One of the features, coming with Visual Studio out of the box which is widely under-used is the static code analysis tool FxCop. The free tool provides static code checking to help with many different aspects of managed code development. In tough economic times the consistent  use of static code checking tool can not only avoid common mistakes but also save real $$$ by cutting some of the maintenance cost that would occur from bugs and bad coding practices. Considering 70% of all costs during a software product lifecycle are maintenance costs, the use of static code checking and ALM tools can significantly reduce the incurred maintenance costs.

FXCop allows for customization to fit your development projects and guidelines. The rules provided focus around the following areas:

  • Globalization
  • Interoperability
  • Maintainability
  • Mobility
  • Naming
  • Performance
  • Portability
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Usage

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For a complete list of rules, check out the information on MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee1hzekz.aspx . Acomplete list of rules in different releases of Visual Studio can be found @ http://blogs.msdn.com/fxcop/archive/2008/01/07/faq-which-rules-shipped-in-which-version.aspx .

If you do not use FXCop yet, try it for your development, customize the rules to your needs and you will see immediate benefits without additional costs. Furthermore, to maximize the positive impact on your development projects, trigger the rules before check in.