NDepend is a Visual Studio tool to manage .Net Code and achieve high quality product. Using NDepend, you can improve your code quality. You can find the unreachable code very easily using this tool. Not only this, it visualizes your code using Graphs & Treemaps. Hence, you can improve the quality of your Software by measuring the Code Metrices.




I just got a chance to explore NDepend Professional tool and found it little bit useful (as of now) for day to day coding life. Thought to share the same experience with you all. Though this is my first day exploring NDepend and hence don’t have so much proficiency or knowledge, but somewhat I felt it useful. Once I explore more, I will be able to tell more about it. In this post, I will describe about it and how to install as an Add-In to your Visual Studio IDE. Read it and share your feedbacks.


What is NDepend?

As mentioned in the introductory part, NDepend is a Visual Studio Tool to manage .Net Code to achieve a high quality product. I am not going to explain about all the features, as it is also new to me. But, among them which really I found very interesting is the CQL (Code Query Language). CQL supports maximum flexibility and using it, you can easily query your codes.


Using CQL query, you will be able to know:

  • Whether your code is layered properly
  • Which classes inherits from a particular interface
  • Which classes not covered thoroughly etc. etc.

If your method exceeds more than x lines of code or not followed the proper naming convention, you can show warnings at the time of build.


Using NDepend, you will be able to create Dependency Charts and the complexity report of your code. Also, you will be able to monitor the various build versions.


Learn more about the NDepend Features here.


Installing NDepend

If you are new to NDepend, download the Free Trial version from NDepend Download site. Once downloaded, extract the downloaded .zip file to your local hard drive. You will see a list of files and folders in the extracted folder:



If you purchased you NDepend license, you will get the license file which you have to copy in this directory location. The NDepend application will automatically read the file & register it for full professional version. There are two different ways to install the NDepend tool. Let us go through each steps.


Installing NDepend (Method 1)

Among the extracted files, you will see the “NDepend.Install.VisualStudioAddin” file. Double click it to run the application.



This will open the “NDepend’s Visual Studio AddIn Install” dialog which will look like below. This supports Visual Studio 2005, 2008 & 2010. Based upon your installed version the respective option will be enable for you. Click the Install button next to the Visual Studio version to install it.




This will tale 2-3 seconds to install the addin to your IDE.


Installing NDepend (Method 2)

You can install the NDepend in another way. Go to the extracted directory, there you will find another application named “VisualNDepend”. Double click on it to run the application.




The Visual NDepend Window looks like this:




Here you will see the option to install the addin for your Visual Studio. I was little confused between the two approach. This one has only one option. Later, my eye went to the icon. Woh! It has two different icons, which means you will be able to install for various version too.


Click the “Install Visual Studio AddIn” to start the installation steps. This will actually open the options page to the screen. There in the “Visual Studio Add-In” tab item, you will see the same options you saw in the first method. Visual Studio 2005, 2008 & 2010 listed there. The respective installed version will be enabled. Click the “Install” button to start the installation.




Once you follow either of the above two methods, your NDepend will register itself with your IDE.


Verifying the Installation

Once you install the tool properly, open your respective Visual Studio IDE. There you will see the “NDepend” menu in the IDE Menubar. Click on that & you will see the menu as shown in the below screenshot.




This confirms proper installation of the NDepend tool & successful integration with the Visual Studio IDE.


This is little about NDepend & it’s installation process. In the next post, I will try to cover more about it. Till then enjoy reading the other articles.

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