Comprehensive Guide on Validating CQLinq Code Rules in CppDepend

Understanding and Validating CQLinq Code Rules in CppDepend

One popular aspect of the tool CppDepend is the integration of the tool into the Continuous Integration build process. Every morning the team leader gets an up-to-date report telling if some coding rules written with CQLinq have been violated within the last 24h.

CppDepend integrated in Visual Studio is a smoother answer to the critical scenario when a developer violates a rule. Waiting till the day after to discover that a rules get violated is too long, it is not enough agile-oriented. Hence CQLinq rules violation warn as soon as possible, right within Visual Studio.

Checking if there are Rules Violations

The developer gets permanently informed of CQLinq rules validation status thanks to a CppDepend progress circle located in the bottom-right corner of the VisualCppDepend and the Visual Studio.

  • green circle green, means that all CQLinq rules are validated,
  • yellow circle yellow, means some activated CQLinq rules are violated,
  • red circle red, means:
    • some critical CQLinq rules are violated or
    • some activated CQLinq rules or queries don’t compile or
    • some activated CQLinq rules or queries have an execution problem (exception thrown or time-out)
  • progressing blue circle blue + progressing, means that the code is currently loaded by CppDepend,
  • progressing and turning blue circle blue + progressing + turning chevrons, means that the code is currently analyzed by CppDepend,
  • grey circle grey, means that no CppDepend project is currently loaded in VisualStudio.

On the CppDepend Dashboard, you can see the number of rules violated and the number of rules violations.

cppdepend dashboard

Notice that Rules Violated, Critical Rules Violated... are links. When clicked, the related rules or queries are listed in the Queryies and Rules Explorer panel.

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Rules Explorer and Rules Edition

The CQLinq Explorer lists all rules grouped by categories…

cppdepend rules by category

…and by clicking a rule you can jump to the CQLinq edition panel, where you can edit the rule and see culprit methods or classes that violate the rule.

cqlinq rules

Of course double clicking a culprit method or class lets jump to its source code declaration. And if the application analyzed by CppDepend spawns several VS solutions, and these solutions are currently opened in several VS instances, the code element gets edited within the adequate VS instance, the one that contains the VS solution that contains the code element. This behavior at first glance might surprise and even look like a bug. But with the habits it becomes a powerful time-saver trick.

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Focusing on Recent Code Rules Violations

On a large legacy code base, CppDepend will likely report thousands of code violations. CppDepend proposes the possibility to focus only on recent code rules violations. Only violations that occur on code elements added or refactored since the baseline for comparison will be reported.

Hence this feature represents a way to prioritize the rules violations be reducing significantly the number of violations reported to focus only on recent ones. To activate this feature, both on rules violations reported in the interactive UI and in the report, just tick the box Recent Violations Only on the Dashboard. A baseline for comparison needs to be defined to get this feature working.

recent violated rules

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CppDepend offers a wide range of features. It is often described as a Swiss Army Knife for C and C++ developers.

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