In software, an architectural rule (aka architectural constraint) specifies a design decision on the application. Architectural rules cannot usually be expressed in the programming language itself. Architectural rules can be written as AST analysis (see this post), which makes Spoon very appropriate to express and check them. Since architectural rules must be automatically checked as often as possible, it's good to have them part of continuous integration (hence, the meaningful yet limited Sonar architecture rule engine).

To write an architectural rule in Spoon that is checked in CI, the idea is to write a standard Junit test case that loads the application code, express the rule and check it. Doing this only requires to depend on Spoon at testing time, ie <scope>test</scope> in Maven.

Example rule: never use the TreeSet constructor

For instance, let's imagine that you want to forbid the usage of TreeSet's constructor, in your code base, you would simply write a test case as follows:

@Test
void noTreeSet() throws Exception {
    SpoonAPI spoon = new Launcher();
    spoon.addInputResource("src/main/java/");
    spoon.buildModel();

    assertEquals(0, spoon.getFactory().Package().getRootPackage().getElements(new AbstractFilter<CtConstructorCall>() {
        @Override
        public boolean matches(CtConstructorCall element) {
            return element.getType().getActualClass().equals(TreeSet.class);
        };
    }).size());
}

That's it! Every time you run the tests, incl. on your continuous integration server, the architectural rules are enforced.

For instance, you can check that you never return null, or always use an appropriate factory, or that all classes implementing an interface are in the same package.

Example rule: all test classes must start or end with "Test"

A common mistake is to forget to follow a naming convention. For instance, if you use Maven, all test classes must be named Test* or *Test in order to be run by Maven's standard test plugin surefire (see doc). This rule simply reads:

@Test
public void testGoodTestClassNames() throws Exception {
    SpoonAPI spoon = new Launcher();
    spoon.addInputResource("src/test/java/");
    spoon.buildModel();

    for (CtMethod<?> meth : spoon.getModel().getRootPackage().getElements(new TypeFilter<CtMethod>(CtMethod.class) {
            @Override
            public boolean matches(CtMethod element) {
                    return super.matches(element) && element.getAnnotation(Test.class) != null;
            }
    })) {
            assertTrue("naming contract violated for "+meth.getParent(CtClass.class).getSimpleName(), meth.getParent(CtClass.class).getSimpleName().startsWith("Test") || meth.getParent(CtClass.class).getSimpleName().endsWith("Test"));
    }
}