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Adventures with NDepend on the DotNetNuke Codebase–baseline comparisons

One of the first reasons we decided to start using NDepend was to be able to compare the public API from version to version so we could try to stop any breaking changes.  To do this you need to compare a previous build’s NDepend analysis with the current build.  I created a baseline analysis on the released 5.6.1 code base.  I then set my current build’s baseline analysis to the 5.6.1 one and reran the analysis as part of the CI build.

This of course broke the build!  The build broke because the rules on the API were marked as critical and set to return a false to the build if the rules was broken.  The public API for DNN has some parts of it that even though they are marked as public are not really part of the API, these methods are typically inside the provider pattern and not for external consumption.  I’ll have to figure out how to restrict the analysis to only the real API methods. but that’s a job for later, for now I’m just trying to get the reports showing all of the information we need to start the great refactoring of 2011 Smile.

Here you can see that the analysis is now comparing against the 561EEBaseline

image

And here you can see the results of clicking the Code Diff tab, the results below show the Public API methods and types that have changed and will need to be investigated to see if they really are public. 

image

NDepend is providing valuable information about our codebase allowing us to concentrate efforts to improve the codebase.

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