. The bottom line is you need a full-featured and cost-effective solution that s quickly adopted by all your teams. MergeBase provides visibility to the real risk in their applications from vulnerable open source components at every stage of the development lifecycle. MergeBase accelerates triage by minimizing false positives and deemphasizing vulnerabilities in unused code. It automates remediation during development and can block attacks on vulnerable components in production.

For more information on this guide and to learn more about how MergeBase can help protect your organization from open source risk please connect with us for a remote consultation or email us at

Discover More from MergeBase

Open Source Protection

Stay on top of the real risk of open source at any time.

Avoid false positives and get sophisticated upgrade guidance based on risk, compatibility and popularity.

More on Continuous Protection

Add RunTime Protection

Detect and defend against known-vulnerabilities at runtime. The only SCA to do so.

The quickest way to respond to an imminent threat like log4j with CVE-2021-44228.

More on Run-time Protection

Shift Left Now

CodeGreen is an early-warning defence for your in-house development and integrates directly into GitHub and BitBucket

More on BitBucket and Github apps