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Integrating static code analysis tools into existing code review practices

Nitay Gold posted this on April 15, 2020



Many companies have formal processes for performing code reviews to reduce defects during development. These processes involve using the development team to check proposed code changes before deployment. The goal is to find functionality issues, security threats, and other bugs before they are transferred into a production environment. It doesn’t matter if the person who wrote the code has 1 year of experience or 10 – people make mistakes, and the longer a bug exists in the development process, the more costly it becomes to fix it. When it comes to Salesforce development, these reviews are particularly important, as rolling back deployments due to issues can taint live customer data and impact performance .
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Code Review Benefits

Code reviews are a great tool for improving your development process. With standardized code review practices, you can:

  • Improve initial code submissions – by guaranteeing that code is reviewed by a group of peers, developers will take extra care to clean up their code before submitting it.
  • Catch more bugs – accidental and structural errors are easier for third parties to catch than for the code author. Sometimes we don’t see obvious mistakes in our own work.
  • Facilitate collaboration among team members – creating an environment where developers are able to work together to improve all code submissions can nurture social bonds and mentorships between team members, building trust and transparency.
  • Promote knowledge sharing – reviews allow code submitters to learn from code evaluators as well as the other way around. Both senior and junior developers can learn and grow by sharing common best practices, techniques, or algorithms to improve the entire organization’s collective coding abilities.
  • Focus on business logic - code reviewers are less distracted by coding style and instead focus their attention on business logic. I.e. What is this code supposed to do?
  • Senior developers are normally tasked with reviewing code because of their knowledge and experience. And while this ensures code quality, the downside is that it also means that these highly productive and critical team members spend less time coding.

Salesforce development teams often work in agile environments, where code reviews reinforce customer confidence for deployments. By ensuring that all deployed code is accurate, effective, and bug-free, Salesforce users are able to use and provide feedback on solution designs rather than bug reports.

The Code Review Process

  1. Individual Coding
  2. Group Revie
  3. Coding Rework
  4. Final Review
  5. Deployment

In this process, typically the group meets at least twice – once to perform an initial review for issues and a second time to finalize the changes before deployment.

Integrating a Static Code Analysis Tool



The process above can be improved with a static code analysis tool. These tools automatically scan code to identify bugs or other areas of improvement. Bug identification by code analysis tools will occur once the tool identifies a pattern that it recognizes is out of place. To be able to do this, it has to be exposed to as much code as possible so as to learn and extract these patterns and turn them into rules, with which future bugs can be identified and code quality ensured. In a Salesforce development cycle, code issues can arise in relation to Apex, Visualforce, Lightning, Metadata, or several other Salesforce components. If you can isolate the cause of the issues quickly, you can fix them before they impact users and ultimately also performance. By integrating a static code analysis tool into your code review process, you can:

  • Work on large amounts of code at a time – Because code analysis tools are automated, they can evaluate large volumes of code at once. What would take the human eye hours can be done in a fraction of the time.
  • Reduce manual review efforts – If you use a tool to identify and fix common errors before doing a manual review, your manual review will naturally uncover fewer problems, allowing it to be completed quicker and more efficiently.
  • Optimize your agile development cycle – Because agile development involves fast turnaround, static code analysis tools are great at cutting down review time to bring products to customers faster.

If you want to integrate a static code analysis tool into your existing code review practices, this will involve including it in the following junctiours:

  • Individual Coding
  • Static Code Analysis Tool Evaluation
  • Individual corrections
  • Group Review
  • Coding Rework
  • Static Code Analysis Tool Evaluation
  • Individual corrections
  • Final Review
  • Deployment

Code analysis tools will not completely replace the manual code review processes, but they will undoubtedly decrease the amount of effort that goes into your code maintenance and reviews CodesScan Is Here To Help

At CodeScan, we offer a specialized Salesforce static code analysis tool for all of your custom development. CodeScan is the leading end-to-end static code analysis solution designed and maintained exclusively for Salesforce developers, covering all key Salesforce coding languages. With over 350+ security and quality checks for Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning, CodeScan offers the industry’s most robust coverage of bug checks and comprehensive code analysis. Our solution is available on cloud or on-premise, and as an editor plugin. The solutions are flexible and can meet the specific needs of any organization. If you need help implementing our tool or integrating it into your pre-established code review processes, please reach out and let us know. If you want to take CodeScan for a spin, contact us online to request a free demonstration to see how our tool can save you valuable time!