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In greater detail

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While running an analysis, SonarQube raises an issue every time a piece of code does not comply to breaks a coding rule. The set of coding rules is defined through the quality profile associated to with the project. Developers can also manually raise issues  issues that cannot be detected by SonarQube (examples: the implementation of the method does not comply to the functional requirements, the javadoc of the method does not match its implementation, etc.).The ideal objective would be for the whole team not to introduce any new quality issue

Each issue has one of five severities:

  1. BLOCKER
    Bug with a high probability to impact the behavior of the application in production: memory leak, unclosed JDBC connection, .... The code MUST be immediately fixed.
  2. CRITICAL
    Either a bug with a low probability to impact the behavior of the application in production or an issue which represents a security flaw: empty catch block, SQL injection, ... The code MUST be immediately reviewed. 
  3. MAJOR
    Quality flaw which can highly impact the developer productivity: uncovered piece of code, duplicated blocks, unused parameters, ...
  4. MINOR
    Quality flaw which can slightly impact the developer productivity: lines should not be too long, "switch" statements should have at least 3 cases, ...
  5. INFO
    Neither a bug nor a quality flaw, just a finding.

Ideally, the team wouldn't introduce any new issues (any new technical debt). Plugins like Issues Report or SonarQube in Eclipse or SonarQube in IntelliJ can help them as developers because they provide the ability to perform local analyses to check their code before pushing it back to the SCM.But  But in real life, it is 's not always possible or sometimes to code without any new technical debt, and sometimes it's not worth it.

So new issues may be introduced. Then, it is important to review them.in order to keep your technical debt under control. Thus, your requirement should become something like: any new issue should be reviewed and according to its severity should be either:

  • Fixed immediately
  • Put in an action plan to be fixed during the next development sprint(s)
  • Kept it in mind as a piece of technical debt that does not require a corrective action for now as the return on investment is too low

Browsing Issues

Issues Drilldown

At project level, issues can be browsed through the Issues Drilldown:

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Issues Service

At global level, an Issues Service is available to search issues by project, status, assignee, etc:

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Displaying Issues Widgets on Dashboards

SonarQube comes with several widgets that are specialized to display issues information on dashboards. These widgets are grouped in their own Issues category:

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By default the "Rules Compliance" widget, showing the number of issues by severity, is included on the main dashboard:

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Out of the box, SonarQube comes with an Issues dashboard displaying some of these widgets:

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Filters

Saving Search Query as Filter

To save a search query as a filter, click on the Save link on the top right corner.

To create a shared filter, check the 

Displaying Filter

Filters can be displayed on dashboards in the following dedicated widget: Issue Filter.

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Managing Filters

Once several filters have been created, it becomes necessary to manage them: edit, copy, delete, share, flag as favorite, etc. To do so, click on the Manage link in the left menu:

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Reviewing an Issue

To review an issue, you must be logged in and have the 'User' role on the project the issue is in.

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The main available actions are:

  • Starting a thread of discussion
  • Starting a workflow of resolution
  • Marking an issue as false positive
  • Assigning an issue to a developer
  • Changing the severity of an issue
  • Linking an issue to an action plan
  • Viewing an issue change log

Starting a thread of discussion

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Starting a workflow of resolution

To make sure that an issue will be reviewed and eventually fixed, you can start a workflow of resolution.

Possible Status: Closed, Confirmed, Open, Reopened, Resolved
Possible Resolution: False positive, Fixed, Removed

Manual workflow (through the web interface)

 

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Automated workflow (during analysis)

Issues are automatically closed (status: Closed) when:

  • the issue (that could be of any status) has been properly fixed => Resolution: Fixed
  • the issue no longer exists because the related coding rule has been deactived or is no longer available (ie: plugin has been removed) => Resolution: Removed

Issues are automatically reopened (status: Reopened) when:

  • an issue that was Resolved (but Resolution is not False positive) is shown by a subsequent analysis to still exist

Making an issue as false positive

To mark an issue as false positive, click on the False positive link.

Note that false positives are not displayed by default in the component viewer. To display them, select False positives in the dropdown list:

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If you tend to mark a lot of issues as false positives, it means that some coding rules are not adapted to your context. So, you can either completely deactivate them in the quality profile or use the Switch Off Violations plugin to not check them on specific parts (or types of object) of your application.

Assigning an issue to a developer

Any issues (whose status is Open or Reopened or Confirmed) can be assigned to a developer by clicking on the Assign link.

As issues are fully integrated within the Notification service, developers can receive email notifications when issues are assigned to them, changes are made on issues reported by them, etc. For more details, browse the Notification documentation page.

Changing the severity of an issue

The severity of any issues can be changed by clicking on the Change severity link.

Linking an issue to an action plan

Action plans can be created to group issues. Action plans are buckets of issues that you want to group as they are going to have similar timeframe for resolution.

Action plans can be created by project administrators from Configuration > Action Plans:

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Each issue can then be linked to an action plan:

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Viewing an Issue change log

The change log of an issue can be displayed by clicking on its creation date:

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Bulk Changes on Issues

Since SonarQube 3.7, it is possible to apply some bulk changes on issues from multiple locations.

Issues Service

Execute your search query and click on "Bulk Change". You can then apply some bulk changes such as:

  • Assign all the selected issues to a specific developer
  • Reopen all the selected issues
  • Flag all the selected issues as false positives
  • ...

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Issues Drilldown

Issues of the selected component are listed:

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Component Viewer

You can do some bulk changes such as:

  • Assign all the new violations since the previous analysis to a specific developer
  • Change the severity of all the minor violations to major
  • ...

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Creating a Manual Issue

An issue can be created by clicking on the '+' button in the first column of the component viewer:

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Note that manual rules have to be previously defined by a System administrator.

 The issue is then displayed within the source code and can be reviewed as any other issues:

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Linking an Issue to an External Task Manager

It is possible to link an issue to an external task manager. To link issues to JIRA for example, you can install the SonarQube JIRA plugin.

Purging Closed Issues

By default, Closed issues are kept for 30 days. For more details, browse the Database Cleaner documentation page.

 get introduced. SonarQube's issues workflow can help you manage those issues. By default, there are seven different things you can do to an issue (other than fixing it in the code!): Comment, Assign, Plan, Confirm, Change Severity, Resolve, and False Positive. Plugins may add more options, such as Link to JIRA.

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These actions break out into four different categories. First up is the "technical review" category.

Technical Review

Confirm, False Positive, and Change Severity fall into this category, which presumes an initial review of an issue to verify its validity. Assume it's time to review the technical debt added in the last review period - whether that's a day, a week, or an entire sprint. You go through each new issue and do one of three things:

  • Confirm - By confirming an issue, you're basically saying "Yep, that's a problem."
  • False Positive - Looking at the issue in context, you realize that for whatever reason, this issue isn't actually an issue, erm... "problem." It's not actually a problem. So you mark it False Positive and move on. It will disappear immediately from drilldown and after the next analysis for issues counts.
  • Change Severity - This is the middle ground between the first two options. Yes, it's a problem, but it's not as bad a problem as the rule's default severity makes it out to be. Or perhaps it's actually far worse. Either way, you adjust the severity of the issue to bring it in line with what you feel it deserves. The marker in the drilldown will change to show the new severity immediately, but the change won't be reflected in your issue counts until after the next analysis.

Dispositioning

Once issues have been through technical review, it's time to decide how you're going to deal them. You've got up to three choices here, and while the technical review options are mutually exclusive (well, mostly), you may find yourself using all three of these on the same issue:

  • Assign - Assign the issue to yourself or a teammate for immediate handling. The assignee will receive email notification of the assignment if he signed up for notifications, and the assignment will show up everywhere the issue is displayed, as well as in certain widgets.

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  • Plan - Some issues will need immediate action, but others you might want to put off. The Action Plan functionality lets you group issues into sets, optionally assign dates, and track set resolution. Once you've created an action plan, the Plan option on an issue lets you put the issue into the set.

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  • Link to JIRA - Assuming you've installed the JIRA Plugin, this option allows you to create a JIRA ticket for an issue. The URL to the JIRA ticket will be added to the issue and a link to the issue will be added to the JIRA ticket. After that though, there's no relationship between the two. Updating the JIRA ticket won't touch the issue and vice versa.

General

There's only one option under the General category: comment. At any time during the lifecycle of an issue, you can log a comment on it. Comments are displayed in the issue detail in a running log. You have the ability to edit or delete the comments you made.

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Endgame

If you've been doing the math, you already know that there's only one option left: Resolve. Use this option to signal that you think you've fixed an open issue. If you're right, the next analysis will move it to closed status. If you're wrong, its status will go to re-opened.

So that's it. That's how SonarQube lets you manage issues: by helping you vet them, organize what to fix now and what to schedule for later, and track them as your Plan comes together.

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