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RTC and code review (tooling support) revisited?

Edwin Guenthner (28177) | asked Jul 03 '13, 7:31 a.m.
retagged Oct 06 '17, 3:56 p.m. by Ken Tessier (84117)

Hello there,

there are quite some texts available that compare the SCM capabilities of RTC with git. But I found rather few information on "sophisticated" means to support code review within RTC. It seems like one has to turn to the smartbear software plugin when looking for a solution that would match what git/gerrit can do.

So, long story short - what are the plans for RTC? Will there be "gerrit-like" code review (process) support some day?

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David Lafreniere (4.8k7) | answered Oct 04 '17, 2:02 p.m.
edited Oct 05 '17, 10:44 a.m.

In Rational Team Concert 6.0.1 we have introduced a new Code Review feature. Code review is integrated with RTC work items and Jazz SCM to provide developers with a seamless, low overhead work flow that is simple to use and is a natural extension to their daily activities. There isn’t a separate server installation, additional licensing fees or other costs associated with using RTC code review. Enabling code review for your projects is simple and takes only a few minutes to set up.

Reviewers can annotate specific lines of code, which helps developers quickly see and fix issues. Issues (or findings) can be marked as must-fix and the reviewer can accept or reject the changes. When preconditions are enabled, a code review cannot be approved if must-fix issues have not been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

Developers don’t have to worry about the intricacies of issue management because this is handled for them. Each issue has its own discussion thread and events are logged as the review progresses. Whenever an issue is updated, a new issue raised, or new code changes are added to the review, the events are logged so that you have a complete history of the review life-cycle. Because code reviews are iterative and can include code changes during the review cycle, any annotations on lines of code (issue markers) are automatically re-positioned and visual cues are provided to the reviewer so that they can easily see what has changed since they last looked at the code or since they last reviewed issues.

Team collaboration is accelerated through real-time notification of pending reviews, issues, and fixes. This is becoming more and more important as the number of globally distributed development teams increase. In fact, with the RTC SCM development team spread across three different time zones, it is common for them to have code changes that were written in one time zone reviewed by team members in another time zone.

Code review enables auditing for compliance. Issue status at delivery, approval information, the event logs, and other information captured during the review can be used for a variety of metrics and reporting requirements.

Since the introduction of code review in 6.0.1 more features have been added. Reviewers can inspect intermediate before and after file states, which is useful in advanced SCM workflows encountered when multiple developers are working on a common code base. We have added the ability to filter issues on the navigator pane on the left, add tags to issues, and various usability enhancements have been added.  

The ability to extract work items is useful when an issue needs to be addressed but shouldn’t prevent delivery of the current code changes. The extracted work item captures the required work and will have its own code review cycle.

A SCM CLI command is also available to export code review data such as issues raised, issue activity, reviewer information, code delivery status, and other metrics in JSON or XML format. This enables customers to use their existing reporting tools or custom scripts for auditability and other reporting requirements

Additional Information:
Article: Rational Team Concert Code Review
Video: Introduction to Code Review (Part 1)
Video: Configuring Code Review (Part 2)
Video: Performing a Code Review (Part 3)
Knowledge Center: Working With the Code Review Tool

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Indradri Basu (1.8k1514) | answered Jul 04 '13, 3:08 a.m.
Hi Edwin, I don't have much deeper knowledge on gerrit but wondering if you have gone through Christophe's article on code review with RTC.
Could you please mention or list if there is something in particular that gerrit offers and you are interested in.
However if you are looking for static code analysis as well, you can take a look at Rational Software Analyzer and RTC integrations here.

Edwin Guenthner commented Jul 08 '13, 2:51 a.m.

Thanks Indradi,
maybe it makes more sense to put down my requirements in my own words. "Code review support" has two core properties for me:

  1. "Process support" - this means it should be (easily) possible to ensure that for example, 3 out or 5 invited team members approved the change before it can be "pulled" into a "more important" stream.
  2. "True code review" support; meaning: comments given in a code review should be fully tracked by the system; there should be no need to put "any additional" information into defects manually just to not loose anything.
At least from reading the linked article I am not sure about req. no 2 ?!

Yaron Norani commented Mar 30 '15, 2:52 a.m. | edited Apr 03 '15, 6:09 p.m.


Is there any progress with that?

Edwin Guenthner commented Mar 30 '15, 4:08 a.m.

Our organisation planned to buy "CodeCollaborator" from SmartBear software when moving from our current SCM to RTC/scm.

But now our overall organisation changed its rules and allows git/gerrit as scm/review solution - and therefore everybody is pushing to turn to git/gerrit instead of RTC.

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