I have an software application that I need to "review against" a set of security guidelines. This seems clear to me, but a colleague questioned this usage.

One alternative would be to review the application "per" the guidelines.

Are there other alternatives? What is the best way to convey this action?

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    You could review the software application in the context of a set of security guidelines or similar, but I don't see why your colleague should object to against in this context. Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


Another alternative to "review X against Y" is "review X to ensure compliance with Y."

Or, in your specific case, "review the application to ensure compliance with the security guidelines."

  • To review against is wholly comprehensible, if rather unusual. When your colleague questioned that usage did he explain why? If the alternative would be to review the application per the guidelines what, exactly, did either of you think per added that the original review against failed to convey? There are no other alternatives; never. Whatever is the best way to convey your action, there can never be more than two alternatives for anything. Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 22:35

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