If you are using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, you will notice Architecture Menu on top. This menu gives architects plenty of options, from modeling their solutions to generating dependencies among your existing projects and the best part of it is that it allows you to even validate your code based on model diagram (H). BUT! for today! We will cover “Generate Dependency Graph” feature in this post.
The primary advantage of generating dependency graph is to visualize your existing software. This is particularly important in scenarios where you are working in an existing software and want to dig dependencies among assemblies/namespaces/classes etc. We know one thing that software are becoming more complex with time and therefore we need better tools and technologies to understand those complex software solutions.
So lets go ahead and give this feature a try!
If we select the option of Generate Dependency Graph –> By Assembly, after few seconds of processing it will show you some kind of web 🙂
The lines depicts the dependency of one assembly to another and the bold lines shows higher number of references or more dependency on other assembly. You can also expand or collapse these assemblies. Interestingly if you double click on any line (representing reference and dependency), It will gives you further option to select the level of detail between two assemblies as shown in image below:
If we select to include Assemblies and Methods , then it will show detail level diagram with assembly containing Methods and their dependency on other assembly’s methods. Cool isn’t it? 🙂
So if you are working on an existing software and you want to understand the code and interaction of different projects and classes, this feature is a real blessing for you 🙂