MergeBase Vs Sonatype

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.

Overview Overview

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 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.



Sonatype provides vulnerability management across the software development life cycle, basic license detection, and compliance management.amcity

5 Criteria (that matter) when Selecting an SCA 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 Visibility

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



Sonatype found 27% fewer vulnerabilities than the top solution. Sonatype needs better tracking of transitive dependencies; otherwise, the team must research which component is the one they need to target. Your organization needs to determine whether complete visibility matters.

Visibility: Incomplete

Developer Friendly Developer 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



Sonatype lacks developer tools, so features like real-time notifications from the scans are missing. When the component used migrates to a repo that wasn’t indexed by Sonatype, scans will identify a component as an “unknown”. Developers have to research and verify “unknowns” and cause extra work. Sonatype covers only ten languages and the support for some are immature. For example, .NET language support is limited.

Developer Friendly: No

Integration to your SDLC Integration 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



Sonatype integrates into your software development lifecycle, but it requires significant implementation effort from your organization. The API’s and Plugin support for your integration may not be available with your security ecosystem, so you will need to verify upfront. For example, Sonatype doesn’t fully support TeamCity.

SDLC: Limited

Triage and Remediation Options 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



Triage and remediation tools are limited. Organizations have indicated that these tools are incomplete and not production-ready. Controls and fine-tuning scan criteria like usage is not available.

Triage and Remediation Options: Incomplete

Total Cost of Ownership Total 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



Sonatype pricing bundles do not feel transparent to customers. Customers may feel compelled to adopt the entire Sonatype ecosystem for better pricing but at a cost of losing the flexibility of a diversified security vendor program. The lack of developer tools translates to the organization not being able to tackle issues early when the cost to triage is the lowest.

Total Cost of Ownership: Highest

The MergeBase Advantage

The MergeBase Advantage

Criteria MergeBase Sonatype
Visibility High, Accurate Incomplete
Developer Friendly? Yes No
Integration to your SDLC Complete Incomplete
Triage and Remediation Options Advanced Incomplete
Total Cost of Ownership Lowest High Tier

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

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Product Overview