How to contribute to parsers


  • You have forked and cloned locally.
  • Checkout dev and make sure you’re up to date with the latest changes.
  • It’s advised that you create a dedicated branch for your development, such as git checkout -b parser-name yet that’s up to you.

It is probably easier to use the docker-compose stack (and benefit from the hot-reload capbility for uWSGI). Set up your environment to use the debug environment, such as:

$ docker/ debug

Please have a look at for more details.

Docker images

You’d want to build your docker images locally, and eventually pass in your local user’s uid to be able to write to the image (handy for database migration files). Assuming your user’s uid is 1000, then:

$ docker-compose build --build-arg uid=1000

Which files do you need to modify?

dojo/tools/<parser_dir>/__init__.pyEmpty file for class initialization
dojo/tools/<parser_dir>/parser.pyThe meat. This is where you write your actual parser. The class name must be the Python module name without underscores plus Parser. Example: When the name of the Python module is dependency_check, the class name shall be DependencyCheckParser
dojo/unittests/scans/<parser_dir>/{many_vulns,no_vuln,one_vuln}.jsonSample files containing meaningful data for unit tests. The minimal set.
dojo/settings/settings.dist.pyIf you want to use a modern hashcode based deduplication algorithm

Factory contract

Parser are loaded dynamicaly with a factory pattern. To have your parser loaded and works correctly, you need to implement the contract.

  1. your parser MUST be in a sub-module of module
    • ex: module
  2. your parser MUST be a class in this sub-module.
    • ex:
  3. The name of this class MUST be the Python module name without underscores and with Parser suffix.
    • ex:
  4. This class MUST have an empty constructor or no constructor
  5. This class MUST implement 3 methods:
    1. def get_scan_types(self) This function return a list of all the scan_type supported by your parser. This identifiers are used internally. Your parser can support more than one scan_type. For example some parsers use different identifier to modify the behavior of the parser (aggregate, filter, etc…)
    2. def get_label_for_scan_types(self, scan_type): This function return a string used to provide some text in the UI (short label)
    3. def get_description_for_scan_types(self, scan_type): This function return a string used to provide some text in the UI (long description)
    4. def get_findings(self, file, test) This function return a list of findings
  6. If your parser have more than 1 scan_type (for detailled mode) you MUST implement def set_mode(self, mode) method


class MyToolParser(object):
    def get_scan_types(self):
        return ["My Tool Scan", "My Tool Scan detailed"]

    def get_label_for_scan_types(self, scan_type):
        if scan_type == "My Tool Scan":
            return "My Tool XML Scan aggregated by ..."
            return "My Tool XML Scan"

    def get_description_for_scan_types(self, scan_type):
        return "Aggregates findings per cwe, title, description, file_path. SonarQube output file can be imported in HTML format. Generate with version >= 1.1.0"

    def requires_file(self, scan_type):
        return False

    # mode:
    # None (default): aggregates vulnerabilites per sink filename (legacy behavior)
    # 'detailed' : No aggregation
    mode = None

    def set_mode(self, mode):
        self.mode = mode

    def get_findings(self, file, test):

Template Generator

Use the template parser to quickly generate the files required. To get started you will need to install cookiecutter.

$ pip install cookiecutter

Then generate your scanner parser from the root of django-DefectDojo:

$ cookiecutter

Read more on the template configuration variables.

Things to pay attention to

Here is a list of advise that will make your parser future proof.

Do not parse URLs by hand

We use 2 modules to handle endpoints:

  • hyperlink
  • dojo.models with a specific class to handle processing around URLs to create endpoints Endpoint.

All the existing parser use the same code to parse URL and create endpoints. Using Endpoint.from_uri() is the best way to create endpoints. If you really need to parse an URL, use hyperlink module.

Good example:

    if "url" in item:
        endpoint = Endpoint.from_uri(item["url"])
        finding.unsaved_endpoints = [endpoint]

Very bad example:

    u = urlparse(item["url"])
    endpoint = Endpoint(
    finding.unsaved_endpoints = [endpoint]

Not all attributes are mandatory

Parsers may have many fields, out of which many of them may be optional. It better to not set attribute if you don’t have data instead of filling with values like NA, No data etc…

Check class dojo.models.Finding

Data could be missing in the source report

Always make sure you include checks to avoid potential KeyError errors (e.g. field does not exist), for those fields you are not absolutely certain will always be in file that will get uploaded. These translate to 500 error, and do not look good.

Good example:

   if "mykey" in data:
       finding.cve = data["mykey"]

Do not parse CVSS by hand (vector, score or severity)

Data can have CVSS vectors or scores. Don’t try to write your own CVSS score algorithm. For parser, we rely on module cvss.

It’s easy to use and will make the parser aligned with the rest of the code.

Example of use:

from cvss.cvss3 import CVSS3
import cvss.parser
vectors = cvss.parser.parse_cvss_from_text("CVSS:3.0/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:N/AV:P/AC:H/PR:H/UI:R/E:H/RL:O/RC:R/CR:H/IR:X/AR:X/MAC:H/MPR:X/MUI:X/MC:L/MA:X")
if len(vectors) > 0 and type(vectors[0]) == CVSS3:
    print(vectors[0].severities())  # this is the 3 severities

    cvssv3 = vectors[0].clean_vector()
    severity = vectors[0].severities()[0]
    cvssv3_score = vectors[0].scores()[0]

Good example:

vectors = cvss.parser.parse_cvss_from_text(item['cvss_vect'])
if len(vectors) > 0 and type(vectors[0]) == CVSS3:
    finding.cvss = vectors[0].clean_vector()
    finding.severity = vectors[0].severities()[0]  # if your tool does generate severity

Bad example (DIY):

    def get_severity(self, cvss, cvss_version="2.0"):
        cvss = float(cvss)
        cvss_version = float(cvss_version[:1])
        # If CVSS Version 3 and above
        if cvss_version >= 3:
            if cvss > 0 and cvss < 4:
                return "Low"
            elif cvss >= 4 and cvss < 7:
                return "Medium"
            elif cvss >= 7 and cvss < 9:
                return "High"
            elif cvss >= 9:
                return "Critical"
                return "Informational"
        # If CVSS Version prior to 3
            if cvss > 0 and cvss < 4:
                return "Low"
            elif cvss >= 4 and cvss < 7:
                return "Medium"
            elif cvss >= 7 and cvss <= 10:
                return "High"
                return "Informational"

Deduplication algorithm

By default a new parser uses the ‘legacy’ deduplication algorithm documented at

Unit tests

Each parser must have unit tests, at least to test for 0 vuln, 1 vuln and many vulns. You can take a look at how other parsers have them for starters. The more quality tests, the better.

It’s important to add checks on attributes of findings. For ex:

        with self.subTest(i=0):
            finding = findings[0]
            self.assertEqual("test title", finding.title)
            self.assertEqual(True, finding.verified)
            self.assertEqual(False, finding.duplicate)
            self.assertIn(finding.severity, Finding.SEVERITIES)
            self.assertEqual("CVE-2020-36234", finding.cve)
            self.assertEqual(261, finding.cwe)
            self.assertEqual("CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:H/UI:R/S:C/C:L/I:L/A:N", finding.cvssv3)
            self.assertIn("security", finding.tags)
            self.assertIn("network", finding.tags)
            self.assertEqual("3287f2d0-554f-491b-8516-3c349ead8ee5", finding.unique_id_from_tool)
            self.assertEqual("TEST1", finding.vuln_id_from_tool)

Test database

To test your unit tests locally, you first need to grant some rights. Get your MySQL root password from the docker-compose logs, login as root and issue the following commands:

MYSQL> grant all privileges on test_defectdojo.* to defectdojo@'%';
MYSQL> flush privileges;

Run your tests

This local command will launch the unit test for your new parser

$ docker-compose exec uwsgi bash -c 'python test<your_unittest_py_file>.<main_class_name> -v2'

Example for the blackduck hub parser:

$ docker-compose exec uwsgi bash -c 'python test -v2'

Endpoint validation

Some types of parsers create a list of endpoints that are vulnerable (they are stored in finding.unsaved_endpoints). DefectDojo requires storing endpoints in a specific format (which follow RFCs). Endpoints that do not follow this format can be stored but they will be marked as broken (red flag 🚩in UI). To be sure your parse store endpoints in the correct format run the .clean() function for all endpoints in unit tests

findings = parser.get_findings(testfile, Test())
for finding in findings:
    for endpoint in finding.unsaved_endpoints:

Other files that could be involved

Change to the model

In the event where you’d have to change the model, e.g. to increase a database column size to accomodate a longer string of data to be saved

  • Change what you need in dojo/

  • Create a new migration file in dojo/db_migrations by running and including as part of your PR

        $ docker-compose exec uwsgi bash -c 'python makemigrations -v2'

Accept a different type of file to upload

If you want to be able to accept a new type of file for your parser, take a look at dojo/ around line 436 (at the time of this writing) or locate the 2 places (for import and re-import) where you find the string attrs={"accept":.

Formats currently accepted: .xml, .csv, .nessus, .json, .html, .js, .zip.

A need for more than just the

Of course, nothing prevents you from having more files than the file. It’s python :-)

Pull request examples

If you want to take a look at previous parsers that are now part of DefectDojo, take a look at

Update the import page documentation

Please update [docs/content/en/integrations/] with the details of your new parser.

Last modified September 21, 2021: WIP - readme cleanup (#5130) (1bd3606df)