What static analysis tools are available for C#?


What tools are there available for static analysis against C# code? I know about FxCop and StyleCop. Are there others? I've run across NStatic before but it's been in development for what seems like forever - it's looking pretty slick from what little I've seen of it, so it would be nice if it would ever see the light of day.

Along these same lines (this is primarily my interest for static analysis), tools for testing code for multithreading issues (deadlocks, race conditions, etc.) also seem a bit scarce. Typemock Racer just popped up so I'll be looking at that. Anything beyond this?

Real-life opinions about tools you've used are appreciated.

This question is tagged with c# code-analysis static-analysis

~ Asked on 2008-09-01 23:54:02

9 Answers


Code violation detection Tools:

  • Fxcop, excellent tool by Microsoft. Check compliance with .net framework guidelines.

    Edit October 2010: No longer available as a standalone download. It is now included in the Windows SDK and after installation can be found in Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\ [v7.1] \Bin\FXCop\FxCopSetup.exe

    Edit February 2018: This functionality has now been integrated into Visual Studio 2012 and later as Code Analysis

  • Clocksharp, based on code source analysis (to C# 2.0)

  • Mono.Gendarme, similar to Fxcop but with an opensource licence (based on Mono.Cecil)

  • Smokey, similar to Fxcop and Gendarme, based on Mono.Cecil. No longer on development, the main developer works with Gendarme team now.

  • Coverity Prevent™ for C#, commercial product

  • PRQA QA·C#, commercial product

  • PVS-Studio, commercial product

  • CAT.NET, visual studio addin that helps identification of security flaws Edit November 2019: Link is dead.

  • CodeIt.Right

  • Spec#

  • Pex

  • SonarQube, FOSS & Commercial options to support writing cleaner and safer code.

Quality Metric Tools:

  • NDepend, great visual tool. Useful for code metrics, rules, diff, coupling and dependency studies.
  • Nitriq, free, can easily write your own metrics/constraints, nice visualizations. Edit February 2018: download links now dead. Edit June 17, 2019: Links not dead.
  • RSM Squared, based on code source analysis
  • C# Metrics, using a full parse of C#
  • SourceMonitor, an old tool that occasionally gets updates
  • Code Metrics, a Reflector add-in
  • Vil, old tool that doesn't support .NET 2.0. Edit January 2018: Link now dead

Checking Style Tools:

  • StyleCop, Microsoft tool ( run from inside of Visual Studio or integrated into an MSBuild project). Also available as an extension for Visual Studio 2015 and C#6.0
  • Agent Smith, code style validation plugin for ReSharper

Duplication Detection:

  • Simian, based on source code. Works with plenty languages.
  • CloneDR, detects parameterized clones only on language boundaries (also handles many languages other than C#)
  • Clone Detective a Visual Studio plugin. (It uses ConQAT internally)
  • Atomiq, based on source code, plenty of languages, cool "wheel" visualization

General Refactoring tools

  • ReSharper - Majorly cool C# code analysis and refactoring features

~ Answered on 2008-09-19 07:55:39


The tool NDepend is quoted as Quality Metric Tools but it is pretty much also a Code violation detection tool. Disclaimer: I am one of the developers of the tool

With NDepend, one can write Code Rule over LINQ Queries (what we call CQLinq). More than 200 CQLinq code rules are proposed by default. The strength of CQLinq is that it is straightforward to write a code rule, and get immediately results. Facilities are proposed to browse matched code elements. For example:

CQLinq code rule

Beside that, NDepend comes with many others static analysis like features. These include:

~ Answered on 2008-12-18 16:32:46


Have you seen CAT.NET?

From the blurb -

CAT.NET is a binary code analysis tool that helps identify common variants of certain prevailing vulnerabilities that can give rise to common attack vectors such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), SQL Injection and XPath Injection.

I used an early beta and it did seem to turn up a few things worth looking at.

~ Answered on 2009-05-26 09:10:23


  • Gendarme is an open source rules based static analyzer (similar to FXCop, but finds a lot of different problems).
  • Clone Detective is a nice plug-in for Visual Studio that finds duplicate code.
  • Also speaking of Mono, I find the act of compiling with the Mono compiler (if your code is platform independent enough to do that, a goal you might want to strive for anyway) finds tons of unreferenced variables and other Warnings that Visual Studio completely misses (even with the warning level set to 4).

~ Answered on 2008-09-02 17:11:07


Aside from the excellent list by madgnome, I would add a duplicate code detector that is based off the command line (but is free):


~ Answered on 2009-04-19 02:07:51


Axivion Bauhaus Suite is a static analysis tool that works with C# (as well as C, C++ and Java).

It provides the following capabilities:

  • Software Architecture Visualization (inlcuding dependencies)
  • Enforcement of architectural rules e.g. layering, subsystems, calling rules
  • Clone Detection - highlighting copy and pasted (and modified code)
  • Dead Code Detection
  • Cycle Detection
  • Software Metrics
  • Code Style Checks

These features can be run on a one-off basis or as part of a Continuous Integration process. Issues can be highlighted on a per project basis or per developer basis when the system is integrated with a source code control system.

~ Answered on 2009-11-17 18:50:09


Optimyth Software has just launched a static analysis service in the cloud www.checkinginthecloud.com. Just securely upload your code run the analysis and get the results. No hassles.

It supports several languages including C# more info can be found at wwww.optimyth.com

~ Answered on 2011-10-07 13:22:41


I find the Code Metrics and Dependency Structure Matrix add-ins for Reflector very useful.

~ Answered on 2008-09-23 20:25:23


Klocwork has a static analysis tool for C#: http://www.klocwork.com

~ Answered on 2010-05-01 02:13:52

Most Viewed Questions: