JetBrains Qodana is a code quality platform with a static analysis engine that integrates into any CI/CD pipeline. It can help developers improve code quality by automating code reviews, enforcing quality guidelines, and building quality gates. To help determine if Qodana is the right choice for you, we will break down the developer tool in terms of its features, pricing, pros, and cons. We will also list some of the top Qodana alternatives to give you options when shopping for the ideal code quality tool to fit your needs.
Overview of Qodana
JetBrains created Qodana to help developers produce quality code with ease. The static code analysis tool integrates with CI/CD pipelines, allowing developers to address code problems within the IDE. Qodana is unique since it is the sole code quality platform that leverages inspections directly integrated into JetBrains IDEs. Its preview was released in 2021, and Qodana was officially launched to the public in 2023 with support for over 60 languages and frameworks, most CI pipelines, and many JetBrains IDEs. While developers can use the tool to automate code reviews, quickly spot bugs, and more, Qodana was also designed for QA engineers, security managers, development team leads, and even legal teams.
Features of Qodana
Some of Qodana’s features that help software development teams consistently ship quality code include:
- Static code analysis
- Thousands of inspections
- Interactive reports
- Qodana Cloud
- Multiple security checks
- Third-party license audit
- Inspection constructor
- SARIF support
- JetBrains IDE integration
- Connects to CI/CD pipelines
- Quality gates
- Support for multiple languages and frameworks
Qodana offers robust static code analysis that begins with over 2,500 inspections. This allows the developer tool to spot confusing code constructs, potential bugs, and performance problems. Its interactive inspection reports help developers uncover coding trends and issues to gain a better understanding of project quality, while Qodana Cloud offers a single place for viewing all reports with interactive dashboards.
You can spot vulnerable dependencies imported into projects and prevent breaches via Qodana’s various security checks, and you can compare current code with the baseline state during specific Qodana runs to view new, unchanged, and resolved issues. The third-party license audit feature lets developers detect potential issues by scanning dependencies in code repositories. And if you need to scan for certain problems that Qodana does not cover, you can create your own plugins or integrate with third-party inspection tools via the inspection constructor. Another feature within Qodana’s powerful static code analysis is support for SARIF, the industry standard for output amongst static code analysis tools.
Qodana also integrates with JetBrains IDEs, such as IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, Space, WebStorm, PhpStorm, ReSharper, Rider, and GoLand. This allows developers to navigate between problems detected by linters and resolve them as needed, plus run resource-intensive checks without negatively impacting IDE performance.
Qodana does not just offer integrations with JetBrains IDEs, as the code quality tool also integrates with most on-premises or in-cloud CI/CD pipelines, including Jenkins, GitLab, TeamCity, GitHub Actions, CircleCI, Azure Pipelines, and more. By having Qodana in the pipeline, developers can spot defects during the early stages of the development cycle. And to prevent problematic code from ending up in the repository, Qodana lets you build quality gates.
Qodana has multiple pricing plans to choose from. The developer tool has no-cost special offers for classroom assistance (non-commercial educational organizations, schools, colleges, and universities) and non-commercial open-source projects. It also has a 60-day free trial on its paid plans. Here are Qodana’s offerings when choosing yearly billing, which saves you two months. Monthly billing is also available at a higher cost for software development teams looking to minimize their upfront investment:
- Community: Free forever.
- Ultimate: $5 per active contributor, per month.
- Ultimate Plus: $7.50 per active contributor, per month.
- Custom: Contact Qodana for pricing.
The free Community plan is best for teams coding without frameworks and looking to fix isolated issues during code quality checks. It includes integration with JetBrains IDEs, unlimited analyzed code lines, CI integrations, unlimited tests, limited language coverage, and Qodana Cloud support. The Ultimate plan is geared toward dev teams looking to fix complex issues via existing frameworks. It adds advanced Qodana Cloud features, support for several languages and frameworks, and quick-fix support.
The Ultimate Plus plan is best for teams seeking advanced reporting and controls. It adds a third-party license audit. Lastly, the Custom plan is for self-hosting organizations with centralized control plans needing enhanced support.
Advantages of Qodana
Some of the advantages that help Qodana stand out as a code quality tool include:
- Multi-language support
- Free plan
- Thousands of inspections
Qodana’s support for over 60 languages and development frameworks gives developers plenty of flexibility. The developer tool’s free Community plan with unlimited tests and lines of analyzed code is great news for budget-minded development teams. Its 2,500-plus inspections (naming and styling conventions, probable bugs, performance issues, etc.) ensure high code quality. And its integrations with JetBrains IDEs and several CI/CD tools are another plus.
Disadvantages of Qodana
While Qodana has several strengths as a code quality platform, it does have some areas for improvement. Qodana’s disadvantages include:
- Relatively new product
- Learning curve
Since Qodana was officially launched to the public in 2023 after being in preview mode for a couple of years, its following and resources may be limited compared to similar products with a lengthier history. It also may be subject to bugs as all of the tool’s kinks get ironed out. Qodana has a bit of a learning curve, so it may take beginners some time to get used to. And, once again, since it is new to the market, some developers may prefer competing code quality platforms that have been around longer for added peace of mind. While that is not necessarily a knock on Qodana, it could be enough of a factor to push you toward another code quality tool.
Alternatives to Qodana
Qodana has many pros in its favor, such as multi-language support, a generous free plan, thousands of inspections, and numerous integrations with IDEs, CI/CD pipelines, and more. Why would a developer want to seek a Qodana alternative? Because the code quality tool is relatively new, has a bit of a learning curve, and has some competition, such as the following solutions:
SonarQube is a fast enterprise code quality tool that offers high operability, extensibility, scalability, and flexible pricing. Some of its features include support for 30-plus languages, IaC platforms, and frameworks, integrations with popular DevOps platforms, quality gates, critical security rules, and more. SonarQube is free for open-source projects and ideal for developers looking to scan large codebases with numerous files that require ultimate scalability. Its Developer edition starts at $150 per year.
Ideal for those familiar with the Microsoft ecosystem who already use the tool for CI/CD, Azure DevOps offers static code analysis capabilities. Developers can use the software to scan code for potential vulnerabilities and errors, plus integrate it with other Azure DevOps tools to automate code analysis and integrate results into CI/CD pipelines. Go here to start an Azure DevOps free trial and learn more about its code quality features.
Final Thoughts on JetBrains Qodana
Qodana is a code quality tool with support for many languages, solid integrations with JetBrains IDEs and CI/CD pipelines, and more. And while it does provide powerful static code analysis and other features to keep your code quality up to par, you may find Qodana missing the mark in some departments after giving its no-cost Community plan or 60-day free trial a whirl. If that is the case, try one of the Qodana alternatives listed above to see if they are a better fit.