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Sonatype Nexus Lifecycle Valuable Features

Software Architect at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees

IQ Server also checks the overall quality of library. Often as a developer, to solve a certain programming problem we do some research online and may find suggested open source libraries that would address what we need. However, we don't always check how old it is or how maintained it is, but that is another thing that IQ Server will point out. "This version (or the whole library) you are using is like five to six years old. Maybe it's time to check if there are alternatives which are better kept up." That's another useful thing for us.

We enjoy how it works together with other stuff that we have. We integrated it with Jira to keep track of things. We have it set up so it will generate tickets in Jira automatically when it finds something, then those can be added to our sprints.

The quality of data seems very thorough. It compiles data from a couple of different sources. Sonatype double checks the vulnerability itself. I've seen instances where there will be a message saying something like, "According to official sources, this only occurs in version 4.2 or later, but our research team indicates that the vulnerability also exists in versions 3.x." This shows IQ Server gives you more information than what we previously would find, unless we did a lot of research and happened to stumble on that piece of information. Busy developers will usually prefer to spend the majority of their time implementing features and fixing bugs to meet customer time lines rather than indefinitely research possible vulnerabilities in a library they want to use. The information that we're getting through IQ Server makes it all easily accessible, and it's also thorough and comes with steps and descriptions of when this issue occurs for specific use cases, so it allows our developers to not lose a lot of time on research.

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Sr. Enterprise Architect at MIB Group

I won't say there aren't a ton of features, but primarily we use it as an artifact repository. Some of the more profound features include the REST APIs. We tend to make use of those a lot. They also have a plugin for our CI/CD; we use Jenkins to do continuous integration, and it makes our pipeline build a lot more streamlined. It integrates with Jenkins very well.

The default policies and the policy engine provide the flexibility we need. The default policy was good enough for us. We didn't really mess with it. We left it alone because the default policy engine pretty much works for our use cases.

The integrations into developer tooling work just fine. We primarily use Gradle to build our applications. We just point the URL to what we call our "public repository group" in Nexus. It's a front for everything, so it can see all of the other underlying repositories. Our developers, in their Gradle builds, just point them to this public repository and they can pull down any dependency that they need. It doesn't really integrate with our IDE. It's just simply that we use Gradle and it makes it very straightforward.

Nexus blocks undesirable open-source components from entering our development lifecycle because of the IQ policy actions. We define what sort of level of risk we're willing to take. For example for "security-critical," we could just fail them across the board; we don't want anything that has a security-critical. That's something we define as a CVE security number of nine or 10. If it has a known vulnerability of nine or 10 we could even stop it from coming down from Maven Central; it's quarantined because it has a problem that we don't want to even introduce into our network. We've also created our own policy that we call an "architecture blacklist," which means we don't want certain components to be used from an architectural standpoint. For example, we don't want anybody to build anything with Struts 1. We put it on the architecture blacklist. If a component comes in and it has that tag, it fails immediately.

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Senior Architect at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

We really like the Nexus Firewall. There are increasing threats from npm, rogue components, and we've been able to leverage protection there. We also really like being able to know which of our apps has known vulnerabilities. 

Specifically features that have been good include

  • the email notifications
  • the API, which has been good to work with for reporting, because we have some downstream reporting requirements
  • that it's been really user-friendly to work with.

Generally speaking, the configuration of all the tools is pretty good; the admin screens are good.

We have been able to use the API for some Excel-based reports to compare how many of our application deployments were covered by scans, and to do charts on that. That has been good and worked really well.

The default policies are also good. We deviated a little bit from those, but we have mostly used them, and they have been good. They provide us with the flexibility that we need and probably more flexibility than we need.

It has brought open source intelligence and policy enforcement across our SDLC. We have policies and SLAs that say, for example, critical findings have to be fixed within 90 days, and "high" findings have to be fixed within 120 days. That's tracked and reported on. We use the API to do some downstream reporting into some executive dashboards and when executives see red and orange they don't like it, and things get done. We've also made it part of our standards to say no components with existing vulnerabilities. Enforcing those standards is integrated into our software development life cycle.

Sonatype also blocks undesirable open source components. That is also done through policies that you can set, and configuration of the repo.

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Learn what your peers think about Sonatype Nexus Lifecycle. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
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Engineering Tools and Platform Manager at BT - British Telecom

Its engine itself is most valuable in terms of the way it calculates and decides whether a security vulnerability exists or not. That's the most important thing. Its security is also pretty good, and its listing about the severities is also good.

The plugins that are there on the editor are also valuable. Engineers don't have to wait for the entire pipeline to go in and show some results. While they are writing code, it can stop them from writing something that might end up as a security vulnerability.

Its default policies and the policy engine are quite good. So far, we haven't found anything that went through IQ but wasn't caught. We are quite happy with it. The policy engine pretty much provides the flexibility that we need. I haven't seen a case where any of my customers came in and said that they don't have a certain policy in place for IQ, or they wanted to change or remove any policies. At times, they wanted to suppress warnings or altogether skip them if possible, but it doesn't happen or is required very often. 

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Enterprise Infrastrcture Architect at Qrypt

Part of our use case is that we use Azure DevOps, so we have continuous integration, continuous deployment pipelines in Azure DevOps. The Nexus plugin for DevOps allows us to just include the IQ scan as part of the pipeline deployment. It's very seamless for our users. They don't even have to think about it until they have a violation. IQ informs them or stops the build, and the developers have to resolve it. 

The default policies were very good for us. We're using all of the default ones except for setting the warning and the stop features at different build stages. It definitely provides the flexibility we need.

We're not at the point in our deployment of the software to where we're doing automated git pulls and where it will automatically resolve vulnerabilities by downloading new packages. We haven't done that, but the integration with our Azure DevOps pipeline has been very seamless. I don't know of any developers that are using the integration with visual studio IDE.

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DevOps Engineer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees

The REST API is the most useful for us because it allows us to drive it remotely and, ideally, to automate it.

We have worked a lot on the configuration of its capabilities. This is something very new in Nexus and not fully supported. But that's one of the aspects we are the most interested in.

And we like the ability to analyze the libraries. There are a lot of filters to output the available libraries for our development people and our continuous integration.

The solution integrates well with our existing DevOps tools. It's mainly a Maven plugin, and the REST API provides the compliance where we have everything in a giant tool.

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Application Security at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees

The component piece, where you can analyze the component, is the most valuable. You can pull the component up and you can look at what versions are bad, what versions are clean, and what versions haven't been reported on yet. You can make decisions based off of that, in terms of where you want to go. I like that it puts all that information right there in a window for you.

The default policies are a good start. Within our environment, I tweaked each level to have its own policy, just because of the control it gives us. It provides us with the flexibility we need.

The data quality is pretty good. I have not had any major problems. It helps us solve problems faster.

It integrates well with the existing DevOps tools. We plugged it right in. It was an "after-the-fact" thing that we added into our pipeline and it integrated quite easily. We use Jenkins and it was a nice fit with that. We don't have it creating tickets yet, so we don't have it integrated with a ticketing system, but it is integrated with our Jenkins platform.

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Security Analyst at a computer software company with 51-200 employees

I like the JIRA integration, as well as the email notifications. They allow me to see things more in real-time without having to monitor the application directly. So as new items come in, it will generate a JIRA task and it will send me an email, so I know to go in and have a look at what is being alerted.

The policy engine is really cool. It allows you to set different types of policy violations, things such as the age of the component and the quality: Is it something that's being maintained? Those are all really great in helping get ahead of problems before they arise. You might otherwise end up with a library that's end-of-life and is not going to get any more fixes. This can really help you to try to get ahead of things, before you end up in a situation where you're refactoring code to remove a library. The policy engine absolutely provides the flexibility we need. We are rolling with the default policy, for the most part. We use the default policy and added on and adjusted it a little bit. But, out-of-the-box, the default policy is pretty good.

The data quality is good. The vulnerabilities are very detailed and include links to get in and review the actual postings from the reporters. There have been relatively few that I would consider false positives, which is cool. I haven't played with the licensing aspect that much, so I don't have any comment on the licensing data. One of the cool things about the data that's available within the application is that you can choose your vulnerable library and you can pull up the component information and see which versions of that library are available, that don't have any listed vulnerabilities. I've found myself using that a lot this week as we are preparing for a new library upgrade push.

The data quality definitely helps us to solve problems faster. I can pull up a library and see, "Okay, these versions are non-vulnerable," and raise my upgrade task. The most valuable part of the data quality is that it really helps me fit this into our risk management or our vulnerability management policy. It helps me determine: 

  • Are we affected by this and how bad is it? 
  • How quickly do we need to fix this? Or are we not affected?
  • Is there any way to leverage it? 

Using that data quality to perform targeted, manual testing in order to verify that something isn't a direct issue and that we can designate for upgrade for the next release means that we don't have to do any interim releases.

As for automating open-source governance and minimizing risk, it does so in the sense of auditing vulnerabilities, thus far. It's still something of a reactive approach within the tool itself, but it comes in early enough in the lifecycle that it does provide those aspects.

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Information Security Program Preparer / Architect at Alef Education

From the integration perspective, it is easy to use, out-of-the-box. The GUI is not complex.

I mainly use two modules, the report server and IQ Server. The value I get from IQ Server is that I get information on real business risks. Is something compliant, are we using the proper license?

With IQ Server we are currently running the default policy. We started deploying six months back and our main objectives were identifying any bad licenses in our library or product, and whether we are using any critically vulnerable assets. We have stuck with the default policies and they are giving us huge visibility and, as a result, we are putting a lot of effort into remediation.

In terms of the data quality and the database they have for open source, I'm impressed. For our requirements, the data we get seems to be updated well when it comes to license-type and vulnerabilities.

The solution also blocks undesirable open source components from entering our development lifecycle. We use it for controlling third-party libraries.

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VP and Sr. Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

Its core features are the most valuable:

  • protection
  • scanning
  • detection
  • notification of vulnerabilities.

It's important for us as an enterprise to continually and dynamically protect our software development from threats and vulnerabilities, and to do that as early in the cycle as possible.

Also, the onboarding process is pretty smooth and easy. We didn't feel like it was a huge problem at all. We were able to get in there and have it start scanning pretty rapidly.

The data quality is really good. They've got some of the best in the industry as far as that is concerned. As a result, it helps us to resolve problems faster. The visibility of the data, as well as their features that allow us to query and search - and even use it in the development IDE - allow us to remediate and find things faster.

The solution also integrated well with our existing DevOps tool. That was of critical importance to us. We built it directly into our continuous integration cycles and that's allowed us to catch things at build time, as well as stop vulnerabilities from moving downstream.

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Computer Architecture Specialist at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees

It's a great tool. We have it connected live to the Sonatype database. Whenever there is a new vulnerability, it's discovered. We have early detection of any vulnerability in our open source library. The scanning capability is its most valuable feature, discovering vulnerable open source libraries.

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Sr. DevOps Engineer at Primerica

The proxy repository is probably the most valuable feature to us because it allows us to be more proactive in our builds. We're no longer tied to saving components to our repository.

The default policies are good, they're a good start. They're a great place to start when you are looking to build your own policies. We mostly use the default policies, perhaps with changes here and there. It's deceptively easy to understand. It definitely provides the flexibility we need. There's a lot more stuff that you can get into. It definitely requires training to properly use the policies.

We like the integrations into developer tooling. We use the Lifecycle piece for some of our developers and it integrates easily into Eclipse and into Visual Studio code. It's a good product for that.

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Product Strategy Group Director at Civica

For us, it's seeing not only the licensing and security vulnerabilities but also seeing the age of the open-sources included within our software. That allows us to take proactive steps to make sure we're updating the software to versions that are regularly maintained and that don't have any vulnerabilities.

In addition, the default policies, in general, are quite good. We have adjusted slightly but we're fairly happy with the way that's set up. They provide us with the flexibility we're looking for.

The data quality is pretty good. We don't have masses of false positives. There have been some areas around .NET which haven't been quite as good as some of the other areas, but we know work is being done on that. Overall, the data quality does help us solve problems faster.

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Product Owner Secure Coding at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

The quality or the profiles that you can set are most valuable. The remediation of issues that you can do and how the information is offered is also valuable.

Its integration with our tool landscape is very valuable. It is the interaction with account management and technical consultants.

The default policies and the policy engine are very good. Most of what we have is the default. It is also possible to create your own policies and custom rules, but we only do that for a handful of exceptions. We are very pleased with the default policies and settings. It provides us the flexibility we need because we can use it in our own customized settings. It is flexible enough for us to work with.

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Software Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

We get email notifications if a certain library has a security issue, like Log4j. We are informed very early and we can check into it and act on it. This is the most valuable feature.

Also, the integrations into developer tooling are quite nice. I have the integration for Eclipse and for Visual Studio. Colleagues are using the Javascript IDE from JetBrains called WebStorm and there is an integration for that from Nexus Lifecycle as well. I have not heard about anything that is not working. It's also quite easy to integrate it. You just need to set up a project or an app and then you just make the connection in all the tools you're using.

We have also set up certain organizations for our company, within the Nexus tool, such as groups or departments. Within these groups, we have the different applications they're working with. This is a structure that Sonatype recommended we implement.

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Application Development Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees

The most valuable feature is the scanning part, then the report part, as it is quite easy to read. The report part is very important to us because that is how we communicate to our security officer and the security committee. Therefore, we need to have a complete report that we can generate and pass onto them for review.

The solution’s data quality has been pretty accurate. The ones that we are focusing on now are 9 and 10. Once we adjust and scan them again, they are no longer deemed to be the same threat level, which is good. If I replaced the library with a safer one, they still complain that that's not good. So far, we're pretty happy with the quality.

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DevOps Engineer at Guardhat

So far, the information that we're getting out of both the Nexus Lifecycle and SonarQube tools is really great.

And the integration of Lifecycle is really good with Jenkins and GitHub; those work very well. We've been able to get it to work seamlessly with them so that it runs on every build that we have. That part is easy to use and we're happy with that.

We're able to use Jenkins Pipeline and the integrations that are built into Gradle to incorporate that into our build process where we can have control over exactly when Nexus IQ and SonarQube analyses are run — what kinds of builds — and have them run automatically.

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Learn what your peers think about Sonatype Nexus Lifecycle. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
565,689 professionals have used our research since 2012.