Better feedback for the user about errors

Today, I improved the feedback for the user about errors happening on calculation. The tool reads now the standard error output of the Power Tool and displays error messages directly within the grid… For instance, the following error will be shown, if the Power Tool could not load or locate the assembly.

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Is it possible to compare metric results?

Yes, it is! The latest version of the extension has basic comparison functionality. I thought this could be very helpful if one would use the extension during code review and/or refactoring. When I used the tool during refactoring, I had the problem that it was hard to see, if values were getting better or worse. So, I thought it would be nice to load a previously calculated report and compare the data against the latest results, to be able to show some kind of “trend” within the grid. This is one of the features I wanted to wait with until the end of this summer because there is still some work to do… in other words, by now it´s not perfect :-) In some situation the comparison might not work…

I calculated metrics for a very simple console application… Here you can see the Main()-method of the static Program-class, which has a maintainability index of 57. Of course, this is still okay, but it could be better…

So, I made some refactorings to the Program class… I created two new methods named ExtractPublicKey() and WriteKeyFile, recompiled the assembly and calculated the metrics again…

Now I can use the compare feature, to see if I made some “good” progress :-) As you can see in the screenshot, there is a new button named “Compare…” in the toolbar. If you press that button, a file dialog will show up, where you can select the candidate report for comparison. If you want to work with the compare feature I recommend to enable the auto-save functionality in the options dialog – so, a new report will be stored in the solution folder, each time you calculate code metrics.

In my example, I have chosen the report, which was calculated before I did the refactorings – and I see, that the maintainability index increased by 7.

By the way… if you like the tool, I would be glad if you would rate the tool with five-stars in the Visual Studio Gallery :-)

Calculated results can be kept for further analysis

In accordance to the test tools for Visual Studio Professional, the extension stores a compound report containing all calculated results of the solution in a folder named “MetricResults” below the solution directory. The output path can be changed in the “Reports” options page. The output path can either be a relative or an absolute path, but Visual Studio macros are not supported. The “Auto-Save”-feature is enabled by default. So, each time a report is calculated it will be stored in the configured output directory. The number of automatically saved reports can be limited, so the extension will only keep the latest results – the default value is 25. If you set the limit to zero, all reports will be kept; nothing will be deleted.

The /directory-option is now supported

If you have missed support for the /directory option of the Power Tool, then the latest version (v1.3.7) might make you happy. Code Metrics Viewer allows you now to specify a directory location, which can be used by the Power Tool to search for assembly dependencies.

The option can be enabled per project; all you need to do is to add a custom property to the project file; you should already be familiar with the basics of MSBuild, because I will not explain it here… Open the project file in the editor (or notepad) and add the following property group to the contents of your project file(s) and customize the path.



  Your path goes here 


That´s it. Code Metrics Viewer will look for that property when you analyze the solution.