|What is Structure Analysis?|
Structure analysis is more than just measuring metrics and listing threshold violations. Structure analysis is about breaking down the system's complexity and letting the user inspect its artifacts at any level, from different perspectives.
An important aspect is visualization. A picture is worth a 1000 words! A good structure analysis tool presents and visualizes the structural design in a way that is easy to understand for humans. If you need to learn the tool's language, there's something wrong.
When it comes to dependencies, a good structure analysis tool needs advanced graph layout capabilities to create neatly arranged dependency graphs. The user should be able to navigate through these graphs, to drill down, and so on.
A good structure analysis tool should support “modern” metrics. For each artifact, metric violations should be listed and ranked, allowing the user to distinguish important issues from negligible ones.
Not forget to mention, a good structure analysis tool should be easy to handle and useful from the beginning. It will be a natural part of daily development, because it's fun!
So far we focused on structure analysis as a development task. From time to time, it is also desirable to measure the overall quality of our structural design. Project managers need reporting functionality at the touch of a button.
Reports should contain meaningful information about the structural quality of a code base. Of course, metric violations should be listed. However, reports may also include visualizations of certain design aspects or selected design violations. Reports also provide an easy way to trace structural quality over time.
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