Help on Dependency Finder

Here are some places you can go to for help if you have problems with Dependency Finder.

Look at the Manual and the Tools list in the online documentation for usage guidelines and examples. The API documentation, generated by Javadoc, comes with the binary distribution.
Bug tracker
The official bug list on
Help forum
The official help forum on
The official user mailing list. It is archived here.

There are further instructions on SourceForge's support page for the project.

Other Software

JDepend traverses a set of Java class and source file directories and generates design quality metrics for each Java package. JDepend allows you to automatically measure the quality of a design in terms of its extensibility, reusability, and maintainability to effectively manage and control package dependencies.
The Byte Code Engineering Library is intended to give users a convenient possibility to analyze, create, and manipulate (binary) Java class files (those ending with .class). Classes are represented by objects which contain all the symbolic information of the given class: methods, fields and byte code instructions, in particular.
ASM is an all purpose Java bytecode manipulation and analysis framework. It can be used to modify existing classes or dynamically generate classes, directly in binary form. Provided common transformations and analysis algorithms allow to easily assemble custom complex transformations and code analysis tools.
JDiff is a Javadoc doclet which generates an HTML report of all the packages, classes, constructors, methods, and fields which have been removed, added or changed in any way, including their documentation, when two APIs are compared. This is very useful for describing exactly what has changed between two releases of a product. Only the API (Application Programming Interface) of each version is compared. It does not compare what the source code does when executed.
Jar Jar Links
Jar Jar Links is a utility that makes it easy to repackage Java libraries and embed them into your own distribution. This is useful for two reasons: you can easily ship a single jar file with no external dependencies, and you can avoid problems where your library depends on a specific version of a library, which may conflict with the dependencies of another library. Jar Jar Links was initially developed for use in building TonicPoint Builder, and is licensed under the GPL.
classdep lets you browse and analyze dependencies between individual classes and entire packages or designated package groups in your code. It helps reduce coupling, detects dependency cycles and gives assistance in refactoring by showing which classes might be directly affected by a change to another class. classdep does not require source code, just bytecode of your application to process.
JavaNCSS is a simple command line utility which measures two standard source code metrics for the Java programming language. The metrics are collected globally, for each class and/or for each function.
IntelliJ IDEA
A great IDE with easy to use usage tracking features and automated refactorings.
An add-on to Emacs for tracking usage and automated refactorings.
Headway reView is a powerful new visualization tool that shows you all the dependencies in your Java application at all levels and between all levels - between packages, classes, packages and classes, methods, methods and classes, .... Fully automatic, intelligent graph layout algorithms let you understand better the structure of your code and helps you to continuously optimize your codebase. Powerful dependency analysis aids help you solve many every-day problems quickly.
Structure 101
Structure101 builds on over 5 years experience with our advanced, award-winning, static analysis and reverse engineering products. Structure101 takes something very complex and difficult to control - software structure - and makes it easy. The Structure101 Client does this in a very simple way - by exposing and measuring your software's structure. Just being able to see what's there now, at every level of the design hierarchy, will make your developers more productive and help them grow the code in-line with the intended architecture and within reasonable complexity limits. There's no need to work in the dark any more.
OptimalJ Package Structure Analysis Tool
The OptimalJ 2.2 - Package Structure Analysis Tool is a new tool for analyzing and improving the structure of Java programs. The Package Structure Analysis Tool takes Java sources as input and:
  • Visualizes the dependencies between packages and classes with UML class diagrams.
  • Detects cycles in the dependency graph.
  • Recovers an intended architectural layering from a polluted implementation.
  • Suggests which dependencies should be removed to improve the structure.
  • Allows refactoring of the source model.
  • Immediately shows the effect of the refactoring on the dependency structure.
  • Allows the refactoring to be applied to the source code.
  • Allows source code to be verified against a design model.
WebGain Quality Analyzer
part of WebGain Studio, a complete development environment.
MagicDraw is a visual UML modeling and CASE tool with teamwork support. The development tool is designed for a Business Analysts, Software Analysts, Programmers, QA Engineers, or Documentation Writers. The tool facilitates analysis and design of Object Oriented (OO) systems and databases. MagicDraw supports the latest standards of Java, UML and XMI and provides the industry's best code engineering mechanism, with full round-trip support for Java, C++, and CORBA IDL programming languages. MagicDraw also provides database schema modelling, DDL generation and reverse engineering facilities.
Visual UML modeling tool with an OO metrics module.
Together Control Center
Another visual UML modeling tool with code audit and metrics capabilities.
Dependency Finder for the C language.
Small Worlds
Small Worlds™ provides key insights into the dependencies among software components, the system lifecycle, stability, and maintenance. Managers, engineers, developers, and testers all benefit from the innovative, global approach to their software.
The DMS® Software Reengineering Toolkit
The DMS Software Reengineering Toolkit is a set of tools for automating customized source program analysis and modification of large scale software systems, containing arbitrary mixtures of languages ("domains"). DMS can also be used for domain-specific program generation. This toolkit is the first step towards the implementation of The Design Maintenance System™, an ambitious vision of a 21st Century software engineering environment that supports the incremental construction and maintenance of large application systems, driven by semantics and captured designs
Juliet enables developers to quickly get into any Java system and
  • effortlessy navigate, read and browse through it
  • instantly understand how and where parts of the system interact with the rest of the system because Juliet automatically provides the needed information while browsing [Who writes to this field? Who calls this method?]
  • get answers to complex questions such as: Do all types which override Object.hashCode() also override Object.equals()?
  • find code patterns, for example: empty catch blocks, ie catch blocks which contain nothing but comments, whitespace or empty statements
  • perform fast indexed searches for comments and string literals.
How Good are your JUnit Tests? NoUnit measures your Junit tests in your project using Java, XML and XSLT. NoUnit gives a picture of your code , like a graph gives you a picture of a set of figures, to allow you to see what is *really* going on.
A tool used at CERN to analyze large software used in high-energy physics simulations.
Ivy is a free java based dependency manager, with powerful features such as transitive dependencies, ant integration, maven repository compatibility, continuous integration, html reports and many more.
JUNG -- the Java Universal Network/Graph Framework -- is a software library that provides a common and extendible language for the modeling, analysis, and visualization of data that can be represented as a graph or network. It is written in Java, which allows JUNG-based applications to make use of the extensive built-in capabilities of the Java API, as well as those of other existing third-party Java libraries.
Hackystat is a framework for the automated collection and analysis of software engineering product and process data. It differs from other approaches to software metrics technologies in [many ways].
Testability-metric is a tool which analyzes java byte-codes and computes how difficult it will be to write unit-test. It attempts to help you quantitatively determine how hard your code is to test and, where to focus to make it more testable.
Google Singleton Detector
The Google Singleton Detector, or GSD, is a tool which analyzes Java bytecode and detects the use of Singletons.
A static analysis tool to find bugs in Java programs.
DepAn is a direct manipulation tool for visualization, analysis, and refactoring of dependencies in large applications. DepAn provides a rich framework for visualizing and analyzing the dependency graphs of large application. It evolved in response to the engineering challenges inherent in comparing alternative software architectures.
The aim of this project is to provide a graph query language that can be used to query graphs represented in JUNG. There are numerous applications for this, including the declarative definition of architectural antipatterns and smells in systems. The project is inspired by the use of XPath queries (on the AST) to describe code level antipatterns in PMD.


.class files

Java Language and Virtual Machine Specifications
Official specs published by Oracle.
The class File Format
Tim Lindholm and Frank Yellin, Sun Microsystems.
The class File Format
Updated for Java5.
The Java Virtual Machine Instruction Set
Updated for Java5.
JSR 202
The file ClassFile-Java6.pdf in the JSR's download has the full class file format, updated for Java6.


OptimalJ, 2004.
The Acyclic Dependency Principle and package layering to reduce dependencies.
Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns, and Practices
Robert C. Martin,, 2003.
Everything you ever wanted to know about dependencies, and then some. This book covers a lot of the fundamentals of writing software, including the author's pet peeve: dependencies. Winner of the 2002 Jolt Award.
Surf the Code
Rick Wayne, Software Development magazine, March 2002.
Product review of CodeSurfer 1.5.
Acyclic Dependencies Principle
Kirk Knoernschild, 2001.
The Acyclic Dependency Principle.
Ignominy: a tool for software dependency and metricanalysis with examples from large HEP packages
Lassi A. Tuura and Lucas Taylor, CHEP '01, September 2001.
Ignominy is a tool developed [...] to analyse the structure of software systems. Its primary component is a dependency scanner that distills information into human-usable forms. It also includes several tools to visualise the collected data in the form of graphical views and numerical metrics. Ignominy was designed to adapt to almost any reasonable structure, and it has been used to analyse several large projects.
Reducing Coupling
Martin Fowler, IEEE Software, July/August 2001.
How to manage coupling and dependencies.
Protected Variation: The Importance of Being Closed
Craig Larman, IEEE Software, May/June 2001.
The Open Close Principle and the importance of dependencies.
Design Principles and Design Patterns
Robert C. Martin,, 2000.
Various design principles, design patterns to ensure them, and metrics to verify their application.
OO Design Quality Metrics
Robert C. Martin,, 1994.
The importance of managing "good" and "bad" dependencies. Dependency metrics, including instability, abstractness, the "main sequence", and the distance from it.


OptimalJ, 2004.
A set of useful metrics in object-oriented software, many of them derived from the work of Robert C. Martin.
Extraction and Examination of Relations in C++
Keith Paton, Dr. Dobbs Journal, October 2001.
Principles of good physical design, courtesy of Lakos and Martin.
Measuring C++ Program Efficiency
Derek Truong and Allen Chan, Dr. Dobbs Journal, October 2000.
OO metrics for C++.
Automated Metrics and Object-Oriented Development
Jagdish Bansiya and Carl Davis, Dr. Dobbs Journal, December 1997.
OO metrics for C++.
Cyclomatic Complexity
Software Engineering Institute, January 1997.
One very popular OO metric.
Productivity Measurement
M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, 1989.
Candidate OO metrics from the Master's thesis of Kenneth L. Morris.


Public versus Published Interfaces
Martin Fowler, IEEE Software, March/April 2002.
The distinction between public and published API and the impact it has on software development.