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There are three ways to extend coding rules:

  1. Adding XPath rules directly in the Sonar web interface,
  2. Extending an existing Sonar plugin. For example Checkstyle and PMD plugins accept definition of custom checks.
  3. Embedding and executing a code analyzer. For example the Checkstyle plugin configures and executes the library Checkstyle. 

Solution #1: Adding XPath Rules

It is possible to define XPath rules directly from UI. Search for the rule XPath rule template in a quality profile and copy it to create a new rule:

The following languages supports XPath rules:

  • Java
  • TODO

Solution #2: Extending Sonar Plugins

The following languages can be extended with new rules:

Solution #3: Executing a Code Analyzer

A code analyzer plugin executes the following steps:

  1. Register definitions of coding rules, when the server is started.
  2. Optionally define some templates of quality profiles, when the server is started.
  3. Analyze source code and inject results in database 

1. Registering coding rules

This step relates to the extension point org.sonar.api.rules.RuleRepository. A RuleRepository defines a set of coding rules. It usually loads data from a XML file:

The XML file is available in the plugin classloader and looks like :

2. Defining quality profiles

This step relates to the extension point org.sonar.api.profiles.ProfileDefinition. Profiles provided by plugins are registered at server startup  and can't be edited by users:

3. Analyzing source code

This step relates to the extension point org.sonar.api.batch.Sensor.

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