Vercel today announced two new features for developers that aim to help them ship higher-quality code at scale. The first is conformance, which runs static analysis checks over a company’s codebase to find issues. The second is ‘code owners,’ which makes it easier to figure out who is responsible for a given part of the codebase and also ensures that any changes are reviewed by the right people.
During last week’s AWS re:Invent, I sat down with Vercel CEO Guillermo Rauch to talk about Amazon’s latest AI innovations and what’s next for Vercel. Sitting in Cafe Urth, one of the few places on the Vegas Strip where you can have a meeting while enjoying something resembling natural light and an absence of slot machines, our discussion centered around how Vercel’s users are increasingly integrating AI into their applications.
“I think for the first time in many years, I’m noticing that the technology is ahead of the products,” he told me. “It’s typically the opposite way. People, for example, hyped up blockchain, right? And remember when Stripe added it and then withdrew it because it turns out you can only do four transactions per second or something like that? Now, it’s the opposite. The technology’s freaking incredible and I’m telling customers, ‘hey, you can completely overhaul everything. These are the techniques, these are the patterns.’ I’ve been calling it a Cloud 2.0 moment because all of the primitives are new. It used to be that the stack was a web server, the SQL database and a cache. Now, everything is foreign: RAG, vector database, LLM, and fine-tuning — all of the vocabulary has changed.”
However, as Rauch pointed out, enterprises continue to struggle with some of the fundamentals of building their software. “What do enterprises need today? They need performance, security, mobile readiness — they need all these things that at scale are very hard to maintain,” he told me. The idea here, he said, is to offer users guardrails that ensure that their codebase doesn’t regress as they build new features. Using static analysis, the Conformance tooling automatically checks for issues that may impact an application’s performance and security — and unlike some other tools, it can do so across files. To better help developers understand the tool’s findings, the company also built a dashboard that helps them track these issues.
Conformance can run in a company’s CI/CD pipeline or locally and can also identify issues with Next.js and overall code health. Over time, the team plans to bring more AI smarts to the analysis tool, too.
Also new is “Code Owners,” a new feature that integrates with Git and aims to pair code changes with the right code reviewers. “Code Owners mirrors the structure of your organization,” Vercel explains in a blog post today. “This means Code Owners who are higher up in the directory tree act as broader stewards over the codebase and are the fallback if owners files go out of date, such as when developers switch teams.”
One interesting aspect of these new features in Vercel’s developer experience platform is that they aren’t tied to using the overall Vercel platform. Developers can use these services even if they don’t host their workloads on Vercel. “For us, it’s a meaningful step because it’s creating another door — another entry path — into our world. We have customers that are hosting on-prem, for example, due to regulatory reasons. So we’re now democratizing a lot of these best practices, even if you don’t run the workload on the Vercel infrastructure.”