Compuware DevPartner Studio Professional Edition 9.0

Still Robust — with Enticing Enhancements

Mike Riley

October 30, 2009

5 Min Read
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Compuware DevPartner Studio Professional Edition 9.0

Still Robust with Enticing Enhancements

 

By Mike Riley

 

Long-time readers of asp.netPROknow that I have reviewed several iterations of Compuware s DevPartner codeanalysis, coverage, and profiling toolset. Now in its ninth release, DevPartnerhas reached statesman-like maturity as the standard by which otherWindows-centric automated code evaluation tools are compared.

 

However, in order to continue to deliver value, successivereleases must exceed the expectations set by prior versions and this can be avery difficult thing to do. And while DevPartner 9.0 certainly attains a levelof enthusiasm for its new features, its maturity means less innovation and morerobust, trustworthy, time-tested reliability. Thus, for those developers whoprefer rock-solid, predictable performance above a growing list of obscurefeatures, DevPartner is ideal.

 

That said, the company must continue to evolve the productin order to keep it relevant and profitable, which is why this release containsseveral new features to interest existing DevPartner customers, as well asattract new users with its comprehensive arrangement of deep code inspectionutilities.

 


Figure 1: DevPartner s Code Reviewevaluates and ranks code security concerns and severity of errors, andrecommends coding best practices.

 

Rather than repeat the existing list of features and theirmerits, I suggest interested readers refer to my previous reviews of the 7.0,7.1, and 8.1 releases, accessible via the asp.netPROWeb site (see http://www.aspnetpro.com/productreviews/2003/06/asp200306mr_p/asp200306mr_p.asp,http://www.aspnetpro.com/productreviews/2003/12/asp200312mr_p/asp200312mr_p.asp,and http://www.aspnetpro.com/productreviews/2006/11/asp200611mr_p/asp200611mr_p.asp,respectively). And now that DevPartner has bundled its SecurityChecker into thesuite, readers may wish to revisit my review of that 1.0 product release, aswell (see http://www.aspnetpro.com/productreviews/2005/04/asp200504rm_p/asp200504rm_p.asp).

 

What s New?

Perhaps the most important new feature of interest forexisting DevPartner users is the product s full support for the Visual Studio2008 development environment (spanning .NET 1.x through 3.5, with the type of.NET Framework support selected during the product s time of installation),including full coverage and code analysis of Language Integrated Query (LINQ),Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and Windows Presentation Foundation(WPF) driven applications. DevPartner still supports legacy Visual Basic andVisual C++ application profiling. It also supports the newest 64-bit XP, Vista,and Windows Server 2003 and 2008 developments.

 


Figure 2: Code Coverage reports rankthe percentage of method invocation that an application utilizes duringexecution. This insight is invaluable for optimizing an application s run-timeperformance.

 

Managers and developers alike will appreciate theintegrated management reports that summarize the state of an application build.Previously, this statistical information needed to be aggregated from multiplesources and resulted in a collection upon which it was difficult tostandardize. Using the new HTML-generated management report feature allowsdevelopers to deliver a meaningful, detailed status report in a clean,organized format.

 


Figure 3: DevPartner s extensiveruleset can be reviewed and customized via the Code Review Manager.

 

The new System Comparison tool is a feature that has beensought after for some time, especially because such functionality has been incompeting products since their inception. Like the management report, thecomparison tool generates a consistent snapshot of data that can be analyzedfor state changes. Unlike the management report, the System Comparison providesan exhaustive analysis of a system being evaluated. The tool captureseverything a developer needs to know about a system and can be used in a timesequence to understand the impact an application or behavior can have on boththe application and the system on which it is executing. This can beimmeasurably useful when hunting elusive bugs that occur only when systemconfigurations align in a certain way.

 


Figure 4: New in the 9.0 release,DevPartner s System Comparison utility is an excellent addition designed toidentify and snapshot a computer s state.

 

The Security Analysis tool was incorporated in theprevious release, but still lacks an automatic notification and deliveryfeature of new security vulnerabilities. When I asked Compuware about this,they felt the frequency of new vulnerabilities did not yet warrant such aservice, especially because updated security definitions can be retrieved fromCompuware s site on an appropriate basis.

 

Conclusion

Having the opportunity to review successive releases ofsuch a flagship product has provided an interesting education in productevolution and marketing. DevPartner has hit its full maturity with this release.While successive releases are sure to add new features and continuing supportof Microsoft technologies, the product is as polished and complete as it hasever been. Additionally, even though the suite offers a diverse collection ofcode analysis, evaluation, and profiling tools, they are each presented in aconsistent, organized, and effective manner. I rarely felt compelled to peruseDevPartner s online help, as each option was intuitively presented and ratherobvious in its function. Compared to other scenarios where the IDE may hostcode evaluation tools from multiple vendors, DevPartner s common interface is aproductivity winner.

 


Figure 5: The detailed system statecollected using DevPartner s new System Comparison utility helps to quicklytrack down changes that could impact an application s execution.

 

For existing DevPartner users moving to the Visual Studio2008 IDE, this new version is a must-have. For those developers who have yet toexperience this powerful, comprehensive code inspection suite, I encourage themto watch a WebEx demonstration of the product in action via a link on theproduct s Web page to learn why this latest release of DevPartner will continueto remain at the top of the code analysis game for years to come.

 

Rating:

Web Site: http://www.compuware.com/products/devpartner/studio.htm

Price: Startsat US$2,100

 

Mike Riley is anadvanced computing professional specializing in emerging technologies and newdevelopment trends. He also is a contributing editor for asp.netPRO. Readers may contact Mike at mailto:[email protected].

 

 

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