Databases require more bespoke code than other enterprise applications, according to research by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Quest Software.

One in three of the senior IT decision-makers surveyed cited databases as requiring the most new code, compared with the 22 percent apiece that cited CRM and ERP applications as requiring the most modification. A further 19 percent said middleware applications required the most work to integrate with existing systems.

But IT decision makers were evenly split as to where the responsibility for bug-ridden bespoke code lies. While 45 percent of those questioned felt code written in-house was mostly likely to contain bugs, a near-identical proportion – 41 percent – said code written by out-sourced parties was most likely to be buggy. Just 14 percent said they would pin the blame on code written as part of the core software product.

"Bespoke code locks human error into software," said Graeme Nash, UK compliance programme manager at Quest.

"Yet organisations have to customise vanilla applications to get the most out of them, especially around databases where the need for additional development work is greatest. It’s one of the reasons we are seeing a rising demand for application development tools to improve the customisation of packaged software without running the risks of introducing bugs.”

One reason identified for the poor quality of bespoke code was that when application development work was undertaken only 15 percent of senior decision makers said they regarded reviewing the quality of the code as their primary concern. Far more – 32 percent of those interviewed – cited analysing the impact of changes to applications.