Software Quality

November 3, 2012

Calling all Visual Studio coders! – NCrunch is cool!

Filed under: Testing, Visual Studio 2012 — David Allen @ 7:30 pm

My friend Brad just turned me onto this amazing tool. It is NCrunch http://www.ncrunch.net/. I have played with it for several days, and I am buying it when my trial period expires. It is really nice. In their words

“It intelligently runs automated tests so that you don’t have to, and gives you a huge amount of useful information about your tested code, such as code coverage and performance metrics, inline in your IDE while you type.”

I am using Visual Studio 2012. And the unit testing experience, although slightly improved, is still pretty clumsy and slow. But now that I have NCrunch, I don’t mind. I know Microsoft worked hard and are proud of their improvements. But this takes it so much further than they dared to go, that I bet you their own people will soon be using this. It’s that good.

I am not even disappointed in Microsoft. Instead, I am pleased that their tool is so easily extend by so many partners. (“easily? easy for me to say. I don’t code these things).   This whole arrangement smells like a healthy IDE ecosystem. As long as the total package is good, I am cool. By the way, I am also using ReSharper at the same time without problems. I love that tool too.

The key is SPEED and immediate visual feedback. This tool allows you to configure how many CPU cores you can allocate to it in the background. And every time you change a line of code, it is running these background threads that test your code and show you code coverage.

I am telling you, it just FEELS right. I am doing TDD, getting this instant Red/Green feedback and instant Code coverage feedback. Using Visual studio by itself feels absolutely primitive.

Downsides? Brad tells me he had some slowdowns and hiccups. But I don’t know what hardware he used. I am using a plain old Dell desktop with 8 cores and 8 GB of RAM. It also runs fine on my virtual machines on my server. But that is cheating cause it’s a bit overpowered. I can see you might have slowdowns on a weak PC or a starved VM.

Go get it, now!

And tell me what you think.

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