Author: Nithin Mohan TK

NDepend–VSTS/Azure DevOps Integration–Part 01

September 30, 2018 .NET, .NET Core, .NET Framework, Azure DevOps, Best Practices, Code Analysis, Code Quality, Dynamic Analysis, Emerging Technologies, Microsoft, Static Analysis, Tools No comments

In my previous article I wrote an introductory about NDepend and how it will be useful for Agile Team to ensure code quality.

In that article we found how we can use NDepend in a developer machine. Now with this article we will familiarize ourselves in using NDepend in your build automation pipeline in your VSTS/Azure DevOps Build Agent.

There are two types of integration possible for NDepend:

  1. Directly using NDepend Package Extension from VSTS Marketplace
  2. Manual Integration using NDepend Command Line Tool. (This would provide you more control over licensing by setting up the license in your own OnPrem VSTS Build Agent.

For the interest of this article I will cover the use of VSTS Package Extension and using NDepend Build Task in VSTS Build Pipeline.

Installation of NDepend Extension for VSTS/Azure DevOps :

1.) Got to Azure DevOps Market Place:  https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=ndepend.ndependextension

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2.) Click on Get to Install this extension in to your AzureDevOps account and follow the steps. For the demo purpose I am starting with 30 day free trial, otherwise you can go ahead and buy the full license.

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3.) Now when you get back to Azure DevOps project, you can see the NDepend side menu enabled, this is where you would see the report summary of your project.

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Integration NDepend into Azure DevOps Pipeline :

1.) Select “NDepend Task” and add in to Pipeline

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Note:

  • You can choose to stop the build when at least one quality gate fails.
  • You also need to specify the NDepend project file customized for your project, otherwise NDepend will use their default project file configuration.  Having your own NDepend project file will provide you more control over the policies for the scan.

Queue a new Build and wait for Build to complete. Now you can see the BuildArtifacts includes all NDepend report file.

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Now you go back to NDepend menu from Left side menu item in Summary Tab. This will provide you detailed view of Technical Debt in your project.

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In the next article I will cover the manual integration steps.

New Microsoft Azure Certifications

September 16, 2018 Azure, Azure SDK, Azure Tools, Certification, Emerging Technologies, MCP, Microsoft, Microsoft Learning, Windows Azure Development No comments

Microsoft has recently announced new certification exam tracks for Azure Administrators, Developers and Architects. Here are the line ups that should help you move your career with right certifications. 

The three new Microsoft Azure Certifications are:

  • Microsoft Certified Azure Developer
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Architect

These certifications would essentially split the previous MCSA/MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure track and introduce new exams for individual certification track. 

So far I only have limited information available about all the exam numbers for each individual track, as recently Microsoft has made BETA exams available for Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator track. 

These exams are still in BETA, would commence general availability in coming months.  Will keep you posted about newer exams for other tracks as we get to know more. 

References: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-list.aspx 

70-777 – Azure Cosmos DB Certification Exam (BETA)

August 18, 2018 .NET, Azure, Azure Cosmos DB, Certification, CosmosDB, MCP, Microsoft, Microsoft Specialist No comments

70-777: Implementing Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB Solutions”  is the new Microsoft certification in the town for any Developer or Architect who leverages Azure Cosmos DB. If you understand how Cosmos DB database can be configured and consumed using platform agnostic Cosmos DB API, this certification will help you prove your expertise.

To read more about the exam 70-777 visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-777.aspx  ( the link will also provide you guidance on the topics covered by this exam)

As on today, 70-777 BETA exam enrollment started, has around 300 beta seats for this exam, and you must register and take the exam before October,1 2018. Hurry if you are passionate enough to learn and try out this certification exam, please register now before you quote is full.

Steps to Utilize this Offer:

Source: Born to Learn Community

Enterprise Architecture

August 12, 2018 Architectures, Software/System Design, TOGAF No comments

What is an Enterprise Architecture?

In this modern world there is lots of confusion about enterprise architecture, in that sense I would write a short scribble about enterprise architecture or called as EA in short.

I will start with a definition by Architecture and Governance Magazine, Issue 9-4, November (2013) :

Enterprise architecture (EA) is “a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.

Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organizations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies.

These practices utilize the various aspects of an enterprise to identify, motivate, and achieve these changes.”

Now that sums up as EA is putting together a practice for translating business goals and strategy into practical enterprise to  Business Process + Information Systems (Data and Applications)  and Technologies within an “Enterprise”.  This also conclude a desired state of the enterprise and facilitate towards its change.

How do you achieve that? Answer is short, through Architecture Governance through a selection of desired Architecture Framework. That makes EA an essential practice that at any organizational level to have all the systems functioning as desired.

Goals of enterprise architecture are:

  1. Effectiveness
  2. Efficiency
  3. Agility
  4. Durability.

Subsets/Layers of enterprise architecture or Architecture domain:

There are four kinds of “architecture” that are commonly accepted as subsets of a well defined Enterprise Architecture system:

  1. Business Architecture:
  2. Data Architecture:
  3. Application Architecture:
  4. Technology Architecture:

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NIST Enterprise Architecture Model initiated in 1989, one of the earliest frameworks for enterprise architecture. (Courtesy: Wikipedia.)

What is an Enterprise Architecture Framework?

An enterprise architecture framework (EA framework) defines how to create and use an enterprise architecture.

As per Wikipedia there are countless EA frameworks and some of them are categorized as below: (Courtesy: Wikipedia.)

Consortia-developed frameworks:
  • ARCON – A Reference Architecture for Collaborative Networks – not focused on a single enterprise but rather on networks of enterprises.
  • Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM)
  • RM-ODP – the Reference Model of Open Distributed Processing (ITU-T Rec. X.901-X.904 | ISO/IEC 10746) defines an enterprise architecture framework for structuring the specifications of open distributed systems.
  • IDEAS Group – a four-nation effort to develop a common ontology for architecture interoperability
  • ISO 19439 Framework for enterprise modelling
  • TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework – a widely used framework including an architectural Development Method and standards for describing various types of architecture.

Defence industry frameworks:

  • AGATE – the France DGA Architecture Framework
  • DNDAF – the DND/CF Architecture Framework (CAN)
  • DoDAF – the US Department of Defense Architecture Framework
  • MODAF – the UK Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework
  • NAF – the NATO Architecture Framework

Government frameworks:

  • European Space Agency Architectural Framework (ESAAF) – a framework for European space-based Systems of Systems
  • Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) – a common framework legislated for use by departments of the Queensland Government
  • FDIC Enterprise Architecture Framework
  • Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) – a framework produced in 1999 by the US Federal CIO Council for use within the US Government (not to be confused with the 2002 Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) guidance on categorizing and grouping IT investments, issued by the US Federal Office of Management and Budget)
  • Nederlandse Overheid Referential Architecture (NORA) – a reference framework from the Dutch Government E-overhead NORA
  • NIST Enterprise Architecture Model
  • Treasury Enterprise Architecture Framework (TEAF) – a framework for treasury, published by the US Department of the Treasury in July 2000.

Open-source frameworks:

Enterprise architecture frameworks that are released as open source:

  • MEGAF is an infrastructure for realizing architecture frameworks that conform to the definition of architecture framework provided in ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010.
  • Praxeme, an open enterprise methodology, contains an enterprise architecture framework called the Enterprise System Topology (EST)
  • TRAK – a general systems-oriented framework based on MODAF 1.2 and released under GPL/GFDL.
  • SABSA is an open framework and methodology for Enterprise Security Architecture and Service Management, that is risk based and focuses on integrating security into business and IT management.

Proprietary frameworks:

  • ASSIMPLER Framework – an architecture framework, based on the work of Mandar Vanarse at Wipro in 2002
  • Avancier Methods (AM) Processes and documentation advice for enterprise and solution architects, supported by training and certification.
  • BRM (Build-Run-Manage) Framework – an architecture framework created by Sanjeev “Sunny” Mishra during his early days at IBM in 2000.
  • Capgemini Integrated Architecture Framework (IAF) – from Capgemini company in 1993
  • Dragon1 – An open Visual Enterprise Architecture Method recently recognized by The Open Group as Architecture Framework
  • DYA framework developed by Sogeti since 2004.
  • Dynamic Enterprise Enterprise architecture concept based on Web 2.0 technology
  • Extended Enterprise Architecture Framework – from Institute For Enterprise Architecture Developments in 2003
  • EACOE Framework  – an Enterprise Architecture framework, as an elaboration of the work of John Zachman
  • IBM Information FrameWork (IFW) – conceived by Roger Evernden in 1996
  • Pragmatic Enterprise Architecture Framework (PEAF) – part of Pragmatic Family of Frameworks developed by Kevin Lee Smith, Pragmatic EA, from 2008
  • Purdue Enterprise Reference Architecture developed by Theodore J. Williams at the Purdue University early 1990s.
  • SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework
  • Service-oriented modeling framework (SOMF), based on the work of Michael Bell
  • Solution Architecting Mechanism (SAM) – A coherent architecture framework consisting of a set of integral modules.
  • Zachman Framework – an architecture framework, based on the work of John Zachman at IBM in the 1980s

Hope that covers the initial concepts of Enterprise Architecture. Later sessions I would write more on an interesting and widely used Enterprise Architecture framework called TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework. 

Read about my previous article in the mean time: TOGAF 9.1 Certified

References:

Azure Cosmos DB – Change feed support(PREVIEW)–available

July 26, 2018 .NET, .NET Core, .NET Framework, Azure, Azure Cosmos DB, C#.NET, CosmosDB, Microsoft No comments

Today Microsoft announced the preview of Change feed Support for Azure Cosmos DB, which allows you to build scalable solutions. By default change feed will be enabled in all the accounts.

Change feed provides an output of sorted list of documents that has been changed in the order in which they are modified by client operations. These changes are persisted, can be processed asynchronously and incrementally, they enables developers to write alternative logic to operate upon these change for generation reports, or invoke another operation such as sending email or audit logs etc.

ChangeFeedProcessor

Start using :

Source:

Introduction to NDepend : Static Code Analysis Tool

June 16, 2018 .NET, .NET Core, .NET Framework, ASP.NET, Best Practices, C#.NET, Code Analysis, Code Quality, Dynamic Analysis, Emerging Technologies, Help Articles, Microsoft, Static Analysis, Tech-Trends, Tools, Tools, Visual Studio 2017, VisualStudio, Windows No comments , , , , , ,

As a developer, you always have to take the pain of getting adapted to the best practices and coding guidelines to be followed as per the organizational or industrial standards.  Easy way to ensure your coding style follows certain standard is to manually analyze your code or use a static code analyzer like FxCop, StyleCop etc. Earlier days I have been a fan of FxCop as it was free and it provides me all necessary general guidelines in terms  of improving my solution.

In this modern world of programming everything needs to be automated, as it saves time and money in terms of automating repetitive tasks and improves efficiency. This is where static code analysers coming effective.

What is Static Code Analysis?

Static program analysis is the analysis of computer software that is performed without actually executing programs, on some version of the program source code, and in the other cases, some form of the object code or intermediate compiled code .

Sophistication of static program analysis increases is based on how deep they analyze in terms of behavior of individual statements and declarations, to analyzing the entire source code.

PS: Analysis performed on executing programs is known as dynamic analysis.

In this article I will give you an overview of one such premier static code analysis tool that can be used for your daily development routine plus use it for CI integration for DevOps efficiency.

NDepend:

NDepend is a static analysis tool for .NET, specifically for managed code:  NDepdend supports a large number of code metrics, allowing to visualize dependencies using directed graphs and dependency matrix. It also performs code base snapshots comparisons, and validation of architectural and quality rules.

The important capabilities of NDepend are:

  • Dependency Visualization through dependency matrix and graphs.
  • Analyse and generate software quality metrics – as per the documentation it supports 82 quality metrices.
  • Declarative rule support through LINQ queries, and it is called CQLinq and comes with a large number of predefined CQLinq rules.
  • Integration support for Cruise Control.Net, SonarCube, am City. Code rules can be configured to be checked automatically in Visual Studio or during continuous integration(CI).

License: NDepend is a commercial tool with licensing options as below:

  1. Developer seats – $477 approx. / per seat.
  2. Build Machine seats  – $955 approx. / per seat.

** You could get volume discount if you bulk procure your licenses.

Installation: 

Once you obtained license you will able to download NDepend_2018.1.1.9041.zip, is latest version available while I write this article. Extract the zip file into your local folder, you could see the different packages/executables within the package.

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1.) NDepend.Console    – Command line program to execute NDepend analysis.  You would be mostly using this component on CI Build server Help

2.) NDepend.PowerTools –  Helps write your own static analyzer based on NDepend.API, or tweak existing open-source Power Tools. Help

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3.) NDepend.VisualStudioExtension.Installer – To install NDepend extension as part of Visual studio

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4.) VisualNDepend – Independent visual environment for managing your NDepend tasks.

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Visual Tool gives you different options to choose from:

  • You can analyse a Visual Studio Solution or project.
  • Analyse .NET assemblies in a folder.

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For the demo purpose our analysis target would be one of the starter project from github –  ContosoUniversity by @alimon808.

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Demo: Summary Report

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Demo: Application Metrics

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Demo: Dependency Dashboard:

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Demo: Interactive Graph

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Demo: Code Matrix View

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Demo: Quality Gates Summary

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Demo: Rules Summary

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Conclusion:

NDepend is one of the best enterprise grade commercial static analyser seen so far.  There are Visual Studio Code Analysis, FxCop and Stylecop Analyzer tools available but they do not provide extensive level of analysis reports NDepend provides. Being a commercial tool it gives value for money for customers by what they need.  In terms of a day to day developer  or devops lifecycle, you can integrate NDepend in your build process, which could be simple as executing the NDepend Console and reviewing the output. With NDepend’s API it is easy to develop your own custom analysis tools based on CQLinq and NDepend.PowerTools(which is open source). You could find all the detailed help in NDepend documentation.

References: