Codium AI PR Agent vs Copilot for Pull Requests: Which help you do more?

Published Dec 10, 2023

Pull Request has become a central part of our workflows. They empower us with the ability to discuss and review code changes, bug fixes, features, and others, before merging into the codebase.

From crafting to reviewing pull requests, these are really mentally draining tasks for developers. Most of us at various workplaces feel stuck, awaiting our PRs to be merged or rejected, which always seems to be “in review”. This is no surprise as maintainers are required to understand the scope and changes made to the codebase which is time-consuming and really hard.

Taking advantage of AI, more products have started to emerge to help us with this workflow. Empowering us with features that help us craft better Pull Requests and most importantly, help maintainers understand our Pull Requests better. GitHub’s Copilot for Pull Requests is a great example of this, but there is an even better option, Codium.ai PR-Agent.

In this article, we’ll compare GitHub’s Copilot for Pull Request and Codium.ai Pull Request Agent over Availability, Features, and Customization. We’ll also cover the two main advantages of using Codium.ai Pull Request Agent over Copilot for Pull Request, the different uses for both PR agents, and the three key tips to get the most out of Codium.ai Pull Request Agent.

Features

In this section, I have put together a set of unique features and also generic features that both of the products possess. And also how these features weigh against one another.

Generic features

When we refer to “generic features,” we’re highlighting fundamental functionalities that serve as the backbone of software or tools. These features are often essential, foundational elements that contribute significantly to the overall usability and effectiveness of a product. In the context of Codium’s PR-Agent and Copilot for Pull Request, exploring their generic features unveils the core functionalities that are essential for streamlining the pull request process. These features form the basis upon which more advanced and specialized functionalities are built, playing a crucial role in enhancing user experience and productivity.

Auto-Description

This feature allows you to generate descriptions for pull requests, this walks through your codebase tries to understand the changes you’ve made, and generates a short and digestible description for your pull request. Both products do this, but in a different way.

The way Codium’s PR-Agent Implements this is, after creating the pull request, you can then tag the @CodiumAI-Agent along with the describe command, and it will reply with the description of the pull request, Copilot on the other hand implements this nicely, with markers you can add to the description of your pull request and it auto-fills with the AI analysis result of the pull request.

Both demo shown below.

PR-Agent:

Copilot for Pull Request:

Pull Request Review:

This is an amazing feature, available in both Codium’s PR-Agent and GitHub’s Copilot for Pull Request. It describes and summarizes the changes in a pull requests and generates actionable suggestions for PR content.

Codium’s PR-Agent provides quite a handful of super helpful insights in the Pull Requests. It does a really amazing job at summarizing the scope of the pull request, Here is an example of a pull request that I made:

It was able to give the scope of the pull request, even though I have changes that does not match the theme of the PR, another cool interaction you will find is a eyes emoji, that is automatically reacted to your command to let you know that PR-Agent is has received your message and is processing it.

I also love the code suggest, which is able to provide a list of actionable suggestions which is indeed very helpful.

Here is Code feedback from Codium’s PR-Agent:

Codium’s PR-agent takes this even further with code security suggestions with can easily be missed.

Codium Review demo:

Committable Code Changes:

This feature is designed to present you with a set of code modifications that are readily commit-ready. It streamlines the process of incorporating alterations into your project by furnishing you with clear, well-structured changes. By offering a user-friendly format and concise modifications, it simplifies the task of committing these changes to your code repository. This facilitates a smoother workflow, ensuring that the proposed modifications or improvements are easily implementable and can seamlessly merge into the existing codebase.

A good AI agent for Pull Request must have these set of features, which both products do well. However these set of generic features does not set them apart, nor be the reason to choose one over the other. Following up with this are set of features which does set these products apart, and we will look through how and which can help you do more

Distinctive Features

By exploring some of the notable features of both products, we’ll uncover the distinctive advantages and unique functionalities that set Codium’s PR-Agent apart from Copilot for Pull Request and vise-versa. This comparison aims to highlight specific features, capabilities, and overall exclusive benefits of both products in optimizing pull request workflows and enhancing productivity

Copilot for Pull Request

Aside the generic features of both AI assistants, Copilot for Pull Request stands out with its abundance of advanced features. It brings in a remarkable user interface that seamlessly integrates with GitHub’s interface, contribute to an overall better experience. Here are some of these advanced features

Generate test - Pro feature

Copilot introduces “Gentest,” an innovative experiment designed to assist in generating tests swiftly for alterations within your pull request. It examines your code modifications, identifies areas lacking tests, and offers suggestions for test creation, either by guiding your own writing or providing ready-to-use templates.

While undeniably a valuable feature, I personally lean toward not initiating or solely considering tests during the PR stage.

Resolving issues - Pro feature

Leveraging AI analysis of your codebase, Copilot facilitates issue resolution by proposing code changes to address identified problems or providing actionable steps outlining solutions. These functionalities within Copilot streamline the PR process, offering advanced tools for code improvement and issue resolution.

Codium’s PR-Agent

Codium’s PR-Agent has fantastic features that go beyond just being occasionally useful. These features bring AI into the everyday workflow of pull requests, making them much more efficient and effective.

/ask - Pro feature

This is a very interesting and a super pro feature, it empowers you with the ability to query the AI about the pull request.

This feature can be game changing as you can go beyond the limited information provided by PR-Agent with the /review command. This reduces time spent one questioning the author of the PR due to natural human delays, since you can just directly ask the AI anything about the Pull Request.

/improve with extra instructions - Pro feature

/Improve is a command that allows Codium’s PR-Agent to improve the quality of your pull request, which is already a great feature, but It gets even better with the custom Instructions. Having the ability to customize what and how the AI should Improve on your code in some particular areas or based a theme.

/update_changelog - Pro feature

This command reviews your pull request and automatically fill out your changelog file, this feature can help cut alot of corners in your development circle and save a ton of time used to update a redundant task like changelogs.

Here is an overview of Codium’s PR-Agent features:

Availability

The availability of an AI tool across various platforms is pivotal, considering not all developers or companies rely solely on GitHub. In this context, Codium’s PR-Agent holds a significant advantage.

While GitHub’s Copilot for Pull Requests exclusively operates within the GitHub ecosystem, Codium’s PR-Agent offers support across multiple Git providers. Its accessibility extends beyond GitHub, encompassing platforms like Gitlab, Bitbucket, CodeCommit, Azure DevOps, Gerrit, and more.

This broad compatibility places Codium’s PR-Agent in a superior position compared to Copilot for PR, catering to diverse developer environments and ensuring broader accessibility and utility.

Customization

There is a good amount of customization in Codium’s PR-Agent compared to Copilot for PR, you can change the AI model, Develop additional logic for handling your pull requests and Add additional context to the prompt; which is a feature that is yet to be available.

Having all of these options should feel like a pro feature, but it isn’t as much of it as it should be, It Is cool but not very needed. This thus gives Codium PR-Agent another plus.

Comparison Table

Features Coduim’s PR-Agent Copilot for Pull Request
Ask
Enforcing CONTRIBUTING.md guidelines Coming soon ✅
Generate Test in PR
Improve
Resolve Issue PR-Agent for Issues ✅
Summarize
Update Changelog
Describe

Why Choose Copilot For Pull Request?

Contemplating the ideal tool for managing Pull Requests leads us to explore the advantages of choosing Copilot. This innovative solution presents unique offerings that cater to various aspects of the PR workflow, and has a native tool created by GitHub, you can bet it will perform better on the platform. The only downside is that this tool is only limited to GitHub.

Here are two reasons one might consider choosing Copilot for Pull Requests:

1. Better User Interface

Choosing Copilot for Pull Request has its advantages, and one key aspect is its user-friendly interface. Since Copilot comes from GitHub itself, it’s designed to adjust the interface content more effectively to suit your needs. This means it can better match what you see on the screen with what you need to get things done smoothly.

2. More Advanced Features

Copilot packs in more sophisticated functionalities compared to other options. This means it goes beyond the basics, providing you with tools and capabilities that can handle more complex tasks, making some heavy workflows smoother and more efficient.

Why Choose Codium’s PR-Agent?

As stated earlier, we are going to go over two main point of choosing Codium’s PR-Agent over Copilot for Pull Request. While Copilot offers a rich array of sophisticated tools, there’s a perspective that it might not excel in handling daily, repetitive workflows—specifically, the constant review of PRs. This opinion suggests that while Copilot shines with its advanced functionalities, it might not seamlessly accommodate the repetitive nature of daily PR reviews as effectively as Codium’s PR-Agent does, as we’ve seen in the features above.

Apart from features, Codium’s PR-Agent outperforms Copilot due to two main reasons:

1. Open Sourced

Codium’s PR-Agent is an active open source software, that welcomes contribution from the community.

Such an accessible development system has some serious advantages. Open source software is often more secure because the community from around the world scrutinizes new releases and bugs get reported and addressed fast. Also, the community is motivated to add cool new features to open-source platforms which means open-source software is often just as good, if not better, than competing products.

This distinction positions Codium’s PR-Agent favorably against Copilot for Pull Request, making it more appealing to developers, especially considering our love for open source!

2. Cross-Platform Accessibility

PR-Agent Availability on multiple git provided is another reason to choose it, This means you have the AI with you no matter what platform you find yourself with.

This adaptability means that developers or organizations operating beyond GitHub can harness the AI capabilities offered by Codium’s PR-Agent, expanding its utility across diverse ecosystems.

In Conclusion

While both PR-Agent and Copilot excel in managing pull requests, Codium’s PR-Agent emerges as an exceptional choice. It excel in handling daily, repetitive workflows—specifically, the constant review of PR, reducing time and effort while enhancing overall quality—a testament to its prowess in optimizing the PR process.

Get Started With PR-Agent

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