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Audit User Guide Article

Guide to the Audit (post-push code review) tool and workflow.

Overview

Phabricator supports two code review workflows, "review" (pre-push) and "audit" (post-push). To understand the differences between the two, see User Guide: Review vs Audit.

This document summarizes the post-push "audit" workflow implemented by the creatively-named Audit tool.

NOTE: The audit workflow is new, give us feedback about it! See Give Feedback! Get Support!.

How Audit Works

Using auditing allows you to push and deploy code without waiting for code review, while still doing code review eventually. The Audit tool primarily keeps track of two things:

  • Commits and their audit state (like "Not Audited", "Approved", or "Concern Raised").
  • Audit Requests which ask a user (or some other entity) to audit a commit. These can be triggered in a number of ways (see below).

In the Audit tool's home screen (at /audit/) and on the homepage you can see commits and requests that require your action:

  • Required Audits are open audit requests that require you, a project you are a member of, or a package you own to audit a commit. An audit request is closed when you approve the associated commit.
  • Problem Commits are commits you authored which someone has raised a concern about in audit. Problem commits go away when you satisfy all the auditors and get them to "Approve" the commit.

For example:

  • Evan creates commit abcdef1234 and pushes it to the remote.
  • This triggers an audit request to Bob through some mechanism (see below for a description of trigger mechanisms).
  • Later, Bob logs into Phabricator and sees the audit request on his homepage.
  • Bob clicks through and examines the commit. He notices a problem, so he selects "Raise Concern" and describes the issue in a comment.
  • Evan receives an email that Bob has raised a concern about his commit. He opts not to deal with it immediately.
  • Later, Evan logs into Phabricator and sees the commit on his homepage under "Problem Commits".
  • Evan resolves the issue somehow (e.g., by discussing it with Bob, or fixing it in another commit).
  • Now satisfied, Bob "Accepts" the original commit.
  • This causes the request to disappear from Bob's queue, and the commit to disappear from Evan's queue.

Audit Triggers

Audit requests can be triggered in a number of ways:

  • If you put Auditors: username1, username2 in your commit message, it will trigger an audit request to those users when you push it to a tracked branch.
  • You can create rules in Herald that trigger audits based on properties of the commit -- like the files it touches, the text of the change, the author, etc.
  • You can create an audit request for yourself by commenting on any commit.
  • You can create an Owners package and select "Enable Auditing" (this is an advanced feature which is only likely to be useful for very large teams).

Audits in Small Teams

If you have a small team and don't need complicated trigger rules, you can set up a simple audit workflow like this:

  • Create a new Project, "Code Audits".
  • Create a new global Herald rule for Commits, which triggers an audit by the "Code Audits" project for every commit where "Differential Revision" "does not exist" (this will allow you to transition partly or fully to review later if you want).
  • Have every engineer join the "Code Audits" project.

This way, everyone will see an audit request for every commit, but it will be dismissed if anyone approves it. Effectively, this enforces the rule "every commit should have someone look at it".

Once your team gets bigger, you can refine this ruleset so that developers see only changes that are relevant to them.

Audit Tips

  • When viewing a commit, audit requests you are responsible for are highlighted. You are responsible for a request if it's a user request and you're that user, or if it's a project request and you're a member of the project, or if it's a package request and you're a package owner. Any action you take will update the state of all the requests you're responsible for.
  • You can leave inline comments by clicking the line numbers in the diff.
  • You can leave a comment across multiple lines by dragging across the line numbers.
  • Inline comments are initially saved as drafts. They are not submitted until you submit a comment at the bottom of the page.
  • Press "?" to view keyboard shortcuts.

Next Steps