Today marks the launch of a new era for SmartBear Software, as we announce the launch of Collaborator 8.0, the premier tool for code review – as well as document and artifact review.
Collaborator is the result of meaningful discussions with our CodeCollaborator and PeerReview Complete customers. Through these conversations, two things became apparent:
- CodeCollaborator and PeerReview Complete play a major role in the lives of the developers who use them.
- The benefits that these tools provide for code review could be expanded to include other steps in the development process – the review of other materials that are part of the development process: requirements and user story documents, design documents, project plans, quality assurance plans and documentation, user manuals, and white papers.
And so we launch Collaborator today with not only code review capabilities but with the power to help teams review Word and PDF documents as well. Rather than having multiple tools for document and artifact review, Collaborator allows the expanded development team to have one tool for it all.
The benefits of document review with Collaborator are numerous. Today, the process is tedious – just as it was for code review before Collaborator. Each document is sent separately to each reviewer. The author then has to read through comments, many of which are duplicates of comments made by other reviewers. The author then has to choose which to address and which not to address. The reviewers never see the comments made by other reviewers, and they usually never know which of their comments are addressed and which are not. In essence, there is no shared learning – no true collaboration.
With Collaborator, the entire document review process is public. Every reviewer’s comment can be read by the other reviewers. Every action taken by the author with respect to the comments can be seen. And of course, every version of the document is tracked and can be checked against a previous version. Collaborator truly is the first collaborative code and document review solution.
This is just the first release of its document review capabilities. We launch Collaborator with a commitment to helping teams review other file formats in the near future, including Excel, PowerPoint, and Visual Studio. As we roll out Collaborator, we will be listening to our customers and identifying the most immediate file format needs.
In addition to document and artifact review functionality, Collaborator launches with two other new features: document search and review pools.
Document search allows users to find words or phrases in a document quickly. In the DiffViewer, users can simply enter the text they are searching for into the search tool and automatically be taken to the first use of that word of phrase. Next to the search tool, you are notified of the number of times the word or phrase you are searching for appears in the document. Every instance of the word or phrase is highlighted. And you can tab through to each use of the word or phrase with a click of a button.
Review pools are a simple way for review creators to assign reviews to more than one person at a time. The feature is especially useful for a creator who consistently invites the same participants to reviews he creates.
The basic functionality is that review pools allow you to set up groups to act like review participants. Once a review pool is set up, a review creator can assign a pool to the review. Members of the pool receive notification of the review and can choose to “take” the review. One big benefit of Review Pools is that reviews do not get held up if a user assigned to the review is unavailable for the review. Other members of the review pool can “take” the review in their absence.
Continuing Our Commitment to Our Customers
Collaborator is an extremely exciting new solution for us at SmartBear – as well as for the customers that helped drive its development. We are still deeply committed to making Collaborator the premier code review tool. But this new functionality allows the extended development community to enjoy the same benefits developers have enjoyed.
As I mentioned, you’ll see additional document and artifact review capabilities in the near future – as well as some extremely important new code review functionality. As always, we welcome feedback from our customers. After all, that’s what drove the development of Collaborator!
You can learn all about Collaborator on the Collaborator Web page.