Try Code Collaborator: Integrate with Version Control
Develop | Posted January 09, 2009

Part 3 of 3 in the Fastest Ways to Try Out Code Collaborator series.

You can easily download, install, and configure the Code Collaborator server software. If, however, you do not want to install the server but you are willing to install the client software, then there is a fast and easy way to try out Code Collaborator. You can create your own code review on our public server; follow these seven steps:

  1. Create an Account. Browse on over to where we have a demo server running.  If you do not already have an account, you can create one by filling in the details in the Create New Account section:


  2. Log in. After you click the Create User button, a message is displayed indicating that your account has been created.  So all you have to do now is fill in your Username and Password in the Login section and click Log In.
  3. Download the Client Software. After you log in, your Code Collaborator home page is displayed; click the Client Installers link:


    The Client Installers link takes you to a web page that lists supported operating systems; click the button for your operating system:


    As an example, the page for Windows is shown below. Since you will be using the Code Collaborator server on, you only need to download the client installer, not the server installer. Click the Download link:


  4. Install the Client Software. The Code Collaborator client requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.5 or higher. If you do not already have it installed, you can download the JRE here. After you have the JRE installed, run the Code Collaborator installer that you downloaded in the previous step. It will prompt you for information about the Code Collaborator server that you will be using; specify for the server URL and the Username and Password that you specified in step 2:


  5. Create a Review. The value of downloading and installing the Code Collaborator client is that the client can create code reviews for you after it detects which version control system you use. Based on parameters that you provide, the client will upload the appropriate file versions from your system to the Code Collaborator server automatically.

    IMPORTANT: The server is on the public internet. Do NOT upload any files that are proprietary or confidential.

    Code Collaborator supports a wide variety of workflows, but for this example I will show how to create a review of files that have been modified but have not yet been checked into a version control system. The version control system that I will use is Subversion. To see the appropriate command line syntax for other version control systems, take a look at this section of the user manual.

    For this demo, I have modified two files in my local workspace, so the svn status command shows me:


    To create a code review with locally-modified files in a Subversion workspace, run this command in the local workspace directory:

    ccollab addchanges new .

    The addchanges parameter causes the ccollab program to add locally-modified files to a review. The new parameter indicates that those locally-modified files should be added to a new review (instead of an existing review). The '.' is the directory path - ccollab will search recursively from that path for files that have been modified.

    An editor is displayed that lists the files found by ccollab:


    The list can be edited; when the list is correct, close the editor and ccollab continues; the complete status it displays will look something like:

    $ ccollab addchanges new .
    Connecting to Code Collaborator Server
    Connected as: Gregg Sporar (gsporar)
    Configuration key 'password' saved.
    Creating new review.
    New review created: Review #23: "Untitled Review"
    Attaching changelist to review
    Checking that you are allowed to upload files to this review.
    Auto-detecting SCM System for '.'
    Detected Subversion
    Scanning directory . for modified files.
    Adding changes managed by repo=file:///Demo/vcs/repositories/svn-local;username=default>;use password=no
    Selecting files from list
    Displaying edit list
    If you would prefer a different text editor than Notepad, you can
    set the "editor" global option.
    Launching notepad.exe to edit the upload file list.
    Collecting 2 files for upload
    Sending file contents to Code Collaborator server
    Uploading Changelist to Code Collaborator server
    Uploading /Primes/
    Uploading /Primes/
    Attaching 2 files to Review #23: "Untitled Review"
    Local changes successfully attached to Review #23: "Untitled Review".

    After ccollab uploads the files, the Create a Review page displays in your browser - replace the default Title in the Basic Information section:


  6. Invite Some Participants. Scroll down to the Participants section and add yourself as the Author of the review:


    You will also need at least one Reviewer. You can either have one or more friends or coworkers perform step 1 (above) so that they are registered, or there should always be an entry for "Gregg Sporar" and you can just invite me. Either way, after you finish adding the participants, scroll down and click the Apply and Begin Review button.

  7. Start Reviewing. The Review Materials section will now have links to the file(s) that were automatically added when you created the review, for example:


    Click the link for a file to open the Diff Viewer, which is where you can start doing the work of a code review: examine any changes that were made to the file(s), read comments left by others, submit comments, submit defects, etc. To see some of these features demonstrated, watch our five minute demo.


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