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How to: Create a Custom Rule Set

In Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate, you can create and modify a custom rule set to meet specific project needs associated with code analysis. To create a custom rule set, you open one or more standard rule sets in the rule set editor. You can then add or remove specific rules and you can change the action that occurs when code analysis determines that a rule has been violated. 

To create a new custom rule set, you save it by using a new file name. The custom rule set is automatically assigned to the project.

NoteNote

If you created or modified a rule set in Visual Studio 2010 Premium and you want to reopen the code project in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008 and run Code Analysis, you have to modify the rule set in Visual Studio 2010 Premium. You can either modify the custom rule set or select one of the preinstalled rule sets and click Customize. Then you can open the project in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008.

To open an empty rule set file in the rule set editor

  1. On the File menu of Visual Studio, point to New and then click File.

  2. In the New File dialog box, click General in the Installed Templates list, and then select Code Analysis Rule Set.

  3. The rule set editor appears. No rules are selected in the editor list.

To create a custom rule from a single existing rule set

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the project and then select Properties.

  2. On the Properties tab, click Code Analysis.

  3. In the Rule Set drop-down list, do one of the following:

    • Select the rule set that you want to customize.

    - or -

    • Select <Browse...> to specify an existing rule set that is not in the list.

  4. Click Open to display the rules in the rule set editor.

To create a custom rule set from multiple existing rule sets

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click the project and then select Properties.

  2. On the Properties tab, click Code Analysis.

  3. Select <Choose multiple rule sets...> from Run this rule set.

  4. In the Add or Remove Rule Sets dialog box, select the rule sets on which you want to base your new rule set and then click OK.

  5. Save the new rule set.

    The name of the new rule set is selected in the Run this rule set list. You can change the display name of the rule set in the next step.

  6. (Optional) To change the display name of the rule set, on the View menu, click Properties Window. Type the display name in the Name box.

  7. To add, remove, or modify specific code analysis rules in the new rule set, click Open.

To modify a rule set in the rule set editor

  • To change the display name of the rule set, on the View menu, click Properties Window. Enter the display name in the Name box. Notice that the display name can differ from the file name.

  • To add all the rules of the group to a custom rule set, select the check box of the group. To remove all the rules of the group, clear the check box.

  • To add a specific rule to the custom rule set, select the check box of the rule. To remove the rule from the rule set, clear the check box.

  • To change the action taken when a rule is violated in a code analysis, click in the Action field for the rule and then select one of the following values:

    Warn - generates a warning.

    Error - generates an error.

    None - disables the rule. This action is the same as removing the rule from the rule set.

To group, filter, or change the fields in the rule set editor by using the rule set editor toolbar

  • To expand the rules in all groups, click Expand All.

  • To collapse the rules in all groups, click Collapse All.

  • To change the field that rules are grouped by, select the field from the Group By list. To display the rules ungrouped, select <None>.

  • To add or remove fields in rule columns, click Column Options.

  • To hide rules that do not apply to the current solution, Hide rules that do not apply to the current solution.

  • To switch between showing and hiding rules that are assigned the Error action, click Show rules that can generate Code Analysis errors.

  • To switch between showing and hiding rules that are assigned the Warning action, click Show rules that can generate Code Analysis warnings.

  • To switch between showing and hiding rules that are assigned the None action, click Show rules that are not enabled.

  • To add or remove Microsoft default rule sets to the current rule set, click Add or remove child rule sets.

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