SonarQube Embraces the .NET Ecosystem
In the last couple months, we have worked on further improving our already-good support for the .NET ecosystem. In this blog post, I’ll summarize the changes and the product updates that you’re about to see.
C# plugin version 5.4
We moved all functionalities previously based on our own tokenizer/parser to Roslyn. This lets us do the colorization more accurately and will allow future improvements with less effort. Also, we're happy to announce the following new features:
- Added symbol reference highlighting, which has been available for Java source code for a long time.
- Improved issue reporting with exact issue locations.
- Added the missing complexity metrics: “complexity in classes” and “complexity in functions”
- Finally, we also updated the rule engine (C# analyzer) to the latest version, so you can benefit from the rules already available through SonarLint for Visual Studio.
With these changes you should have the same great user experience in SonarQube for C# that is already available for Java.
VB.NET plugin version 3.0
The VB.NET plugin 2.4 also relied on our own parser implementation, which meant that it didn’t support the VB.NET language features added by the Roslyn team, such as string interpolation, and null-conditional operators. The deficit resulted in parsing errors on all new constructs, and on some already existing ones too, such as async await, and labels that are followed by statements on the same line. The obvious solution to all these problems was to use Roslyn internally. In the last couple months, we made the necessary changes, and now the VB.NET plugin uses the same architecture as the C# plugin. This has many additional benefits above and beyond eliminating the parsing errors, such as enabling the following new features in this version of the VB.NET plugin:
- Exact issue location
- Symbol reference highlighting
- Colorization based on Roslyn
- Copy-paste detection based on Roslyn
- Missing complexity metrics are also computed
- Support all the coverage and testing tools already available for C#
Additionally, we removed the dependency between the VB.NET and C# plugins, so if you only do VB.NET development, you don’t have to install the C# plugin any more.
While we were at it, we added a few useful new rules to the plugin: S1764, S1871, S1656, S1862. Here’s an issue we found with these rules in Roslyn itself:
Scanner for MsBuild version 2.2
Some of the features mentioned above couldn’t be added just by modifying the plugins. We had to improve the Scanner for MSBuild to make the changes possible. At the same time, we fixed many of the small annoyances and a few bugs. Finally, we upgraded the embedded SonarQube Scanner to the latest version, 2.8, so you’ll benefit from all changes made there too (v2.7 changelog, v2.8 changelog).
Additionally, when you use MSBuild14 to build your solution, we no longer need to compute metrics, copy-paste token information, code colorization information, etc. in the Scanner for MSBuild “end step”, so you’ll see a performance improvement there. These computations were moved to the build phase where they can be done more efficiently, so that step will be a little slower, but the overall performance should still be better.
FxCop plugin version 1.0
A final change worth mentioning is that we extracted FxCop analysis from the C# plugin into a dedicated community plugin. This move seems to align with what Microsoft is doing: not developing FxCop any longer. Microsoft’s replacement tool will come in the form of Roslyn analyzers.
Note that we not only extracted the functionality to a dedicated plugin, but fixed a problem with issues being reported on excluded files (see here).