NDepend–code analysis


Recently I was asked to inspect and old VB.Net Windows Forms & SQL Server application to see determine its future life.  Part of this technical review was analysing the code base and database structure. 

To analyse the code base I used NDepend a well-known code quality analysis tool that has progressed by leaps and bounds since I last used it on the build server circa 2013 (then version 5).  Now on version 2019.2.4  

Application Overview

  • .Net 4.6 Windows Forms
  • SQL Server database where most of the logic resides (some in the GUI)



After installing NDepend you will get a menu icon in Visual Studio


Next setup the NDepend project for analysis.  Within Visual Studio I select the projects and references I wish to include in the analysis.  I am also able to include 2 extra DLLs that the vendor bundled with the application (but did not provide the source code)


Next tab I setup the Analysis settings and output location.   This will enable NDepend to perform a time-based analysis to see how the solution has progressed/regressed since the last analysis.


Running the Analysis

The analysis tool may be run and viewed from inside Visual Studio or output as a HTML file (great for the build server report).

Application Metrics

Quality Gates

Dependency Graph

Dependence Matrix

Cyclomatic Complexity

Cyclomatic complexity is a software metric used to indicate the complexity of a program. It is a quantitative measure of the number of linearly independent paths through a program’s source code. It was developed by Thomas J. McCabe, Sr. in 1976.

Cyclomatic complexity is computed using the control flow graph of the program: the nodes of the graph correspond to indivisible groups of commands of a program, and a directed edge connects two nodes if the second command might be executed immediately after the first command. Cyclomatic complexity may also be applied to individual functions, modules, methods or classes within a program.