This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
For the past month, I have been trying out Code Collaborator at my work. I installed the server on my machine and began creating code reviews for my check ins to Subversion.
Code Collaborator is a great tool for handling code reviews without the need for those boring long face to face meetings. The installation process was extremely easy, and configuring it to connect to your Version Control software and creating users and code reviews is very intuitive.
The tool can hook into all the Version Control software and automatically create reviews on your check ins. You can also create reviews manually and add sources via version control, files locally or remotely. There is even a simple client UI to generate code reviews or add revisions to an already existing code review.
When doing code reviews, the web UI inteface allows you to add reviewers and observers. You can select any source files and view the code changes. Its best feature is by far the "conversation" comments you can leave on specific lines of code and view other people's comments too. There is also an approval/rejection option to accept the code changes.
Overall, the software brings the agonizing process of code reviews to a nice clean asynchronous process that doesn't drag down your productivity. I really enjoyed using the tool, and would highly recommend this to companies that need a great code review process tool.
Of course, a review wouldn't be a review without the cons. So here it is. There isn't any Jira integration. It would be nice to be able to create a Jira ticket and any check ins to that ticket get put into one code review automatically.
Code Collaborator is a great tool, but any tool is only good when it is actually used. It is excellent if you work for a process driven company, and great for some companies with processes like Scrum, because of its flexibility. But if you come from most companies that are "chaos" companies, trying to get the company developers to use the tool is just as painful as getting them to want to do code reviews in the first place (These are the places that need code reviews more than any other).
Overall, the people at SmartBear software have put together a great piece of software to make code reviews fun and easy to do.