Productivity Tools

Agile Code Review Process with Review Assistant

Summary: This article describes a scenario of Review Assistant usage in agile development process. The peculiarity of this scenario is that every team member is allowed to join a code review.

Some time ago we received the following question through our technical support:

Hi guys!
Our company is currently evaluating Review Assistant, we are using ‘Simple review workflow’ in our project.
The issue is there is no way to create review without assigning a reviewer to it. This doesn’t allow us to use agile process, when anyone who is available can join a review.
Is there any way to create review in current version?


Tweak for ‘Simple Review Workflow’

Summary: In Review Assistant 2.0 we have modified the simple review workflow. Now it is possible to add a code-related comment and accept author’s changes, and at the same time leave the review open.


This is the fifth article in the series of What’s New in Review Assistant 2.0

How does simple review workflow work?

There are three review roles by default:

  • Author — the person who creates code.
  • Reviewer — the person who inspects code.
  • Moderator — the person who double checks a review and settles disputes.

Here is how it looks like in the application:


Iterative Code Review 2.0

Summary: This article describes improvements we have introduced into the iterative code review process — the distinctive Review Assistant feature.

This is the fourth article in the series of What’s New in Review Assistant 2.0

What is iterative code review?

Iterative code review refers to the situation when a single piece of work is reviewed more than once by the same reviewer.
In fact this is a regular case. None of major changes in code will pass without reviewers comments. They find bugs and faults which an author should fix, and then show the code over again.
The Review Assistant documentation contains more detailed description of the iterative code review.
Not all code review tools support repetitive code inspections within a single review. Review Assistant has been providing this feature since the first release. In Review Assistant 2.0 we have significantly improved this process.

Reviewing Code from Multiple Repositories in One Review

Summary: This article describes new Review Assistant features, namely: the possibility to work with several repositories within a single review, and also the possibility to add nested repositories into a project.

This is the third article in the series of What’s New in Review Assistant 2.0

While working on a large scale projects it is not uncommon that the source code is stored in more than one repositories. Devart’s own projects are not an exception.

From the very first release of Review Assistant there was the possibility to associate several repositories with a single project. However, while creating a new review there was only the possibility to add files from one repository.

Improved Code Review Comments in Review Assistant 2.0

Summary: One of our main missions, while working on the new version of Review Assistant was to improve user experience in general. This article describes how we have solved some UX problems related to the commenting on code.

This is the second article in a series of What’s New in Review Assistant 2.0

Code Review Board Re-designed

Summary: In Review Assistant v2.0 we have completely redesigned the Code Review Board window. We have made efforts to make performance more straightforward, and to make the application UI more natural for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.

This is the first article in a series of What’s New in Review Assistant 2.0

While working on the new version of Review Assistant, we studied UX problems detected earlier. Solutions for many of these problems required application’s interface changes. We had started development of Review Assistant v 1.0 long before Visual Studio 2012 was released. That’s why the UI was more suitable for Visual Studio 2010. To go with the times we have decided to redesign the main window — Code Review Board.


Review Assistant vNext Development Started Off

We have started developing the new version of Review Assistant – code review tool for Visual Studio. Help us to make up the new version by filling in a 10-minute survey on code review.

We are glad to inform our users that we’ve started the development of the new version of our product for code review automation.

It’s been awhile after the first release of Review Assistant, so we have come to certain conclusions. On the whole, we should say that the product was accepted by the users with interest. Certainly, it’s been mentioned time and again that Review Assistant is a young product and needs improvement.

XML Structure Comparison Explained

This article describes benefits of structural comparison of XML files and its limitations. This new feature of Code Compare 3.0 is an extension of structural code comparison for the XML language. In this post we provide examples demonstrating when the feature is useful, and when it is not.

The next morning after the release of Code Compare 3.0, we received feedback from our user. He tried the new feature out and was puzzled by its operation.

Here’s what he wrote:

I downloaded Code Compare, did structural comparison of XML files, but this didn’t seem to work. Two XML files – file 1, and file 2 which was mostly the same but (a) had no newlines and (b) had the order of attributes changed, neither of which change the semantics of the file, so I’d expect them to compare the same. (Except for any actual differences.)

We answered this user in an email. However, we decided that it would not be out of place to shed light on how the new feature works in our blog to avoid any groundless expectations.

We shall consider:

  • 3 examples, where structural comparison of XML is useful.
  • 2 scenarios of file comparison, where this feature is useless and even confusing.


Assess New Code Compare UI

We have adjusted the UI of Code Compare and want to show the implemented changes further in this article.

First of all, we decided to get rid of all UI elements performing no practical function. And therewith, we rearranged toolbars and menus to make commands accessible in one click.

In this release, we strived to meet requests of our users complaining about the UI being overladen and unclear.
Here is what we’ve done in the new version of our comparison tool.