Differentials: but wait, there’s more!

In my last two posts I talked about differentials. First, it was the four ways they show you what’s changed in your code from “then” to now, and then why the ability to see those changes is important.

You’d think I’d be done. There’s no more left to say about differentials, right? Wrong. If this were an infomercial, it would be now that I’d say “but wait, there’s more!” This time I’ll talk about the last few pieces of the differentials story I haven’t told you yet: alerts; filter values; extra differential periods; and version differentials, and about how to use them effectively.

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Sonar 3.2 in Screenshots

The Sonar team is proud to announce the release of Sonar 3.2. This new version includes new features that we believe are worth stopping your daily work for a couple of minutes to check out: improve usability and and speed of administration to increase productivity, new differential period ‘Since Previous Version”, new rules on coverage, comments…

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Sonar 3.0 in screenshots

The Sonar team is proud to announce the release of Sonar 3.0.

The team has been working for the last 2 years on Sonar 2.x versions, adding support for Continuous Inspection to manage Technical Debt. With Sonar 2.14, we felt that we had reach functional maturity for this support and that adding stability would make it a great candidate for a major release: Sonar 3.0.

Along with the new version, SonarSource is also launching a new commercial plugin, the Developer Cockpit, which enables each developer to see his own contribution, and a new web site.

But let’s come back to the specifics of Sonar 3.0: this new version includes 40+ improvements and fixes 40 bugs, that are described below in screenshots:

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Sonar in the news

Welcome to the roundup of blog posts and pages that mentioned Sonar last month…

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Using quality profiles in Sonar

Last month, Sonar 1.6 was released. The main feature of the new version is the ability to manage quality profiles. The purpose of this post is to explain what gap the functionality fills, to define what is a quality profile and to explain how to use it.
Prior to Sonar 1.6, it was only possible to run analysis with one set of defined coding rules per instance of Sonar. It means that within an instance of Sonar, it was not possible to process differently various types of projects (legacy application, technical libraries, new projects, …). They were all analyzed with the same set of rules. Therefore there was sometimes unnecessary noise around the quality data that made it difficult to see quickly what real action was required. Sonar 1.6 turns off this noise by allowing to define and simultaneously use several quality profiles.

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Sonar 1.6 in screenshots

Sonar 1.6 has been released. On top of various bug-fixes and several improvements, it contains 3 new major features related to the management of quality profiles.

Define measure thresholds

It is now possible to define thresholds and to trigger alerts on metrics, for example if the code coverage is less than 35% or if complexity by class is greater than 40… On any metric, there are two levels of thresholds : warning and error

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Balsamiq Mockups to design the future of Sonar

I have spent roughly 10 years in software development, continuously aiming to improve team collaboration. Two months ago, I was convinced that we had a complete set of very good tools for Sonar development, and that even if they were not the bests, switching would not make a big enough difference to be worth it. In other words, I could not possibly imagine that we might adopt instantaneously a $75 product, wondering two days later how it was possible to not have it before.

The miracle product is called Balsamiq Mockups. That’s a pretty simple Flash application, with a minimalist user interface, allowing to draw almost any kind of graphical interfaces in minutes just like if you have a pencil in hand. I know what you think : PowerPoint or OpenOffice Presentation are good enough to design mockups. I thought so too… Give a try to Balsamiq and I bet you’ll fell in love in less than 5 minutes.

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Open Source Quality Management Platform

SonarQube™ software (previously known as “Sonar”) is an open source project hosted at Codehaus. Download and install your own copy. Version: 4.2 (Mar. 26, 2014) distributed under license LGPL v3.

All in one
SonarQube is an open platform to manage code quality. As such, it covers the 7 axes of code quality:
Extend with plugins
Covering new languages, adding rules engines, computing advanced metrics can be done through a powerful extension mechanism. More than 50 plugins are already available.
Languages covered
More than 20 programming languages are covered through plugins including Java, C#, C/C++, PL/SQL, Cobol, ABAP…
In 3 clicks
SonarQube has got a very efficient way of navigating, a balance between high-level view, dashboard, TimeMachine and defect hunting tools. This enables to quickly uncover projects and / or components that are in Technical Debt to establish action plans.
Quality is central
SonarQube is a web-based application. Rules, alerts, thresholds, exclusions, settings… can be configured online. By leveraging its database, SonarQube not only allows to combine metrics altogether but also to mix them with historical measures.



SonarQube is distributed under the GNU Lesser GPL License, Version 3, under Swiss law. You may not use this application except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.txt. The original GNU license from which this lesser license is derived can be found here. By downloading SonarQube software, you agree to the terms of this Lesser GPL v.3 license and that you are entering into a license agreement with a company located in Switzerland. Unless required by Swiss law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Installation and Upgrade

Please follow the installation or upgrade guide.

Download SonarQube


Long-term supported version
3.7.4: Fix regressions on project permission management and bulk deletion page
3.7.3: Fix issues migration from version older than 3.6. More stable notification service
3.7.2: Speed up migration of violations to issues
3.7.1: Enhance performances (dry-run mode, notifications delivery, server startup), fix vulnerabilities and 80+ other improvements
3.7: Bulk change operation on issues, ability to save/edit/delete/list issues filters, new permissions to run analyses, bulk update of project permissions, support of Maven 3.1
Released December 20, 2013
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Latest stable release
4.2: Multi-language support, tags of rules, new visual measure filter representations, improved Issues page
Released March 26, 2014
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Download SonarQube Runner


Long-term supported version and latest stable release
Technical release: API improvements
Released July 23, 2013
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