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8 Best Practices for Integrating Automated Code Review Tools

8 Best Practices for Integrating Automated Code Review Tools_CodeScanProper setup of the processes surrounding automated code review tools ensures a DevOps pipeline will see all the potential benefits of tool integration.

Why It Matters: A streamlined integration process enables DevOps teams to immediately increase productivity, quality, and security throughout the application life cycle.

  • Failing to properly research an automated code review tool could lead to sourcing a tool that is incompatible with your current processes and tools.
  • Automating code reviews is an easy way to drastically increase your DevOps team’s productivity.

1. Find the Best Tool for Your Needs

Every organization is different. Their goals, resources, and processes vary, which means the specific tool that provides the most benefits varies as well. Research is crucial for finding the best Salesforce DevOps tool for your organization.

Choose a tool that aligns with your team’s coding languages, integrates well with your workflow, and provides features that match your specific requirements.

Check out our blog for a more in-depth exploration of what to look for when selecting an automated code review tool.

2. Define Clear Guidelines

8 Best Practices for Integrating Automated Code Review Tools_CodeScan

How does your team define success? Standards look different for every team depending on their goals. However, it’s important that every team agrees upon what success means to them to ensure everyone stays on the same page.

Define and communicate coding standards and guidelines within your team or organization.

Configuring your automated code review tool to enforce these standards promotes consistency across your team. This ensures you have reliable results no matter which member of your team writes the code.

3. Establish an Introduction Period

New tools will always take a little time to be properly used within your Salesforce DevOps pipeline. Team members need to get used to the functionality while also adjusting their approaches to accommodate the new tool.

Begin by integrating the automated code review tool into smaller projects or specific sections of the codebase.

This approach allows your team to familiarize themselves with the tool’s functionalities and gradually adapt to any changes in the workflow.

4. Configure Automated Policies

8 Best Practices for Integrating Automated Code Review Tools_CodeScanA premier automated code review tool will offer benefits beyond strong code. CodeScan, for instance, also addresses internal policies for data handling and permissions. These additional security posture management capabilities offer a comprehensive approach to securing your Salesforce environment—if they’re properly configured.

Tailor the tool’s configurations to match your team’s preferences and project needs.

Adjust rule severity levels, customize rule sets, and configure notifications to suit your specific development environment.

5. Fix Problems as They Arise

Coding issues become more expensive to fix the later they’re found in the application life cycle. Dependencies become more entangled and the way to fix these problems becomes more complicated. Automated code review tools provide immediate feedback on code health, but it’s up to developers to fix the flagged errors.

Encourage developers to promptly review and act upon feedback provided by the automated tool.

Monitor the tool’s output regularly and prioritize fixing identified issues or discrepancies in the code.

6. Provide Continuous Training

8 Best Practices for Integrating Automated Code Review Tools_CodeScan

The world of Salesforce DevOps is always evolving. New tools are introduced, best practices are updated, and developers grow within their roles. However, failing to stay on top of emerging trends and changes can result in a degradation of productivity and overall release quality.

Offer training sessions or resources to help team members understand how to interpret the tool’s feedback and make the necessary adjustments in their coding practices.

Providing ongoing support ensures that everyone can maximize the tool’s benefits effectively.

7. Integrate with CI/CD Pipelines

The idea of synergy is that the benefits you see from combining multiple tools equal more than if each tool was used on its own. Another way to say this is that an automated code review tool will make your CI/CD tools even more beneficial.

Incorporating the automated code review tool into your CI/CD pipeline helps to catch and rectify issues early in the development process, improving code quality, and reducing the chance of errors in production.

8. Regularly Review and Update

8 Best Practices for Integrating Automated Code Review Tools_CodeScanAs we said earlier, Salesforce DevOps is always evolving—and so is your business. Your needs and goals will grow over time and your usage of an automated code review tool should reflect this evolution.

Adjust rules, update policies, and explore new features that enhance the effectiveness of the automated code review process.

As coding standards evolve or your team’s needs change, regularly revisit the tool’s configurations. A contemporary plan will always be more productive, secure, and relevant to your current needs.

Next Step…

Now that you know how to integrate the power of an automated code review tool into your DevOps pipeline, let’s look a little deeper into how this tool will work with our other DevOps tools.

Read our blog, 6 Ways Static Code Analysis Supports Your DevSecOps Tools, to learn more.

FAQs

Automated code review tools are invaluable for optimizing the development process, offering efficiency, consistency, and the ability to catch certain types of errors quickly. However, they cannot entirely replace manual code reviews. Human reviews bring a nuanced understanding that automated tools might lack, such as context-specific insights, design considerations, and subjective assessments of code quality. A combined approach leveraging both automated tools and manual reviews ensures a comprehensive evaluation, optimizing code quality, and mitigating risks effectively.

This depends on multiple factors, including project complexity, team size, and delivery timelines. Daily code reviews and continuous integration processes prove beneficial, ensuring that newly written code undergoes immediate scrutiny for issues. This real-time approach helps identify and address problems early, reducing the chances of bugs proliferating throughout the codebase.

These tools analyze code for common security flaws such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), authentication issues, input validation errors, and more. They also help enforce secure coding practices and compliance with security standards by flagging insecure code patterns or outdated dependencies. Additionally, some advanced tools perform static analysis to identify potential security risks by examining code paths, data flows, and access control mechanisms.

Develop high quality, secure code!

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