Learn what Code Review is and why it’s so important along with a comprehensive list of the best Code Review Tools available in the market.
What is code review?
Code Review is nothing but testing the Source Code. Generally, it is used to find bugs in the early stages of the development of software. With code review, the quality of the software gets improved and the bugs/errors in the program code decrease.
The Code Review Tools automates the review process which in turn minimizes the review task of the code. There are two ways of performing reviews namely Formal Inspections and Walkthroughs.
However, both these techniques are heavy-weight techniques that may not be practical sometimes. Using formal inspections we can find more defects but its time consuming and difficult.
Few other light-weight techniques have been explored.
They are mentioned below:
- Over–the–shoulder: The developer stands behind the author’s shoulder who reviews the code. This is an informal review.
- Email pass-around: The author sends an email of the code to the reviewers for code review. This technique is preferred for open source projects.
- Pair Programming: Two developers develop the code together on a single machine. This is a time-consuming technique.
- Tool-assisted: Few specialized tools are used by authors and reviewers to review the code.
Note: Code Reviews are documented as an efficient way of finding the errors in the code and fixing the same at the early stages.
What You Will Learn:
The Most Powerful Code Review Tools On The Market
- SmartBear Collaborator
- Review Board
Here we go with a brief review of each tool!!
#1) SmartBear Collaborator
SmartBear Collaborator is the most comprehensive peer code review tool, built for teams working on projects where code quality is critical.
- See code changes, identify defects, and make comments on specific lines. Set review rules and automatic notifications to ensure that reviews are completed on time.
- Custom review templates are unique to the Collaborator. Set custom fields, checklists, and participant groups to tailor peer reviews to your team’s ideal workflow.
- Easily integrates with 11 different SCMs, as well as IDEs like Eclipse & Visual Studio
- Build custom review reports to drive process improvement and make auditing easy.
- Conduct peer document reviews with the same tool so that teams can easily align on requirements, design changes, and compliance burdens.
Embold is a software analytics platform that analyzes source code across 4 dimensions: code issues, design issues, metrics, and duplication. It surfaces issues that impact stability, robustness, security, and maintainability.
Integrate with GitHub, Bitbucket, Azure, and Git, and support over 10 languages. Free plugins for IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse are available.
- Patented anti-patterns show class, functional, and method level structural issues in the code that negatively affect maintainability.
- The Embold Score feature helps pinpoint risk areas and prioritize the most important fixes.
- At a glance, intuitive visuals like smart heatmaps portray the size and quality of every component of your software.
- Free OS and cloud versions available.
CodeScene detects and prioritizes technical debt based on how the organization works with the code. CodeScene integrates into your delivery pipeline as an extra team member that predicts delivery risks and provides context-aware quality gates. Integrate it with GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab or via CodeScene’s official Jenkins plugin.
- Automatic code review comments on pull requests.
- Quality gates for CI/CD.
- A goal-oriented work-flow for planning improvements.
- Supervise technical debt and code health.
- Works with any Git hosting.
- Integrate with Jira to track trends in delivery performance.
- CodeScene is available both on-premise and as a hosted version.
- Gerrit is a free web-based code review tool used by software developers to review their code on a web-browser and reject or approve the changes.
- Gerrit can be integrated with Git which is a distributed Version Control System.
- Gerrit provides repository management for Git.
- Using Gerrit, project members can use rationalized code review process and also the extremely configurable hierarchy.
- Gerrit is also used to discuss a few detailed segments of the code and enhance the right changes to be made.
Explore the site from here for more features on Gerrit.
- Codestriker is an open-source, free online code review web application that assists with collaborative code review.
- Using Codestriker one can record the issues, comments, and decisions in a database which can be further used for code inspections.
- It supports traditional document review. It can be integrated with ClearCase, Bugzilla, CVS, etc.
- It is licensed under GPL.
You can visit the website here for further information.
- Rhodecode is an open-source, protected and incorporated enterprise source code management tool.
- It serves as an integrated tool for Git, Subversion, and Mercurial.
- Its main features are team collaboration, Repository Management, and Code security & authentication.
- There are 2 editions, Community Edition (CE) which is a free, open-source and Enterprise Edition (EE) is licensed per user.
- Rhodecode automates workflows to execute faster.
Visit here for more details.
Phabricator is a complete suite of open-source software development applications which include light-weight web-based code review, planning, testing, browsing and audit score, finding bugs, etc.
- The code review tool from the Phabricator suite is termed as “Differential”. It is used in minimizing the efforts required in creating the best quality code.
- Phabricator has two types of code review workflows, namely “pre-push” also termed as “review” and “post-push” termed as “audit”.
- Phabricator can be integrated with Git, Subversion, and Mercurial.
For more information on this tool, visit here.
Crucible is a web-based collaborative code review application used by developers for code review, finding defects, discussing the changes and knowledge sharing, etc.
- Crucible is a flexible application that accommodates ample range of work approaches and team sizes.
- Crucible is a lightweight peer code review tool that is used in pre-commit and post-commit reviews.
- Code review has become easy for SVN, Perforce, CVS etc. using Crucible.
You can visit the website here to get more information.
Veracode (now acquired by CA Technologies) is a company which delivers various solutions for automated & on-demand application security testing, automated code review, etc.
- Veracode is used by the developers in creating secured software by scanning the binary code or byte code in place of source code.
- Using Veracode, one can identify improper encrypted functionalities, malicious code and backdoors from source code.
- Veracode can review a large amount of code and returns the results immediately.
- To use Veracode there is no need to buy any software or hardware, you just need to pay for the analysis services you need.
To learn more about Veracode services, visit here.
#10) Review Board
The Review Board is a web-based, collaborative, free, and open-source tool used for code review and document review by open-source projects and companies.
- Using the Review Board for code review one can save money and time. Time saved can be used in concentrating on creating great software.
- The Review Board can be integrated with ClearCase, CVS, Perforce, Plastic, etc.
- In the code review by the Review Board tool, the code is syntax highlighted which makes it read faster.
- The Review Board supports pre-commit reviews and post-commit reviews.
Visit the website from here for a free trial.
JArchitect is a wonderful tool for analyzing Java code. After each review, it surrenders a report stating the development of your project or software which eases your task of customizing the code.
Click here for the Official Website.
Reviewable is a fresh, light-weight and powerful code review tool which makes the code review faster and more thorough. It facilitates in improving the code quality by cleaning the User Interface, Customizing the code font, finding bugs or issues, highlighting the syntax, etc.
Click here for the Official Website.
#13) Visual Expert
Visual Expert is a one-stop solution for a complete code review of Oracle, SQL Server, and PowerBuilder code.
Using Visual Expert, Transact-SQL, PL/SQL & PowerBuilder developers will be able to clean up their code, reduce maintenance and avoid unexpected behavior.
- Find unused objects, indexes or tables.
- Identify missing Indexes and degrading query execution time.
- Verify naming conventions.
- Generate code metrics: lines of code, number of objects, variables, etc.
- Find oversized objects.
- Find empty functions, with no active code.
The Visual Expert toolbox also includes CRUD matrix generation, Automatic code documentation, E/R diagrams synchronized with code, Code performance analysis, and much more.
This article provides you with a list of some of the best code review tools that make software development and unit testing super-easy for the developers by finding the defects at an early stage.
Using such code review tools, the overall quality of the software gets improved by locating the issues that went unnoticed in the initial phase of development.