Wednesday, September 19, 2007

NCover v2.0.1 (with NCoverExplorer v2.0)


Woah, what's this? You wait six months for the next NCoverExplorer bus to arrive and then two come along at once? Even better, there is a bright and shiny new NCover 2.0.1 to go with it...

Peter Waldschmidt nicely summarises in the new NCover blog his thoughts and rationale behind the decision to transition to a commercialised product. We've been talking about the combined possibilities for a little while now until the timing came right for Peter to make it all happen and start the Gnoso team.

For my part, I'm excited at what this means for the future of both products. Peter and his team have a long list of ideas and enhancements to really drive NCover forward and enhance it's existing reputation as the leading tool for .NET code coverage analysis. This opens up even more possibilities for new features for the NCoverExplorer tools to further improve their ability to deliver quality information to developers. Most importantly, the new business model Peter has put in place offers the necessary resources to make it happen.

You can already see the benefits of this in NCover 2.0.1 which we think is a giant step forward from the betas in 1.x. The highlights listed in "What's New" include a bunch of cool new features like interactive HTML reports, branch coverage and regular-expression based exclusions. I've provided my fair share of support in the NCover forums over time and the important "pain points" from 1.x or missing features like x64 support, IIS and service profiling have been focused on for NCover 2.0. Tremendous effort has gone into an ever growing automated suite of integration and regression tests across a range of OS/.NET versions to keep pushing the bar higher as the product moves forward. With dedicated support now available to address any issues as they arise I'm optimistic the product will continue to evolve very quickly.

So what does this all mean for NCoverExplorer? Well, NCoverExplorer 1.4 will continue to be freely available but will not be further enhanced. Instead my time and effort in conjunction with the Gnoso team has moved onto NCoverExplorer 2.0 which is now bundled with and more tightly integrated into NCover 2.0.1. The last few months have been spent pulling this together and it's a great feeling to get into the product some long awaited and often requested features in this version alone, such as...
  • support for all the new NCover 2.0 features (of course!)
  • multiple "project" support for settings per application you profile
  • auto-selecting your project settings when coverage xml files are loaded
  • more reports and enrichment of existing ones
  • more coverage exclusion types
  • a new and improved NCover dialog
  • a graphical source code navigation bar
  • an updated and more customisable GUI
  • enhanced NAnt/MSBuild tasks
  • numerous minor tweaks to enhance ease of use
I will blog about many of these features in more detail over the coming few weeks...

Not to be forgotten is some all important documentation available at long last. Configuring the NCover / NCoverExplorer tools into your build process has always involved a potential number of moving parts. The tool suite includes two console apps and a GUI application, two NAnt tasks, two MSBuild tasks, multiple stylesheets - we will continue to enhance the docs and examples to make this all easier for you.

So, where to from here? Well, by all means please download the trial version of NCover 2.0.1 and send us your feedback. Obviously the new support forums are the ideal place for your questions, feature requests and anything you want to see improved further.

Enjoy! Oh yeah, and don't forget to encourage your coworkers / boss / accountant / significant other / postman etc. to purchase NCover 2.0 licenses if you don't already qualify for a free one... you know you want to...

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