Comparing 9 Code Quality Tools
A DZone Core member reviews 9 code quality tool options available to individual developers and organizations that can help you write better code faster.
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As the adage goes, in software development, your code speaks for you, and that's why it is essential to write concise yet readable and performant code (there are certainly the odd exceptions to this rule, but in general, it's always better to be safe than sorry). It's always a good idea to have good code quality tools in your developer toolbox, helping you manage technical debt by writing clean and maintainable source code. In this article, we will try to list out a few interesting options you should consider. While this list is based on my subjective opinions, I hope you find it useful!
DeepSource is a static analysis tool that intelligently runs your code through tests that help you figure out issues in critical areas such as performance, anti-patterns, bug-risks, security vulnerabilities, style, and documentation issues.
- Simple configuration with a config file generator.
- The continuous analysis runs on every PR.
- Fewer false-positives.
- Currently only accessible as a SaaS web application; the CLI is still in the works.
Embold lets you run static analysis on your software projects and provides you with code quality reports that include a heat-map of detected issues, which helps you visualize the exact components that contribute to smelly code. It also touts itself as being AI-enabled, providing you with recommendations for solving issues the static analyzer finds, almost like an auto-correct for code. It comes with support for the most common continuous development strategies; you can add it to your GitHub/Bitbucket repository or have it enabled in your CI/CD pipeline. It comes free for open-source projects.
- AI-enabled gives suggestions on refactoring code.
- Easy DevOps integrations.
- Lacks support for multi-language projects.
- Confusing limitations on lines of code-based billing.
Another source code analysis tool to consider, SonarQube, provides programmers with a single platform to analyze code in over 27 different programming languages and help you improve performance and detect security vulnerabilities. Built by the team at SonarSource, it comes free and open-source for the community addition. SonarQube can be added to your CI/CD pipelines or integrated with your repository hosting platform of choice, helping you perform continuous code analysis.
- Multi-language support.
- Performs security analysis.
- Detects tricky issues.
- It doesn't notify users when a time-consuming scan completes.
- Lacks tighter integrations with Jira and GitHub.
- Lacks any way to ignore an issue.
A suite of tools lets you perform code review, automated testing, static analysis, and the necessary remedying steps to improve your software's performance. Marketed as a security solution, Veracode detects and reports vulnerabilities in your programs while providing Static Analysis (SAST), Software Composition Analysis (SCA), Interactive Analysis (IAST), and Dynamic Analysis (DAST) capabilities.
- Centralized view of different testing methodologies (SAST, DAST, IAST, and SCA).
- Provides penetration testing as a service.
- Security consultation is also available as a service.
- Time-consuming scans.
- Lacking a web app interface.
5. Code Climate
Code Climate's code quality tooling performs automated code review, leaving comments on specific code lines; it also analyzes test coverage and provides a visual representation of issues within the project structure. Supporting 11 languages, it also comes with IDE extensions to run analysis on code locally and can be integrated with Jira/Trello/GitHub to create tickets for detected problems.
- Integration with GitHub leaves comments on PRs.
- Comes with browser extensions.
- Provides a chart visualization of code quality trends.
- Lacks in categorizing issues with the codebase.
A code review automation tool, Codacy supports over 30 different programming languages. It also comes with a self-hosted offering. It enables developers to choose the rule-sets based on which code is analyzed. A UI provides visualized reports that help team managers understand the reasons behind repeated code quality violations. It also comes with integrations to other applications used by development teams, such as Slack and GitHub.
- Provides quick insights.
- Insightful dashboard.
- Complex configuration setup.
- Large number of false positives.
Codebeat supports multiple programming languages and has been in continuous development for the past few years. It does not perform any security checks.
- Performs checks on mobile applications as well.
- Supports Swift and Objective-C for Apple development.
- Detects code duplication.
- Lacks security checks.
- Definition must be added to the CI/CD config.
A simple, easy to set-up and maintain code quality and security analysis tool, LGTM is a product that excites developers with its free offerings for open-source projects and a self-hosted enterprise edition for larger organizations.
- Detects zero-day vulnerabilities in code contributions.
- Integrates well with IDEs and git repositories.
- Alerts based on industry standards, with actionable recommendations.
Price: Free for open-source and self-hosted plans available for organizations.
9. Self-Hosted or CI/CD
If the above options aren't for you, consider creating your own CI/CD pipelines and building in code-quality analysis toolkits customized to the codebase.
- Larger variety of code-quality standards available.
- Higher customization of code quality checks.
- It needs to be manually configured, maintained, and updated.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.