Friday, May 18, 2007

Adding FxCop to the build

Most (though certainly not all) developers agree that code reviews are a useful step in the development process. I won't go into specific benefits, as there are numerous writings on the subject.

One of the downsides, however, is that code reviews take time. In fact, you could spend more time reviewing the code than you did writing it. This is where FxCop can help. Though it won't catch problems with things like business rules, it does flag various issues related to performance, security, and code consistency/maintainability. By adding it to the build, we get a decent code review with every checkin.

For this demo, I downloaded the source for the MSBuild Community Tasks. Dropping this into SourceSafe, I set up a new project in CruiseControl.Net.

<project name="MSBuild.Community.Tasks">
<sourcecontrol type="vss" autoGetSource="true">
<executable>C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual SourceSafe\ss.exe</executable>
<buildArgs>/noconsolelogger </buildArgs>

To add FxCop, we first need to create a project file. Start FxCop. From the menu, choose File > Save Project. Out of laziness, I saved the file as c:\DefaultRules.FxCop. Now to update the build file. Below the <msbuild> section, add the following

<executable>C:\Program Files\Microsoft FxCop 1.35\FxCopCmd.exe</executable>
<buildArgs>/project:"C:\DefaultRules.FxCop" /fo /q /searchgac /file:"%CCNetWorkingDirectory%\MSBuild.Community.Tasks\Source\MSBuild.Community.Tasks\bin\Debug\MSBuild.Community.Tasks.dll" /out:FxCopLog.xml</buildArgs>

Within the <publishers> section, add


Save these changes and force a build - which fails. Looking at the project report, it looks like everything should have worked. We even have FxCop information on the page. The Build Log, however, notes the missing dependency Microsoft.VisualStuido.SourceSafe.Interop. The assembly isn't being copied to the build output folder.

To fix, open the .sln in VisualStudio. Under the project's References, select the missing interop and set the Copy Local property to True. Checkin the modified project and you should see a successful build.

Now we have FxCop info displaying on the Build Report. We also have a detailed FxCop Report we can access from the Dashboard's menu. Which is all well and good, but the reports aren't the most useful.

Fortunately, you can download alternative stylesheets from the Thoughtworks site. Unzip fxcop-summary.xsl and FxCopReport.xsl, and place in \webdashboard\xsl\ under the install directory. Open FxCopReport.xsl in your favorite xml editor. Replace all instances of




With the new reports in place, reload the dashboard. If all goes as planned, you should see slightly improved FxCop reports. Note these still aren't perfect, and there are likely others available on the web.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.