Facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in professional software development



Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Review Board - Online Code Review Tool

Review Board - Online Code Review Tool


Code reviews improve quality, and serve as an excellent means for knowledge sharing and mentorship. Unfortunately, the preparation effort and lack of tool support has made it all too easy to let it slip "until later". Review Board aims to change that by providing an application that supports the code review process. Some of the features of the application include:

  • Detailed review requests that brings together all the information required for the review, including code changes and screenshots
  • A diff viewer that supports writing comments directly on the relevant lines of code
  • Contextual discussions
  • A dashboard that summarizes incoming and outgoing reviews

Review Board has been gaining endorsements from early adopters in the open source community since the announcement last May by the developers - Christian Hammond and David Trowbridge from VMWare. The functionality of Review Board has so far been progressing rapidly, with users blogging about their installation experiences as well as comments such as this from Joe Heck:

I think one of the most impressive things about ReviewBoard is that it supports a nice mechanism, and some example scripts, for doing a pre-checkin review.

Review Board ideally works for reviewing patches. A "post review" tool is used in conjunction with the SCM system (currently SVN, CVS, Perforce, Git, and Mercurial repositories are supported), that allows you to request a review for changes about to be committed. The UserBasics page describes the process as:

    1. You make some awesome change to your local checkout.
    2. You create a review request by posting a diff, writing a description, and selecting some reviewers.
    3. You click "Publish" on the review request and wait for your reviewers to see it.
    4. Other people look at your review request, say "that is awesome, except some stuff is broken."
    5. You update your code to address some of their comments.
    6. You post an updated diff, and respond to their comments indicating what you changed (or you respond indicating why you're not going to make some change they suggested)
    7. People look at your updated code, and give you the go ahead.
    8. You commit your change to the repository.
    9. You click "Set Submitted" on the review request to remove it from peoples' dashboards.
Review Board is hosted on Google Code, and released under an MIT/X11 style license.
We need your feedback

How might we improve InfoQ for you

Thank you for being an InfoQ reader.

Each year, we seek feedback from our readers to help us improve InfoQ. Would you mind spending 2 minutes to share your feedback in our short survey? Your feedback will directly help us continually evolve how we support you.

Take the Survey

Rate this Article


Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Community comments

  • Next steps...

    by Ben Scofield,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    This looks like a great tool - but wouldn't it be even better integrating into a DSCM like git? You could check out a local branch with the change to do the review, and the various commits could be automated based on your desired workflow. At that point, though, it's starting to move from simple code review to something more like collaborative code creation...

  • Java Review Board API

    by Joker SellOff,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    For anyone who want access review board using JAVA, take a look in the link below:

  • Review Board JAVA

    by Joker SellOff,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

  • Re: Next steps...

    by Joker SellOff,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    You can access the review board using java language. Take a look in the link:

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p


Is your profile up-to-date? Please take a moment to review and update.

Note: If updating/changing your email, a validation request will be sent

Company name:
Company role:
Company size:
You will be sent an email to validate the new email address. This pop-up will close itself in a few moments.