CodiumAI is a tool that helps developers write meaningful tests for their code. It does this by analyzing the code and generating tests that cover different edge cases and behaviors. CodiumAI can also help developers find suspicious behaviors in their code and improve the overall quality of their code.
One of the most amazing product by CodiumAI is the PR-Agent. It helps saving time in reviewing Pull Requests. The tool is open-source and available on GitHub to help alld developers review and manage pull requests (PRs) more efficiently.
This article is going to explore the features the CodiumAI PR-Agent has to offer in comparison to what GitHub Co-Pilot brings to the table. GitHub Co-Pilot is an AI driven developer tool, developed and maintained by GitHub.
Unlike GitHub Co-Pilot(10USD per month), CodiumAI PR-Agent has a flexible pricing options, including free tier, that comes with with great features including Code Behavior Analysis.
To get started, you go to https://www.codium.ai/ and sign up for an account. After creating, you are directed to an app home page where you get to view integration options to different IDE’s including:
- Visual Studio Code
CodiumAI Visual Studio Code extension is available on the official VSCode market place.
After installing, you will be redirected to you CodiumAI account to link your profile, and viola! You are good to go!
CodiumAI's PR-Agent and GitHub Co-Pilot are both powerful tools, each offering great and unique features tailored to developers' needs. One amazing advantage of CodiumAI's PR-Agent lies in its free availability for individual developers, providing an accessible and cost-effective solution for enhancing code quality.
When it comes to user interface, CodiumAI stands out with its proprietary testing-specific UI/UX, that is well integrated into IDEs like Visual Studio Code(see image below). This interface not only facilitates easy management and interaction with individual tests but also enables automatic fixes to code—a feature that GitHub Co-Pilot doesn't explicitly emphasize. This emphasis on user-friendly interfaces positions CodiumAI as a more intuitive and efficient choice for developers.
CodiumAI supports the most commonly and prefered IDEs by developers worldwide, including VS Code and JetBrains, PyCharm and WebStorm offering flexibility to a broad user base. This contrasts with GitHub Co-Pilot, which, while supporting various IDEs, may not cover the full spectrum of developers' preferences.
Entry level developers often face challenges in extracting structured and consistent output from generative AI models. CodiumAI addresses this by leveraging its backend capabilities to ensure high-value results from the outset, simplifying the user experience for those new to the platform. GitHub Co-Pilot partially supports this through commands but may require more effort from beginners.
One distinctive feature of CodiumAI PR-Agent is its ability to run generated tests and Pull Request Commands within the IDE plugin, allowing developers to directly apply and review fixes to their code. This integration of testing and code enhancement sets CodiumAI apart, providing a seamless experience that GitHub Co-Pilot may not fully replicate.
CodiumAI goes beyond the generation of naive sanity tests by employing Behavior Coverage analysis and static code analysis techniques. This results in the creation of diverse test suites, enhancing the overall quality and effectiveness of the testing process—a dimension where GitHub Co-Pilot may have limitations.
Moreover, CodiumAI's emphasis on mapping component behaviors and providing a metric for evaluating behavior coverage instills confidence in developers. This feedback mechanism ensures users have a clear understanding of how much of the overall behaviors are covered, a feature that GitHub Co-Pilot may not offer at the same level.
CodiumAI's PR-Agent emerges as a compelling choice for developers seeking a comprehensive, user-friendly, and privacy-focused solution for code generation and testing. With its unique features and commitment to best practices, CodiumAI offers a robust alternative to GitHub Co-Pilot, particularly for those prioritizing ease of use, testing diversity, and data privacy.
GitHub Copilot helps developers work faster by providing suggestions for code completion, code generation, and code explanation. The primary role of GitHub’s CoPilot is code completions and code generation, while CodiumAI PR-Agent is focused on helping developers review pull requests, which it automatically analyzes pull requests and provides feedback on the code, documentation, and overall quality of the changes.
This can help developers identify and fix potential bugs and security issues before they are merged into the codebase.
|Pull request review
|Code completion and generation
|- Auto description
- Auto Pull Request review
- Question answering
- Code suggestions
- Update changelog
- Find similar code issues
- Add documentation
|- Code suggestions
- Code generation
- Code explanation
|- Open Source
- Paid Features
CodiumAI PR-Agent's open-source nature makes it a cost-effective solution, while its support for various programming languages and IDE integrations ensures wide compatibility.
In conclusion, CodiumAI PR-Agent emerges as a more comprehensive and valuable tool for developers seeking to enhance code quality, streamline pull request reviews, and minimize development risks.
CodiumAI PR-Agent’s open-source nature, language versatility, and IDE integrations further strengthen its appeal.
While GitHub Copilot has amazing advantages to Developers like offering a great assistance in writting better code by offering suggestions for code completion, code generation, and code explanation, CodiumAI PR-Agent brings the following to the table:
- Real-World Practicality: PR-Agent prioritizes practicality by limiting each tool (review, improve, ask, etc.) to a single GPT-4 call, ensuring responsiveness (~30 seconds) and cost-effectiveness for everyday team usage.
- PR Compression Strategy: PR-Agent's unique PR Compression strategy effectively handles both short and long PRs, making it a versatile tool for various code review scenarios.
- Modular and Customizable Tools: PR-Agent's JSON prompting strategy enables modularity and customization, allowing users to control tool categories and easily add new ones through the configuration file.
- Broad Support and Flexibility: PR-Agent supports multiple git providers (GitHub, Gitlab, Bitbucket, CodeCommit), multiple usage methods (CLI, GitHub Action, GitHub App, Docker, etc.), and multiple models (GPT-4, GPT-3.5, Anthropic, Cohere, Llama2), catering to diverse user preferences and environments.
- Open-Source Community: PR-Agent is an open-source project, embracing community contributions and fostering collaboration for continuous improvement.
To have a look of the PR-Agent in action, we will use an existing project on GitHub:
Simple Angular App for Dad Jokes: Angular + Progressive web Apps using PWAFIRE
Clone the project into your development environment and create a new branch, make a few changes, and push to GitHub:
The PR-Agent has a couple of commands that can be used inside a Pull Request:
🚀CodiumAI PR-Agent: An AI-Powered 🤖 Tool for Automated Pull Request Analysis, Feedback, Suggestions and More! 💻🔍
PR-Agent is an open-source tool for efficient pull request reviewing and handling. It automatically analyzes the pull request and can provide several types of commands:
‣ Auto Description (
/describe): Automatically generating PR description - title, type, summary, code walkthrough and labels
‣ Auto Review (
/review): Adjustable feedback about the PR main theme, type, relevant tests, security issues, score, and various suggestions for the PR content
‣ Question Answering (
/ask ...): Answering free-text questions about the PR
‣ Code Suggestions (
/improve): Committable code suggestions for improving the PR
‣ Update Changelog (
/update_changelog): Automatically updating the CHANGELOG.md file with the PR changes
‣ Find Similar Issue (
/similar_issue): Automatically retrieves and presents similar issues.
‣ Add Documentation (
/add_docs): Automatically adds documentation to…
describe command tool is a feature that automatically generates descriptions for pull requests (PRs) created. Users can manually invoke it by commenting "/describe" on a PR, or it can be set to trigger automatically when a new PR is opened.
The configuration file for the tool includes options like
Additionally, there is a markers template that allows users to integrate their content and auto-generated content through a template-like mechanism. Markers enable the replacement of specific content placeholders in the PR description, providing flexibility in structuring the output. Users can configure options such as
use_description_markers to enable the markers template and
include_generated_by_header to add a header indicating content generated by the PR Agent. Overall, the
describe tool streamlines the PR documentation process by automating the generation of comprehensive descriptions.
review tool scans the PR code changes, and automatically generates a PR review. It can be invoked manually by commenting on any PR.
Users can manually invoke it by commenting "/review" on a PR, or it can be set to trigger automatically when a new PR is opened. The tool provides various configuration options under the 'pr_reviewer' section in the configuration file, allowing customization of features such as focused review, scoring, tests checking, security issue detection, and effort estimation.
By adding a comment on your Pull Request, followed by a command, i.e:
You trigger CodiumAI PR-Agent to perform an action based on the command given, in this case, giving a review of the pull request.
review tool includes a PR reflection feature invoked by "/reflect_and_review." This feature prompts the author with questions about the PR, guiding the review based on their answers. A note on code suggestions quality emphasizes the potential for mistakes, encourages user judgment, and suggests using the 'extra_instructions' field to guide the model. It distinguishes between the general 'review' feature and the dedicated 'improve --extended' feature focused on suggestions.
review tool streamlines the PR review process by automating various aspects and providing configurable options to adapt to project needs.
improve tool is a feature that automatically generates committable suggestions for enhancing code in pull requests (PRs). Users can manually trigger it by commenting "/improve" on a PR, and it can also be set to run automatically whenever a new PR is opened. An extended mode, activated by "/improve --extended," offers more comprehensive suggestions by dividing the PR code changes into chunks.
ask tool is a feature designed to answer questions about a pull request (PR) based on the code changes in that PR. Users can manually trigger it by commenting "/ask" followed by a question in quotes on a PR.
/ask "How do improve code quality"
The Similar Issue Tool is a feature designed to retrieve the most similar issues to the current issue in a repository. Users can manually invoke this tool by commenting "/similar_issue" on any pull request (PR) or issue.
The tool utilizes a retrieval system and indexes all previous issues in the repository to find and present similar issues. The retrieved information is then shared as comments in the respective PR or issue, providing users with relevant references or solutions.
To enable the usage of the 'Similar Issue' tool, users need to set specific keys in the
.secrets.toml file or relevant environment variables. These parameters, including the Pinecone API key and environment, can be obtained by registering on the Pinecone platform.
Overall, the 'Similar Issue Tool' aims to enhance issue resolution by providing users with references to similar issues in the repository, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Now that we know what CodiumAI PR-Agent is capable of, let’s dive deep into how it enhances developer’s Pull Request efficiencies in comparison with GitHub Co-Pilot.
A pull request (PR) review is an important stage of the software development lifecycle, ensuring that code changes are of high quality, meet coding requirements, and do not introduce bugs or security vulnerabilities. Both CodiumAI PR-Agent and GitHub Co-Pilot play significant roles in streamlining and enhancing the efficiency of pull request reviews.
CodiumAI PR-Agent takes a comprehensive approach to pull request reviews, incorporating several tools and features to analyze code changes, provide feedback, and assist developers in improving their code. Here are some key aspects of CodiumAI PR-Agent's pull request review efficiency:
/describecommand automatically generates descriptive content for pull requests. This feature helps in creating comprehensive documentation, providing context about the changes made in the code.
Auto Pull Request Review:
/reviewcommand scans the code changes in a pull request and generates an automatic review. This includes focused reviews, scoring, tests checking, security issue detection, and effort estimation. The tool provides configurable options to tailor the review process to the specific needs of the project.
PR Compression Strategy:
CodiumAI PR-Agent employs a unique PR compression strategy that effectively handles both short and long pull requests. This versatility ensures that the tool remains efficient in various code review scenarios.
Modular and Customizable Tools:
The JSON prompting strategy allows for modularity and customization. Users can control tool categories and easily add new ones through the configuration file. This flexibility ensures that developers can adapt the tool to fit the requirements of their projects.
Broad Support and Flexibility:
CodiumAI PR-Agent supports multiple git providers, including GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and CodeCommit. It offers multiple usage methods, such as CLI, GitHub Action, GitHub App, Docker, and more. Additionally, it supports multiple models, providing users with options to choose the underlying language model.
Being an open-source project, CodiumAI PR-Agent encourages community contributions and collaboration. This open nature fosters continuous improvement and innovation.
PR-Agent prioritizes practicality by limiting each tool to a single GPT-4 call, ensuring responsiveness (around 30 seconds) and cost-effectiveness for everyday team usage.
GitHub Co-Pilot, on the other hand, primarily focuses on code completions, code generation, and code explanation. While it excels in assisting developers in writing better code by offering suggestions, its role in pull request reviews is not as direct as CodiumAI PR-Agent. However, it indirectly contributes to the overall efficiency of the development process by providing accurate and context-aware code suggestions.
Now here is a comparative analysis of CodiumAI PR-Agent and GitHub Co-Pilot concerning pull request review efficiency:
Focus on Pull Request Review:
- CodiumAI PR-Agent is designed to assist developers in the pull request review process, offering tools like
/reviewfor automated reviews and feedback.
- GitHub Co-Pilot's primary focus is on code completion and generation, with less emphasis on providing detailed feedback for pull request reviews.
- CodiumAI PR-Agent is designed to assist developers in the pull request review process, offering tools like
User Interface and Experience:
- CodiumAI PR-Agent’s UI/UX, integrated into IDEs like Visual Studio Code, enhances the user experience for managing and interacting with individual tests during pull request reviews.
- GitHub Co-Pilot, while excellent for code suggestions, may not provide the same level of testing-specific UI/UX, potentially making it less intuitive for pull request review tasks.
Testing and Behavior Coverage:
- CodiumAI goes beyond generating tests by incorporating Behavior Coverage analysis and static code analysis techniques. This results in the creation of diverse test functions, contributing to the overall quality of the testing process.
- GitHub Co-Pilot may lack the same level of sophistication in terms of behavior coverage analysis, potentially limiting its effectiveness in ensuring comprehensive code testing.
Integration of Testing and Code Enhancement:
- CodiumAI PR-Agent allows developers to run generated tests and pull request commands within the IDE plugin(UI Interface in the IDE), facilitating a seamless experience for applying and reviewing fixes directly.
- GitHub Co-Pilot may not offer the same level of integration for testing and code enhancement within the development environment.
- CodiumAI's emphasis on a user-friendly interface, specifically tailored for testing and pull request tasks, positions it as an intuitive and efficient choice for developers.
- GitHub Co-Pilot, while providing excellent code suggestions, may not have a specialized interface for pull request review tasks.
Community Support and Open Source Nature:
- CodiumAI PR-Agent's open-source nature, coupled with its active community, ensures continuous improvement and adaptability to the evolving needs of developers.
- GitHub Co-Pilot, while a powerful tool, may have limitations in community-driven enhancements due to its closed-source nature.
It is undeniable how Artificial Intelligence has made our lives easier, not just as developers, but humans in general, I mean look at what OpenAI is doing. In the midst of all these awesome and cool inventions that AI is doing, we are greate to have tools like CodiumAI PR-Agent, an AI tool specialized to handle Pull Requests straight from our IDEs and even on GitHub!
Automating reviews, and minimizing development risks, have made CodiumAI PR-Agent a perfect go to tool.