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Recently, Patrick Smacchia dropped by and left a note showing how he used NDepend to see numerically what has changed between 3.5 and 3.5 SP! This prompted me to look a little closer at the tool. If you want to capture metrics on your .NET code, NDepend does a great job at doing it.

Similar to the capabilities that TestDriven.NET gives to the lower entries in the Visual Studio product line in the arena of Unit Testing, NDepend provides code metrics for those who aren’t using Team System. I would argue it goes a bit beyond the built-in Team System code metrics tools. NDepend has a query language called CQL that allows you to specify what metrics are important to you and what your alert levels are for those metrics.

There is a lot to explore in this area, especially when looking at continuous integration and build verification. Before I even spend my time looking at code for a review, I can have NDepend look over the code and tell me what’s missing. Once I’ve made the queries, NDepend will consistently catch code that breaks my rules. Giving me more time to focus on building another O/RM.

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