How Automated Code Reviews works
How Automated Code Reviews works
All you need to know about automated code reviews
Automated code review platforms reply to static code analysis (also called static analysis or source code analysis). This type of analysis addresses weaknesses in source code that might lead to vulnerabilities. Of course, this may also be achieved through manual code reviews, using automated tools is much more effective. Static analysis is commonly used to make code comply with coding guidelines. Compared to dynamic code analysis that runs the tests during unit testing, static code analysis is performed during the non-runtime environment (more about it later). There are several benefits of static code analysis especially if you need the code to comply with an established standard. The best static code analysis tools offer speed, depth, and accuracy.
- Speed — It takes time for developers to do manual code reviews. Automated tools are much faster. An automated code review addresses problems early on. And it pinpoints exactly where the error is in the code. So, you’ll be able to fix those errors faster. Additionally, coding errors found earlier are less costly to fix.
- Depth — Manual Testing can’t cover every possible code execution path. But a code analyzer can. It checks the code as you work on your build. You’ll get an in-depth analysis of where there might be potential problems in your code, based on the rules you’ve applied.
- Accuracy — Manual code reviews are prone to human error. Automated tools are not.
They scan every line of code to identify potential problems. This helps you ensure the highest-quality code is in place before testing begins. After all, when you’re complying with a coding standard, quality is critical. One of the primary uses of static analyzers is to comply with standards. So, if you’re in a regulated industry that requires a coding standard, you’ll want to make sure your tool supports that standard. Analyzers are designed for many programming languages. So, it’s important to choose a tool that supports your language.
What is the difference between static and dynamic code reviews?
The static analysis identifies defects before you run a program (e.g., between coding and unit testing). The dynamic analysis identifies defects after you run a program (e.g., during unit testing). Static analysis is performed in a non-runtime environment. Static application security testing (SAST) is a testing process that looks at the application from the inside out. This testing process is performed without executing the program, but rather by examining the source code, byte code, or application binaries for signs of security vulnerabilities.
The dynamic analysis adopts the opposite approach and is executed while a program is in operation. Dynamic application security testing (DAST) looks at the application from the outside in — by examining it in its running state and trying to manipulate it to discover security vulnerabilities. Using a static analysis tool simplifies your team’s code review process, and speeds up adding new developers to the team. They’ll help find over-complicated or messy code within your application.
The following table provides the points of differentiation between static and dynamic code reviews. Both types of analyses detect defects. The big difference is where they find defects in the development lifecycle.
|Static application security testing||Dynamic application security testing|
|1. White box security testing.||1. Block box security testing.|
|2. Requires a source code.||2. Requires a running application.|
|3. Finds vulnerability earlier in SDLC.||3. Finds vulnerability towards the end of SDLC.|
|4. Less expensive to fix the vulnerability.||4. More expensive to fix the vulnerability.|
|5. Can be utilized to analyze any kind of application.||5. Can only analyze web applications and web services.|
Fig:-Comparison of SAST vs DAST.
Like we noted at the start, it’s certainly possible to write code without using code analysis. But if you are trying to be a better coder, it is useful to automate your code reviews. It’ll help you to think critically about the code you write in ways that you might not otherwise think. And in 2020, adding a high-quality static code review tool into your process is easier than ever. The only thing you have to lose is bad code!
How Codegrip Works?
Codegrip is a cloud-based solution platform for automated code review and enterprise software analytics. Our solution helps programmers improve their code quality. This, in turn, has an impact on multiple facets such as
Fig:-Advantages of Codegrip.
Codegrip gathers evidence from the application source code using Codegrip static analyzers and supports 20+ languages. Read more about Codegrip features.
How Codegrip helps?
Codegrip calculates and presents relevant software analysis to help stakeholders make informed decisions and continuously improve their software and SDLC processes. Codegrip offers Static source code analysis, available either on the cloud or as an on-premise solution. Here is what CodeGrip Static code analysis helps with-
- In-depth detection of security vulnerabilities provides detailed lists on where the vulnerabilities appear, their correlation to Security standards, providing remediation clues, and assessing remediation progress.
- Quality defects detection that affects important software characteristics: Reliability, Maintainability, Duplication, and Coverage.
- Assess your code health based on the number of violations, complexity, design, code size.
- Detection of duplicate code to understand the modularity level in the code to improve the maintainability of the code.
- Easy feedback through Codegrip’s Share capability allows you to share the analysis with teammates.
Fig:-How Codegrip helps!
How do you start using Codegrip?
Setting up Codegrip takes less than 2 minutes. Just sign up and you have access to the Codegrip collaborative environment in the cloud. Connect with your code repository and then you can start analyzing your applications to generate the test analytics for each project. The user experience is extremely intuitive and simple and is built in a way to allow even non-technical users to understand the quality of code. Following are the steps for getting you started:
- Creating your first application on Codegrip.
- Decide between the cloud and on-prem version.
- Connect your repository.
- Analyze the particular project or a branch.
- Check out the generated report and share it within the team.
- Your code is deleted from CodeGrip servers and is deleted automatically post-analysis.
Benefits of Codegrip Dashboard.
Having a dashboard is a way to see a little into the future. The dashboard can help review the business processes for bottlenecks and find ways to upgrade the process and find trends within errors. Keeping historical data of bugs within sprints or the vulnerabilities found in each module gives actionable goals to the team to improve. Read about all the benefits of Codegrip performance dashboard here.
With the results and the list of recommendations, it would be normal that your development team wants to review and fix the code and analyze it again, to verify whether they have achieved the desired goals.
Codegrip, therefore, allows you to see the evolution over time of your application or software. Integrating the automated analysis in your Software Development Life Cycle and Implementing continuous analysis within your SDLC, you can automate analysis for your application. The assessment runs every new commit or pull request and results delivered on your email and Slack channel.