Saturday, May 25, 2013

NDepend V4: A Product Review

About NDepend:   
This is the first time since beginning of my career, that I am using tool for measuring the application. NDepend is unique and innovative tool which predicts about the application and states the factors that are critical to well developed software application, and shows results in a graphical manner. It incorporates several Code Metrics, Standard and Custom Rules that are checked upon analyzing the application, and suggests the lacking area in terms of Software Quality.

    NDepend offers variety of features notably some of them are Code Metrics, Dependency Matrix and Graph, Code Difference, Code Coverage, Metrics for OOAD semantics and many more other attributes in the stack. It is fully integrated with Visual Studio and is readily available for developers as a Visual Studio AddIn. Basically, it iterates through the product metadata and gathers the statistics about the application and recommends possible remedial action for the better coded application, and highlights dark sides of an application that needs attention, which is usually overlooked by many of software developers.

Main Functions:
1). Analysing VS.Net Solution and VSNet Projects
2). Analysing .Net Assemblies in a Folder
3). Analysing a Set of .Net Assemblies

Features:
             1. NDepend Class Browser

                   It provides the Class Hierarchy feature as a tree view from .Net assembly.

Abstraction Vs Intsability


Class Browser 
               2. NDepend  Search
     Using search feature  you can find  method by name, by Full Name or by using CQLinq query. This feature is not limited to Name, you can search by size, complexity, coupling etc also. Also you can search for the difference between two snapshots of your code.
Search


            3. Queries and Rule Explorer and Editor
     It provides with capability of viewing and editing the Query and Critical rules that must not be violated. For this CQLinq (Code Query LINQ) provides a way to query .Net code, and helps you in fulfilling your custom queries.
Queries and Rule Editor
For instance you can query methods which has LOC(Line of Codes) more than 30 by using simple syntax:
            from m in Methods where m.NbLinesOfCode > 30 select m
Also Queries and Rules Summary explorer panel shows the highlight of the number of rules satisfied and violated.

Queries and Rule Explorer

             4. Dependency Matrix
     It represents the dependencies between the software components within the software application.

Dependency Diagram

Dependency Matrix


Dependency Matrix

             5. Dependency Graph
     It represents the relationship between the .Net assemblies used in the software application. In addition to Dependency Graph different graphs are available to visually support the developer such as: Call Graph, Class Inheritance Graph, Coupling Graph, Path Graph, Cycle Graph etc.
Dependency Graph

6. Metrics
     Several metrics are already available to assist you in dealing with development of Quality software application. These metrics are applied at various levels from .Net Application, Namespaces, Types, Method to field level, in order to provide you full control on each aspect of software.
Metrics - Type Level

Metrics - Method Level

Metrics - Namespace Level
Conclusion:
     As I stated in the beginning I have never used tool for measuring Application, but after using NDepend I personally feeling good and found it more useful. Now I am able to able to analyze my code in better way to maintain standards in developing software applications. My experience with Ndepend is good, though I have explained some of the features, I still would like to advise everyone out there to take a chance to evaluate NDepend (http://www.ndepend.com/NDependDownload.aspx).  

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