Configure Application Insights for your ASP.NET website

This procedure configures your ASP.NET web app to send telemetry to the Azure Application Insights service. It works for ASP.NET apps that are hosted either in your own IIS servers on-premises or in the Cloud.

Prerequisites

To add Application Insights to your ASP.NET website, you need to:

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Create a basic ASP.NET web app

  1. Launch Visual Studio 2019.
  2. Select File > New > Project.
  3. Select ASP.NET Web Application(.NET Framework) C#.
  4. Enter a project name > Select Create.
  5. Select MVC > Create.

Add Application Insights automatically

This section will guide you through automatically adding Application Insights to a template-based ASP.NET web app. From within your ASP.NET web app project in Visual Studio:

  1. Select Add Application Insights Telemetry > Application Insights Sdk (local) > Next > Finish > Close.

  2. Open the ApplicationInsights.config file.

  3. Before the closing </ApplicationInsights> tag add a line containing the instrumentation key for your Application Insights resource. Your instrumentation key can be found on the overview pane of your newly created Application Insights resource that you created as part of the prerequisites for this article.

     <InstrumentationKey>your-instrumentation-key-goes-here</InstrumentationKey>
    
  4. Select Project > Manage NuGet Packages > Updates > Update each Microsoft.ApplicationInsights NuGet package to the latest stable release.

  5. Run your application by selecting IIS Express. A basic ASP.NET app will launch. As you navigate the pages on the site telemetry will be sent to Application Insights.

Add Application Insights manually

This section will guide you through manually adding Application Insights to a template-based ASP.NET web app. This section assumes you are using a web app based on the standard ASP.NET Framework MVC web app template.

  1. Add the following NuGet packages and their dependencies to your project:

  2. In some cases, the ApplicationInsights.config file will be created for you automatically. If the file is already present, skip to step #4. If it is not created automatically, then you will need to create it yourself. At the same level in your project as the Global.asax file, create a new file called ApplicationInsights.config

  3. Copy the following XML configuration into your newly created file:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <ApplicationInsights xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ApplicationInsights/2013/Settings">
     <TelemetryInitializers>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.DependencyCollector.HttpDependenciesParsingTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.DependencyCollector" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.AzureRoleEnvironmentTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.BuildInfoConfigComponentVersionTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.WebTestTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.SyntheticUserAgentTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web">
         <!-- Extended list of bots:
               search|spider|crawl|Bot|Monitor|BrowserMob|BingPreview|PagePeeker|WebThumb|URL2PNG|ZooShot|GomezA|Google SketchUp|Read Later|KTXN|KHTE|Keynote|Pingdom|AlwaysOn|zao|borg|oegp|silk|Xenu|zeal|NING|htdig|lycos|slurp|teoma|voila|yahoo|Sogou|CiBra|Nutch|Java|JNLP|Daumoa|Genieo|ichiro|larbin|pompos|Scrapy|snappy|speedy|vortex|favicon|indexer|Riddler|scooter|scraper|scrubby|WhatWeb|WinHTTP|voyager|archiver|Icarus6j|mogimogi|Netvibes|altavista|charlotte|findlinks|Retreiver|TLSProber|WordPress|wsr-agent|http client|Python-urllib|AppEngine-Google|semanticdiscovery|facebookexternalhit|web/snippet|Google-HTTP-Java-Client-->
         <Filters>search|spider|crawl|Bot|Monitor|AlwaysOn</Filters>
       </Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.ClientIpHeaderTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.AzureAppServiceRoleNameFromHostNameHeaderInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.OperationNameTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.OperationCorrelationTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.UserTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.AuthenticatedUserIdTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.AccountIdTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.SessionTelemetryInitializer, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
     </TelemetryInitializers>
     <TelemetryModules>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.DependencyCollector.DependencyTrackingTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.DependencyCollector">
         <ExcludeComponentCorrelationHttpHeadersOnDomains>
           <!-- 
           Requests to the following hostnames will not be modified by adding correlation headers.         
           Add entries here to exclude additional hostnames.
           NOTE: this configuration will be lost upon NuGet upgrade.
           -->
           <Add>core.windows.net</Add>
           <Add>core.chinacloudapi.cn</Add>
           <Add>core.cloudapi.de</Add>
           <Add>core.usgovcloudapi.net</Add>
         </ExcludeComponentCorrelationHttpHeadersOnDomains>
         <IncludeDiagnosticSourceActivities>
           <Add>Microsoft.Azure.EventHubs</Add>
           <Add>Microsoft.Azure.ServiceBus</Add>
         </IncludeDiagnosticSourceActivities>
       </Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Extensibility.PerfCounterCollector.PerformanceCollectorModule, Microsoft.AI.PerfCounterCollector">
         <!--
         Use the following syntax here to collect additional performance counters:
    
         <Counters>
           <Add PerformanceCounter="\Process(??APP_WIN32_PROC??)\Handle Count" ReportAs="Process handle count" />
           ...
         </Counters>
    
         PerformanceCounter must be either \CategoryName(InstanceName)\CounterName or \CategoryName\CounterName
    
         NOTE: performance counters configuration will be lost upon NuGet upgrade.
    
         The following placeholders are supported as InstanceName:
           ??APP_WIN32_PROC?? - instance name of the application process  for Win32 counters.
           ??APP_W3SVC_PROC?? - instance name of the application IIS worker process for IIS/ASP.NET counters.
           ??APP_CLR_PROC?? - instance name of the application CLR process for .NET counters.
         -->
       </Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Extensibility.PerfCounterCollector.QuickPulse.QuickPulseTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.PerfCounterCollector" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.AppServicesHeartbeatTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.AzureInstanceMetadataTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer">
         <!--
         Remove individual fields collected here by adding them to the ApplicationInsighs.HeartbeatProvider 
         with the following syntax:
    
         <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Extensibility.Implementation.Tracing.DiagnosticsTelemetryModule, Microsoft.ApplicationInsights">
           <ExcludedHeartbeatProperties>
             <Add>osType</Add>
             <Add>location</Add>
             <Add>name</Add>
             <Add>offer</Add>
             <Add>platformFaultDomain</Add>
             <Add>platformUpdateDomain</Add>
             <Add>publisher</Add>
             <Add>sku</Add>
             <Add>version</Add>
             <Add>vmId</Add>
             <Add>vmSize</Add>
             <Add>subscriptionId</Add>
             <Add>resourceGroupName</Add>
             <Add>placementGroupId</Add>
             <Add>tags</Add>
             <Add>vmScaleSetName</Add>
           </ExcludedHeartbeatProperties>
         </Add>
    
         NOTE: exclusions will be lost upon upgrade.
         -->
       </Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.DeveloperModeWithDebuggerAttachedTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.UnhandledExceptionTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.UnobservedExceptionTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer">
         <!--</Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.FirstChanceExceptionStatisticsTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.WindowsServer">-->
       </Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.RequestTrackingTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.Web">
         <Handlers>
           <!-- 
           Add entries here to filter out additional handlers: 
    
           NOTE: handler configuration will be lost upon NuGet upgrade.
           -->
           <Add>Microsoft.VisualStudio.Web.PageInspector.Runtime.Tracing.RequestDataHttpHandler</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.StaticFileHandler</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.Handlers.AssemblyResourceLoader</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.Optimization.BundleHandler</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.Handlers.TraceHandler</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.Services.Discovery.DiscoveryRequestHandler</Add>
           <Add>System.Web.HttpDebugHandler</Add>
         </Handlers>
       </Add>
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.ExceptionTrackingTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
       <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.AspNetDiagnosticTelemetryModule, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
     </TelemetryModules>
     <ApplicationIdProvider Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Extensibility.Implementation.ApplicationId.ApplicationInsightsApplicationIdProvider, Microsoft.ApplicationInsights" />
     <TelemetrySinks>
       <Add Name="default">
         <TelemetryProcessors>
           <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Extensibility.PerfCounterCollector.QuickPulse.QuickPulseTelemetryProcessor, Microsoft.AI.PerfCounterCollector" />
           <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Extensibility.AutocollectedMetricsExtractor, Microsoft.ApplicationInsights" />
           <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.TelemetryChannel.AdaptiveSamplingTelemetryProcessor, Microsoft.AI.ServerTelemetryChannel">
             <MaxTelemetryItemsPerSecond>5</MaxTelemetryItemsPerSecond>
             <ExcludedTypes>Event</ExcludedTypes>
           </Add>
           <Add Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.TelemetryChannel.AdaptiveSamplingTelemetryProcessor, Microsoft.AI.ServerTelemetryChannel">
             <MaxTelemetryItemsPerSecond>5</MaxTelemetryItemsPerSecond>
             <IncludedTypes>Event</IncludedTypes>
           </Add>
         </TelemetryProcessors>
         <TelemetryChannel Type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.WindowsServer.TelemetryChannel.ServerTelemetryChannel, Microsoft.AI.ServerTelemetryChannel" />
       </Add>
     </TelemetrySinks>
     <!-- 
       Learn more about Application Insights configuration with ApplicationInsights.config here: 
       http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=513840
     -->
     <InstrumentationKey>your-instrumentation-key-here</InstrumentationKey>
    </ApplicationInsights>
    
  4. Before the closing </ApplicationInsights> tag, add your instrumentation key for your Application Insights resource. Your instrumentation key can be found on the overview pane of your newly created Application Insights resource that you created as part of the prerequisites for this article.

     <InstrumentationKey>your-instrumentation-key-goes-here</InstrumentationKey>
    
  5. At the same level of your project as the ApplicationInsights.config file, create a folder called ErrorHandler with a new C# file called AiHandleErrorAttribute.cs. The contents of the file will look as follows:

    using System;
    using System.Web.Mvc;
    using Microsoft.ApplicationInsights;
    
    namespace WebApplication10.ErrorHandler //namespace will vary based on your project name
    {
        [AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Class | AttributeTargets.Method, Inherited = true, AllowMultiple = true)] 
        public class AiHandleErrorAttribute : HandleErrorAttribute
        {
            public override void OnException(ExceptionContext filterContext)
            {
                if (filterContext != null && filterContext.HttpContext != null && filterContext.Exception != null)
                {
                    //If customError is Off, then AI HTTPModule will report the exception
                    if (filterContext.HttpContext.IsCustomErrorEnabled)
                    {   
                        var ai = new TelemetryClient();
                        ai.TrackException(filterContext.Exception);
                    } 
                }
                base.OnException(filterContext);
            }
        }
    }
    
    
  6. In the App_Start folder, open the FilterConfig.cs file and change it to match the sample:

    using System.Web;
    using System.Web.Mvc;
    
    namespace WebApplication10 //Namespace will vary based on project name
    {
        public class FilterConfig
        {
            public static void RegisterGlobalFilters(GlobalFilterCollection filters)
            {
                filters.Add(new ErrorHandler.AiHandleErrorAttribute());
            }
        }
    }
    
  7. Update the Web.config file as follows:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <!--
      For more information on how to configure your ASP.NET application, please visit
      https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=301880
      -->
    <configuration>
      <appSettings>
        <add key="webpages:Version" value="3.0.0.0" />
        <add key="webpages:Enabled" value="false" />
        <add key="ClientValidationEnabled" value="true" />
        <add key="UnobtrusiveJavaScriptEnabled" value="true" />
      </appSettings>
      <system.web>
        <compilation debug="true" targetFramework="4.7.2" />
        <httpRuntime targetFramework="4.7.2" />
        <httpModules>
          <add name="TelemetryCorrelationHttpModule" type="Microsoft.AspNet.TelemetryCorrelation.TelemetryCorrelationHttpModule, Microsoft.AspNet.TelemetryCorrelation" />
          <add name="ApplicationInsightsWebTracking" type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.ApplicationInsightsHttpModule, Microsoft.AI.Web" />
        </httpModules>
      </system.web>
      <runtime>
        <assemblyBinding xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1">
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="Antlr3.Runtime" publicKeyToken="eb42632606e9261f" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="0.0.0.0-3.5.0.2" newVersion="3.5.0.2" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="Newtonsoft.Json" publicKeyToken="30ad4fe6b2a6aeed" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="0.0.0.0-12.0.0.0" newVersion="12.0.0.0" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="System.Web.Optimization" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="1.0.0.0-1.1.0.0" newVersion="1.1.0.0" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="WebGrease" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="0.0.0.0-1.6.5135.21930" newVersion="1.6.5135.21930" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="System.Web.Helpers" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="1.0.0.0-3.0.0.0" newVersion="3.0.0.0" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="System.Web.WebPages" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="1.0.0.0-3.0.0.0" newVersion="3.0.0.0" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="System.Web.Mvc" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="1.0.0.0-5.2.7.0" newVersion="5.2.7.0" />
          </dependentAssembly>
          <dependentAssembly>
            <assemblyIdentity name="System.Memory" publicKeyToken="cc7b13ffcd2ddd51" culture="neutral" />
            <bindingRedirect oldVersion="0.0.0.0-4.0.1.1" newVersion="4.0.1.1" />
          </dependentAssembly>
        </assemblyBinding>
      </runtime>
      <system.codedom>
        <compilers>
          <compiler language="c#;cs;csharp" extension=".cs" type="Microsoft.CodeDom.Providers.DotNetCompilerPlatform.CSharpCodeProvider, Microsoft.CodeDom.Providers.DotNetCompilerPlatform, Version=2.0.1.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" warningLevel="4" compilerOptions="/langversion:default /nowarn:1659;1699;1701" />
          <compiler language="vb;vbs;visualbasic;vbscript" extension=".vb" type="Microsoft.CodeDom.Providers.DotNetCompilerPlatform.VBCodeProvider, Microsoft.CodeDom.Providers.DotNetCompilerPlatform, Version=2.0.1.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" warningLevel="4" compilerOptions="/langversion:default /nowarn:41008 /define:_MYTYPE=\&quot;Web\&quot; /optionInfer+" />
        </compilers>
      </system.codedom>
      <system.webServer>
        <validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration="false" />
        <modules>
          <remove name="TelemetryCorrelationHttpModule" />
          <add name="TelemetryCorrelationHttpModule" type="Microsoft.AspNet.TelemetryCorrelation.TelemetryCorrelationHttpModule, Microsoft.AspNet.TelemetryCorrelation" preCondition="managedHandler" />
          <remove name="ApplicationInsightsWebTracking" />
          <add name="ApplicationInsightsWebTracking" type="Microsoft.ApplicationInsights.Web.ApplicationInsightsHttpModule, Microsoft.AI.Web" preCondition="managedHandler" />
        </modules>
      </system.webServer>
    </configuration>
    
    

You have now successfully configured server-side application monitoring. If you run your web app, you will be able to see telemetry begin to appear within Application Insights.

Add client-side monitoring

The previous sections provided guidance on methods to automatically and manually configure server-side monitoring. To add client-side monitoring, you will need to use our client-side JavaScript SDK. You can monitor any web page's client-side transactions by adding a JavaScript snippet before the closing </head> tag of the page's HTML.

While is possible to manually add the snippet to the header of each HTML page, it is recommended to instead add the snippet to a primary page, which will inject the snippet into all pages of a site. For the template-based ASP.NET MVC app from this article, the file you need to edit is called _Layout.cshtml and it is found under Views > Shared.

To add client-side monitoring, open the _Layout.cshtml file and follow the snippet-based setup instructions from the client-side JavaScript SDK configuration article.

Troubleshooting

There is a known issue in the current version of Visual Studio 2019 that when storing the instrumentation key in a User Secret is broken for .NET Framework-based apps and the key ultimately has to be hardcoded into the applicationinsights.config file to work around this bug. This article is designed to avoid this issue entirely, by not using User Secrets.

Open-source SDK

For the latest updates and bug fixes consult the release notes.

Next steps