Tech

Best 5 Code Analysis Tools

Code analysis tools are software applications that analyze source code for potential coding errors without running it. Developers use them to identify and fix issues like bugs or security risks in the software development process.

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These solutions typically integrate into DevOps platforms like GitHub to automate code inspections. This gives developers real-time feedback as they work, allowing them to resolve issues and deliver “clean” code.

 

1. SonarQube – Best for maintaining code quality
SonarQube is an open-source platform that can identify bugs and security vulnerabilities and enforce coding standards to ensure consistent practices. SonarQube can be self-hosted or deployed to the cloud.

Why I picked SonarQube: What sets SonarQube apart is its built-in analyzer, which highlights issues as you code. I liked that the analyzer categorized each violation from minor to major and included an estimate of how long it would take to fix. This feature helped me maintain and improve code quality across my projects.

SonarQube Standout Features and Integrations:

Features that stood out to me during my testing are the ability to create “quality gates” for coding projects. These are rules you can set to enforce certain standards on your projects; for example, I created a quality gate stating that coverage for new code must exceed 80% before we could release it. SonarQube also has default quality gates that users can use to prevent new bugs from getting into production.

Integrations are available natively with DevOps platforms like GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure DevOps. You can also integrate SonarQube with even more tools using its free API.

Pricing: $150/instance/year

Trial: 14-day free trial

Pros

Supports over 30+ programming languages, including Java, Ruby, and C

Offers integrations with popular DevOps platforms

Performs continuous code inspections

Cons

May produce false positives

Free version has limited functionality

 

2. ReSharper – Best for refactoring code
ReSharper is a plugin for Visual Studio — an integrated development environment (IDE) for the Microsoft .NET Platform. It can perform code quality analysis for programming languages like VB.NET, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and XML.

Why I picked ReSharper: What I liked about ReSharper is it offers a robust set of refactoring tools that let you safely change your code base. For example, you can apply a Safe Delete refactoring action to delete a type or symbol in C#. The tool will tell you if an operation isn’t safe.

ReSharper Standout Features and Plugins:

Features that impressed me the most about ReSharper are that it instantly highlights coding issues and comes with over 1,200 quick fixes. If the tool highlights an issue, all you have to do is press “Alt+Enter” to fix it. This feature alone saved me a ton of time during code reviews. ReSharper also offers intuitive navigation features that allow you to quickly navigate your entire code base and find the files you need.

Plugins let you extend the functionality of ReSharper even further. There are over 200 plugins available for ReSharper that let you do things like enforce style rules and configure warnings on XML documents.

Pricing: From $34.90/user/month

Trial: 30-day free trial

Pros

Offers tight integration with Visual Studio

Has extensive documentation to help you learn the tool

Provides a helpful auto-complete list that appears as you code

Cons

Requires a paid license to use

Large code base can slow down Visual Studio

 

3. Code Climate Quality – Best for GitHub users
Code Climate Quality is a code analysis tool that helps development teams ship better code. It provides static analysis for languages like PHP, Java, JavaScript, Python, and Ruby.

Why I picked Code Climate Quality: I chose Code Climate Quality because of its native integration with GitHub. Not only does it provide instant feedback on my code, but it also summarizes any issues with a pull request before integrating it into the main repository. The GitHub browser extension is also helpful for displaying line-by-line test coverage data.

Code Climate Quality Standout Features and Integrations:

Features that distinguish Code Climate Quality, in my opinion, include its 10-point technical debt assessment, which assigns a grade from A to F to your code based on its maintainability and test coverage. It also estimates how long it would take to resolve an issue. These metrics have helped me better prioritize my efforts on files that have maintainability issues or inadequate coverage.

Integrations are available natively with GitHub and GitLab. The tool also integrates natively with ticket and messaging systems like Asana, Trello, and Slack.

Pricing: From $16.67 per month

Trial: Free for open-source projects

Pros

Provides visual progress reports with a simple grading system

Offers two-factor authentication with GitHub OAuth

Automatically enforces coding styles and standards

Cons

May generate false positives

Free plan has limited functionality

 

4. CAST Highlight – Best for performing software assessments at scale
CAST Highlight is a software intelligence platform that can analyze the source code for hundreds of applications. It generates helpful color-coded dashboards that provide at-a-glance insights across your applications.

Why I picked CAST Highlight: CAST Highlight deserves a spot on this list because it does one thing better than other tools I’ve tested — assessing software at scale. It can automatically scan hundreds of applications and identify security risks. The tool performs local code scans and never uploads your code to the cloud.

CAST Highlight Standout Features and Integrations:

Features that make CAST Highlight a great choice for me include cloud readiness tools and migration roadmaps, which are helpful if your company is looking to migrate to the cloud. The tool also offers priority recommendations to reduce security risks and identifies opportunities to optimize costs across your portfolio.

Integrations are available natively for GitHub, Bitbucket, and Azure DevOps. You can also use CAST Highlight’s public REST API to extract and integrate key metrics into other systems.

Pricing: From $10,000/year

Trial: 30-day free trial

Pros

Offers cloud migration suggestions

Supports over 40 programming languages

Lets you track the cloud readiness and safety of your portfolio over time

Cons

Costly plans

Steep learning curve

 

5. Codacy – Best for continuous integration (CI) workflows
Codacy is a code analysis tool that automates code reviews. It analyzes your source code and highlights issues as you work, allowing you to develop more efficient software. The platform supports over 40 programming languages and frameworks out of the box.

Why I picked Codacy: I selected Codacy because it integrates well with CI workflows—a DevOps practice of merging code changes into a repository. Integrating Codacy with GitHub allowed me to get instant feedback on my code, so I could quickly fix any issues. Another reason I picked Codacy is that it helps standardize code quality by automatically blocking pull requests that don’t meet certain standards.

Codacy Standout Features and Integrations:

Features that I liked about Codacy are the ability to set custom rule sets. Codacy has hundreds of rules available, but you can also upload your own configuration file. This makes it easy to apply specific conditions to a code base and maintain code quality across all teams.

Integrations are available natively with GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. Native integrations are also available for Jira and Slack.

Pricing: From $15/month

Trial: 14-day free trial

Pros

Provides helpful code quality reports

Simple to integrate into coding workflows

Adheres to SOC2 security standards

Cons

Doesn’t integrate with Lombok, a Java library that reduces boilerplate code

Not able to export code patterns

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