Thursday, April 13, 2017

Technical Dept Estimation with NDepend for controlling software cost in future.

Technical debt is a concept in programming that reflects the extra development work that arises when code that is easy to implement in the short run is used instead of applying the best overall solution at once after few release of the application.


It includes those internal things that you choose not to do now, but which will impede future development if left undone. especially in the context of refactoring.

In 1992, at the OOPSLA conference Ward Cunningham describes this concept as follows:

"Shipping first-time code is like going into debt. A little debt speeds development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite. Objects make the cost of this transaction tolerable. The danger occurs when the debt is not repaid. Every minute spent on not-quite-right code counts as interest on that debt. Entire engineering organizations can be brought to a stand-still under the debt load of an unconsolidated implementation, object-oriented or otherwise."

Technical Dept increase with every release if residual issues left over from the last released are addressed. In Agile method, each sprint take care about the standard process to make a quality product but code refactoring and other stuff are not controlled at the right time then futures releases cost more in refactoring rather than doing at particular release using shortcuts. It is reduced by measuring Debt at every release to reduce to cost of the continuous development.

NDepend provide Continuous Code Quality using Smart Technical Debt Estimation. It enables you to estimate the cost to fix and the severity through customizable C# formulas for each issues persist at each sprint or release of the software.

In newer version NDepend v2017.1.0, NDepend estimates the technical-debt of a code base.


The technical-debt is estimated from C# LINQ formulas embedded inside each rule source code. This makes the the estimations both smart and easily customizable to your needs. In the below screen you will see the queries written for the predefined rules provided with the NDepend.


There are rules which can be added and modified as per the requirement. Debt estimation parameters are also customizable through NDepend Project Properties panel. See below images:



As per my opinion this feature is quite worth of use to improve the quality of the product for future cost reduction and it is quite easy to understand the serious Code Quality control in the development process through NDepend. It makes the managers to control the return on investment made on quality.

Hope NDepend benefits others to reduce the Technical Debts for their products..

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How to use multiple validators for one control at same place?

Let suppose I have a textbox for email and I want to validate that user must enter valid email address. In this statement there are two checks:
  1. User must enter email address – Required field
  2. Email address must valid email address
To do this two validator are required so it is required to use RequiredFieldValidator and RegularExpressionValidator both but the problem is that when we put these control adjacent to each other as below:
If we do this then email validation message shown far from the text box because RequiredFieldValidator still maintain their place.
Set the Display property to Dynamic on RequiredFieldValidator and RegularExpressionValidator. After doing this it render correctly.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Visual Studio 2017 Launched with new features…

Currently Visual Studio 2017 launch 20th Anniversary event is still running on 7 and 8 March. One day still left to  explorer know that what Microsoft brought in this version. There are lots improvement in this version of Visual Studio.

First one is the New Installation user interface which make it easier for you to select and install just the features you need. You can select individual components that you want to use in development environment.



Visual Studio has been optimized to reduce startup time and solution load time. The very first launch of Visual Studio is at least 50% faster.

Improved Code Navigation
There are huge improvements to code navigation features in Visual Studio 2017. It is changed to “Go To All (Ctrl +, or Ctrl + T)” lets you quickly find and go to files, types, methods, and other elements in your code. It allows you to locate items of any kind, even in large code bases. Go To Line is also improved.
  • Structure Guide Lines are now drawn in the editor so that you can easily visualize the structure of the code that you are working in. On mouse hover, a tooltip is displayed containing the context of the current code block relative to its ancestor blocks. Structure Guide Lines are currently supported for C#, Visual Basic, and XAML files, and for any files supported via TextMate grammars. This feature may be disabled in the Tools > Options dialog by unchecking the Show structure guide lines checkbox under the Text Editor > General category.

Coding Convention Support Via EditorConfig

The Visual Studio 2017 editor now supports EditorConfig, which allows developers to define and maintain consistent coding style conventions between different editors and IDEs. See documentation for more details, and .NET documentation for information on how to use .editorconfig files to govern your .NET code style. See known issues for limitations in EditorConfig support in this release.

Read this nice article - Code Style Configuration

Code Refactor improvement

Visual Studio provides lots of refactorings to help you be productive and make your code more readable. for example,

  • Simplify object initialization with an initializer.
  • Use specific type rather than var.
  • Convert String.Format to string interpolation [ “AA” + abc.ToString() to string.Format(“{0}{1}”, “AA”, abc.ToString()],
  • Convert property to a method, and vice versa.
  • Move class declaration to another file.

There are lots refactoring features included in Visual Studio 2017 which are provided by third-party tools e.g. Redgate Refactor and DevExpress CodeRush. I am using DevExpress CodeRush for these features but some theme are already exists in Visual Studio 2017. It is really good that some basic refactoring features now part Visual Studio itself.

Debugging and Diagnostics

Now Visual Studio has significant changes in this section also.. Check few of them below:

Run to Click

Simply click the icon next to a line of code while debugging to run to that line. No longer set temporary breakpoints or perform several steps to execute your code and stop on the line you want. Now while stopped at a break state under the debugger, the Run to Click icon subtly appears next to the line of code that your mouse is hovered over. Move your mouse to the icon and click the button, now your code will run and stop on that line the next time it is hit in your code path. Turn it off from Debug> Options > Enable Run to Click.


The New Exception Helper

Use the new Exception Helper to view your exception information at a glance in a compact non-modal dialog with instant access to inner exceptions. Read this blog post for more detailed information on the new benefits of the Exception Helper.

Live Unit Testing is the interesting one which captured my eyes during the first day launch event. It visualize unit testing results and code coverage live in the editor. A symbol is shown whether this line of code pass the unit test or not. It also shows that this line of code is captured by unit test or not.

There are lots features added in newer version of Visual Studio. It looks like ultimate editor for developers.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

NDepend: New Feature “Technical Debt and Quality Gate”

What are the quality gates
Quality gates are basically acceptance criteria reviews that can be used throughout any project. Sure, managers of smaller, agile projects might say that this involves too much paperwork, but the nice thing about quality gates is that the strategy is fully customizable. It can be seen as a set of predefined quality criteria that a software development project must meet in order to proceed from one stage of its lifecycle to the next.
These are special milestone in a software project which are located before a phase that is strongly dependent on the outcome of a previous phase. They are especially useful between phases in which breaches in disciplines must be overcome.

How quality gates work:
You are not allowed to proceed the next gate until the previous gate has been completed successfully. It involves a checklist of deliverables, with some indication of the state of completion for each item. Checklist must be reviewed by the project manager (Manager) and a senior executive or stack-holders who is involved with the project. Quality gates therefore mean:
  • Formal checklists are used throughout the life of a project.
  • Formal sign-off and acceptance occurs at each gate.
  • Assessment of the quality and integrity of the product takes place.
  • Information is assured to be communicated to the correct stakeholders
Advantages of the Quality gates:
These are effective on any kind of project. There attractive because of the following advantages which includes:
  • Minimizes project failure risks through phase-by-phase checklists (or Gates)
  • Enables project managers to continuously communicate the process and build quality directly into the project
  • Reduces development cycle time—getting it done right the first time
  • Increases focus on a well-designed product
Now NDepend is equipped with this in v2017.1 and you will find default quality gates relative to technical debt and issues and issues, including Percentage of Debt, New Debt since Baseline or New Blocker / Critical / Major Issues. Quality gates relative to absolute technical debt value are disabled by default because the proper thresholds can only be defined in the context of a particular project.
Results of the applied rules are shown in the updated dashboard. This is quite new feature in NDepend for project management improvement.


You will find ratings and the status of passed rules.


HTML report has more details in a tabular format about the applied rules:

Then again the feature that I most like in NDepend is CQLinq which enables you to customize or add rules. CQLinq is much fast to run these rules and now much improved in case of performance.


There is a nice documentation is also available to know that how to Compute and Manage the Technical Debt with NDepend.

Monday, January 30, 2017

What's new in NDepend v2017.1

After my first article “Analyzing the Quality of your code with NDepend” on NDepend, I found few new interesting feature in it’s new release. Microsoft has introduced new version of the Visual Studio which my first choice for development. New Roslyn platform heading us to the Open source development using the Microsoft tools that making things easier to learn and get knowledge about the new tools. But we are going to explorer new features of the NDepend. Few of them are as below:
Support for Visual Studio 2017

  • NDepend 2017.1 supports Visual Studio 2017.
  • NDepend 2017.1. It also supports Visual Studio 2015, 2013, 2012 and 2010.

.NET Core support

  • NDepend can now analyze any .NET Core assembly and its associated PDB and source files.
  • The new .NET Core Portable PDB file format is now also supported.
  • Support for inferring code to analyze from a project.json file, which about to completely come in the first quarter of this year. All .NET Core assemblies you need to analyze can be easily found through Analyze .NET assemblies in directory (recursive).

Dashboard Improvements

  • Dashboards have been improved in the NDepend UI in Visual Studio, in the generated reports section and in the Team Services web portal.
  • It now contains technical debt estimations, quality gates, rules and issues data.
  • For each data, a visual indicator shows the progression since baseline. Red and green coloured values are used to pinpoint progress or regression.
  • Clicking any value generates a query that drills down through corresponding data, which can be a list of code elements, debt estimations, quality gates, rules or issues.clip_image002[4]

Visual Studio Team Services VSTS and TFS 2017 Advanced Extension
A new Visual Studio Team Services extension is available. It consists of a build task that analyses code and code coverage yielded by the build process.
A web portal presents the results which embeds the NDepend dashboard and makes data actionable by drilling down anything with a single click.

A new Visual Studio Team Services extension is available. It consists of a build task that analyses code and code coverage yield by the build process. A web portal presents analysis results.clip_image004[4]

  • The web portal has a dashboard that presents the most relevant data including technical debt, code size, quality gates, rules and issues numbers.
  • A TFS build can be used as a baseline. All dashboard data is then diff-ed since the baseline.
  • Each data presented in the dashboard is clickable to view more information.

  • A detailed summary of quality gates is available.
  • Technical debt can be drilled down till the issue level. Clicking an issue allows it to be edited in the Rules panel.
    The datagrid is interactive: issues can be grouped, ordered and filtered by rule name.
  • Rules details can be explored. Clicking a rule violation redirects the user to the VSTS Code Search extension, displaying the source code of the culprit code element.
  • The VSTS extension logs trend metrics for each build, and Trend charts are shown.
  • A panel shows a code metrics recap for each code element. The datagrid is interactive: elements can be grouped, ordered and filtered by name.

Report Improvements

  • The new improved report dashboard now contains information on debt and issues.
  • The report main section contains Quality Gates status summary.
  • The report Rules Summary now shows the number of issues added and fixed per rule.
  • A green/red colour scale is now shown on code coverage values.

Code Querying Improvements

  • Thanks to the new queryable domains QualityGates, Issues, IssuesInBaseline, Rules queries can be written to match IQualityGate, IIssue, IRule objects according to any criteria (rule violated or not, quality gate status that went from pass to fail, issues added since baseline, issues severity or debt...).
  • New syntax to write quality gates.
  • A new button lets you run the currently edited code query against the baseline.
  • A code query can now return code elements of various kinds such as assemblies, namespaces, types, methods and fields.

    This new queryable domains are available including CodeElements ANTMF ; CodeElementParents ANT ; TypesAndMembers TMF ; Members MF ; CodeContainersANTM ; AttributeTargets ATMF ; where Assemblies, Namespaces, Types, Methods, Fields.
  • A query can now return values of technical debt through new types Debt, AnnualInterest, DebtRating, Severity, TrendIcon and can also return System.Version and System.TimeSpan values.
  • A colour scale is now shown on query result metric values making it easier to compare them at a glance.
  • You can now write very simple queries like Methods or JustMyCode.CodeElements or codebase.PercentageCoverage. This syntax simplifies writing quality gates and trend metrics queries.
  • Trend metrics used to only be defined with queries that return a scalar. A trend metric can now also be defined with a query that returns rows. In such situation the trend metric value is equals to the row count.
  • Improved query edit experience including:
    - PageUp/PageDown and dot supported on completion items list
    - smart query results column width auto-adjustment
    - no more flickering on query result row sorting.

Smart Technical Debt Estimation

NDepend v2017 is the only VS extension that can tell the developer that, for example, since this morning the code just written has introduced debt that would cost about 30 minutes should it have to be repaid later.
Knowing this, the developer can fix the code before even committing it to the source control.

  • An NDepend rule can now assign a technical debt and annual interest values to its issues.
  • The technical-debt is the estimated man-time that would take to fix the issue.
  • The annual-interest is the estimated man-time consumed per year if the issue is left unfixed. This provides an estimate of the business impact of the issue.
  • Issues of a rule now have a severity level in the blocker, critical, major, minor, info range.
    The annual-interest is a measure of an issues severity. The severity and the annual-interest represent the same concept where the annual-interest is a continuous measure while the severity is a discrete measure.
  • For example the rule below matches methods which are too complex. The technical debt is linear to the methods excessive complexity and the annual-interest is linear to the methods code coverage by tests (10 minutes per year for 100% coverage, 2 hours per year for 0% coverage).
    All default rules now have these debt/interest formulas which offer real-world estimations, out of the box. If needed, these formulas can be easily customized.
  • The dashboard now shows estimated Debt values and evolution since baseline.
    This dashboard is available in the NDepend UI in Visual Studio, in generated reports and in the Team Services web portal.
  • Many facilities are proposed from the dashboard to query/sort/filter/group... the debt estimated values and the issues set.
    These facilities include sorting debt and issues per rule or per code element, focusing on new and fixed debt since baseline and issues to fix by priority heuristics.
    Customizable Quality Gates are now available to define excessive thresholds over debt estimations that might induce build failure and prevent check-in.
    Customizable trend metrics are now available to measure debt trending. The key is to offer comprehensive sets of actionable results.
  • The NDepend project properties now has a Debt and Issues panel to customize all technical debt computation aspects.
    This includes estimated Debt and Interest values conversion from man-time to cost estimation.
    This also includes Debt Ratio and SQALE Debt Rating on a code element (as defined by the SQALE method). These are expressed in percentage of the estimated technical-debt compared to the estimated effort it would take to rewrite the code element from scratch.
    Debt settings can also be shared among different NDepend projects.

  • More info on Smart Technical Debt Estimation here

Quality Gates

A Quality Gate is a check on a code quality fact that must be enforced before releasing and eventually, before committing to source control.
Quality Gates for example can forbid issues with a certain severity introduced since the baseline, enforce particular code coverage by tests ratio on new and refactored code or enforce thresholds on any Technical Debt criteria.

  • CQLinq can now be used to write quality gates. Technically a quality gate is like a trend metric. It's a code query that returns a scalar or rows (in which case the value is the row count). In practice a quality gate is used to fail a build when some thresholds are violated. A warn threshold, a fail threshold and a unit can be provided.
  • Thanks to the new CQLinq capabilities, quality gates can be use to measure and monitor any fact concerning code, but also any fact concerning technical-debt, rules and issues.
  • Quality gates can also rely on differences since baseline (diff), which means that they can monitor progression like new technical debt since baseline or % code coverage on new code written since baseline.

  • 11 quality gates are provided per default and LINQ queries can be written to query the quality gates status.

  • In previous NDepend versions, a build used to fail upon critical rules failures. Now the build fails upon any quality gate failure. The critical rule concept has been kept and the default quality gate Critical Rules Violated mimics the build fail behavior of previous NDepend versions.

Issues Management

  • A new Issues menu offers actionable options to list issues to be fixed by priority, and browse debt and issues per rule or per code element.

  • Quality gates, rules and issues numbers are shown from the dashboard. All these numbers are clickable to get lists of quality gates, rules or issues.

  • A single click allows to list issues with a particular severity, added or fixed, since baseline.

  • New menu to list issues concerning a code element.
  • Hovering an issue with the mouse displays a complete description.

  • Code element tooltip now shows debt and issues related data.

Enhanced Baseline Experience

Do you want to measure progress since this morning, last week or since the last release?
Choose the baseline in a single click from the Dashboard and harness the updated results in just a few seconds.

  • Any stored baseline can be applied from the dashboard through a single click.
    Code base diff, rules, issues and quality gates are then recomputed in a few seconds.
  • Any newly created project now has the baseline settings set to 30 days ago per default.
    As a consequence, the stored baseline with the date closest to 30 days ago is applied.
    The first analysis result of a project is compared with itself since no other result can be used as the baseline.
  • Rules and Quality Gates are now executed against both current and baseline analysis results. Debt estimation, issues and status differences can then be queried.

  • The search panel can now match all code elements added, refactored or removed since baseline.
    The results also show debt and issues information.
    This perspective is ideal to browse changes and issues introduced since baseline.

Default Rules-Set Improvements

  • All default rules now include debt/interest estimation formulas that offer real-world estimations of the technical-debt, out of the box. If needed, these formulas can be easily customized.
    Typically rules related to poor coverage, poor quality and poor structure are the highest source of technical-debt.
  • The new CQLinq capabilities 52 existing rules have been improved to offer less false positives and more relevant data.
  • For example the rule Avoid namespaces mutually dependent has been improved to offer actionable results. It now lists all dependencies to remove at type and method level to reach a clean layered code structure.
  • New rule Assemblies should have the same version lists application assemblies that have a different version than most other application assemblies.
  • New rule Avoid non-readonly static fields.
  • New notmycode query Discard generated Namespaces from JustMyCode matches the VB.NET generated namespace My.
  • The notmycode query Discard generated Types from JustMyCode now also matches anonymous types.

Enhanced Visual Studio Integration

  • NDepend analysis can be started after a build to automatically refresh NDepend results. New settings are provided to avoid starting the NDepend analysis when the builds purpose is to provide up-to-date compiled bits for a run session, a debug session or a unit-test session. In such a situation, it might be preferable to avoid starting the NDepend analysis to avoid both consuming CPU cycles and distracting the developer's focus.
  • Minimal interval between NDepend results being refreshed automatically after a build in VS which can now also be expressed in minutes.

NDepend.API Improvements

  • Possibility to compute an issues-set and an issues-set-diff through a single method call thanks to the new methods ComputeIssues() and ComputeIssuesDiff() declared in ExtensionMethodsProjectAnalysis.
  • Possibility to compile a code query once and resolve it against multiple code bases. This facility represents a significant optimization when multiple resolutions are needed, because query compilation is way slower than query resolving.
    Related method ExtensionMethodsQuery.CompileNoResolve() which returns a IQueryCompiledUnresolved that presents two Resolve() methods, against a ICodeBase and an ICompareContext.
  • The new method ExtensionMethodsQuery.GenerateCompletionItems() provides completion items in code query edition context.
  • The new method ExtensionMethodsQuery.CompileMany(IEnumerable<IQuery>) takes an enumerable of IQuery and returns a dictionary of IQueryCompiled indexed by IQuery.
NDepend is again loaded with more improvements and features from it’s last version. NDepend team introduced above valuable feature and enhancements.

Note: Some text and Images are taken from NDepend documentation.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How are the use of layers in Orchard CMS?

What is Layer?

A layer is a group of widgets (with their specific configuration, which includes their positioning -zone name and ordering-) that is activated by a specific rule.

For example, the TheHomePage layer is activated by a rule that specifically selects the home page. The Default layer is always active no matter what page is displayed.

The Authenticated layer is only active when users have identified themselves. When more than one layer is active on any given page, all the widgets from all those layers get displayed at the same time. Orchard orders them based on their position string.

What is the use of Layer?

Layers change the layout of your new page without affecting the rest of the site you can create a new layer for a specific pages by specifying layer rule. These help to render some content on a specific location of the page except other pages does not change.

See the below example:

Adding a New Page to Your Site

  1. In the Orchard Dashboard, under New, select Page.
  2. Enter a title for the page. When you enter a title for the page and save it (for example, "Download"), the permalink (URL) for the page will be filled in automatically ("download"). You can edit this link if you prefer a different URL.
  3. Enter some text for the content page body.

  4. In the Tags field, add comma-separated tags such as "download" and "Orchard" so that you can search and filter using those tags later.
  5. Check Show on main menu and enter the menu text ("Downloads") to use in the site's main menu.
  6. Select Publish Now to make the updates to the page visible immediately. You can also save the page as a draft (to edit later before publishing), or you can choose to publish the page at a specific date and time.

  7. Select Your Site in the upper-left side of the Dashboard to view the modified home page with the new menu. Clik Downloads and you will see your new page.

Adding New Layer for a Page

To change the layout of your new page without affecting the rest of the site you can create a new layer, that will be applied only to the Downloads page. Then you can place some widgets on that layer and they will be visible only in the Downloads page.

  1. Go to the Dashboard and select Widgets. Then click add a new layer to add a new layer for this page which will allow you to customize the layout for the new page at a later point in time.

  2. Write a name for the layer, a description, and a layer rule: url"~/download". This will instruct the Orchard System to show the widgets in this layer only when the url of the browser is pointing to "download". Select Save.


Adding a New HTML Widget

  1. To check that your layer rule is working you can add a widget to it. Ensure that Current Layer is Download. Click Add in AsideFirst.

  2. Add a new Html Widget.
  3. Write a title and a body for it. Save it.

  4. Select Your Site in the upper-left side of the Dashboard. Navigate to Downloads. You should see the custom layout.

Now you will see that ‘Downloads’ page has different layout rather than other pages because it uses different layer except other pages use different.