There's a Profiler in Visual Studio?

I've just started working in the Visual Studio Team System, Profiler team. Many people are surprised to hear that Visual Studio does actually have a profiler and that it has had one since Visual Studio 2005. To use the profiler you need either Visual Studio Team System for Developers or Visual Studio Team Suite.

So where exactly is the profiler? Well in VS2005 it is buried in the 'Tools' menu under 'Performance Tools'. Fortunately the profiler is being promoted in the next release of Visual Studio to become part of a new 'Developer' menu. You can see it on my colleague Ian's blog in Figure 1.1.

I must admit that I hadn't used the VS2005 profiler extensively before joining this team, so I went in search of more information about it. Here's a few of things I found:

  • Videos - (Part 1, Part 2)
    Ian stars in videos from 2005 that show a semi-real example of how you might use a profiler to improve performance. He discusses what is probably the most confusing thing for new users - what exactly is the difference between sampling and instrumentation? 
  • Profiler Blog
    Includes posts from other members of the team.
  • Ian's Blog
    Interest from Ian's blog articles led to the videos above. Be sure to check out some of the new features that are part of the next VS Beta.
  • Tech Notes
    More detailed articles about profiling and other aspects of VS2005.
  • MSDN Forum
    Here you can either ask questions (and developers do actually monitor and answer) or look at past answers.

That's it for now.