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Automated Code Review Tools for Developers in 2021

saifsadiq1995 profile image Saif Sadiq Originally published at dzone.com ・5 min read

Code review is a technique that can improve the quality of a codebase by having multiple developers look for bugs and other problems before passing them on to others. Manual code reviews are costly and time-consuming, which is why many development teams use automated tools to do this work.

Automated code review tools can help you automate the process, improve your code quality, and save valuable developer time. Developers want to focus on building their applications instead of reviewing other people’s code. Automated code review tools have been around for a while, but they’ve been evolving and getting better. They are now more efficient, accurate, and customizable than ever before.

Why Use Automated Code Review Tools?

Automated code review tools have been around for a while as static analysis and unit testing frameworks. However, as business needs require speed and agility, it’s necessary to automate code review. It can lead to faster feedback, better code quality, and time to production.

This blog will explore the top automated code review tools in 2021 and help you choose which one is best for your needs by looking at the pros and cons of each.

CodeBeat

CodeBeat is a popular code review tool that provides automated code review and feedback. It displays a code grade on a ‘4.0 scale’ system where the code gets reviewed on a scale of 1 to 4. CodeBeat supports various languages like Python, Ruby, Java, Javascript, Golang, Swift, and more.

CodeBeat offers a team management tool that makes it easy to analyze the code and move developers within a team while maintaining consistency. Integrating with many popular toolings like Github, Gitlab, Bitbucket, Slack, and Hipchat, developers and software teams use CodeBeat at scale.

Some of the highlights of CodeBeat includes:

  • Provides an integrated dashboard with project reviews
  • Issues grouped into categories like complexity, code issues, and duplication
  • Provides E-Mail updates for project and pull request quality continuously
  • Provides immediate feedback to improve the codebase quality through “quick wins”
  • Easy to integrate and use with minimal setup required

Some of the drawbacks of CodeBeat are:

  • Lack of security analysis.
  • Lack of support for open-source tools and linters.

CodeBeat is entirely free for open-source, with enterprise support offered for large teams. CodeBeat provides a great degree of analysis for identifying cyclomatic complexity, thus identifying duplicated code.

DeepSource

DeepSource is an automated code review tool that provides automated code analysis against various popular general-purpose programming languages. DeepSource supports languages like Python, Javascript, Golang, Ruby, and Java. With its single-file configuration, DeepSource makes continuous analysis easy with every commit and pull request.

The code quality measures check for performance issues, type check issues, style issues, documentation issues, bug risks, and anti-patterns. It allows us to define clear and realistic goals for developers and maintainers to manage their codebases and make code review easier.

Some of the highlights of DeepSource includes:

  • Single-File Configuration for automated code analysis
  • Integrates with continuous integration pipelines like Travis CI and Circle CI
  • Supports code formatters like black, rubocop, and gofmt
  • Provides auto-fix for common issues across the codebase
  • Provides analysis for every issue and pull request

Some of the drawbacks of DeepSource are:

  • Lack of support for PHP, C++, and Rust
  • Lack of support for Azure DevOps

DeepSource is entirely free for open-source projects, with enterprise support for large teams. DeepSource analyzers work at file-level and repository-level and provide a low positive rate in comparison to other analyzers and code review tools.

CodeClimate

CodeClimate is a code review tool that aims to improve team productivity by bringing commit-to-deploy visibility. It aims to ease up continuous delivery with Velocity, which provides Engineering Intelligence, while Quality provides automated code review on every commit and pull request.

CodeClimate provides a maintainability score on a scale from A to F depending on various parameters, including code duplications, code smells, and more. It allows us to identify bottlenecks and provides trends like the change in test coverage or technical debt.

Some of the highlights of CodeClimate includes:

  • Easy installation with automated Git updates.
  • Identifies hotspots in the codebase to identify portions that need a refactor.
  • Provides a security dashboard to identify application vulnerabilities.
  • Provides an API to be used locally for automated code reviews.
  • Provides alerts and instance notifications over Mail and RSS feeds.

Some of the drawbacks of CodeClimate are:

  • Lack of issue description and search/filtering.
  • Lack of customization capabilities and high pricing.

CodeClimate suffers from a high rate and does not provide rules for identifying core complexities like file length and cognitive complexity. CodeClimate also integrates with Integrated Development Environments (IDE) like VS Code and Atom. It also features a library called “cc-test-reporter” to test the coverage.

Codacy

Codacy is one of the most popular automated code review tools used by individual developers and software development teams alike. Codacy supports various general-purpose programming languages like Python, Java, Javascript, C/C++, Ruby, Golang, and more.

Codacy covers code complexity, error-prone, security, code style, compatibility, documentation, and performance issues.

Some of the highlights of Codacy includes:

  • Automated code reviews with minimal installation
  • Integration with various services including GitHub, GitLab, GitHub Actions, CircleCI
  • Help define particular goals for the Project and provides a recommendation to fulfill them
  • Analyzes pull requests and commit individually
  • Only new issues are taken into account to prevent noise and duplication

Some of the drawbacks of Codacy are:

  • Lack of issue search apart from a few filters
  • Lacks support for exporting code patterns

Codacy provides an easy-to-use and intuitive user interface that can help developers to manage their code fluidly. It allows the developers to keep the code quality intact and the code review clean.

Veracode

Veracode is an automated code review tool for code review, automated testing, and improving codebase efficiency. Supporting various general-purpose programming languages like Python, Java, Javascript, Golang, and more, Veracode provides two code review tools: static analysis and software composition analysis.

The static analysis tool leverages static analysis, where developers can find bugs and anti-patterns and fix them before they land into production. The Software Composition Analysis allows identifying vulnerabilities while using third-party packages in the codebase.

Some of the highlights of Veracode includes:

  • Easy to configure and quick to use.
  • Provides binary scanning to have less false positives in the code.
  • Pin-points to real vulnerabilities in the code and recommends solutions.
  • Intuitive and friendly User-Interface with custom dashboards

Some of the drawbacks of Veracode are:

  • Lack of customization for analysis rules
  • Lack of a well-defined user experience

Veracode’s code analysis platform enables developers to review, analyze, and remediate code to find security vulnerabilities. Veracode also provides SDLC integration, which helps developers verify compliance with the OWASP Top 10 and other best practices.

Conclusion

Automated code review tools are a boon for developers. There’s no shortage of options available, and this article explored 5 tools, each with its advantages and disadvantages. 

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