Troubleshooting Web Services

Microsoft BizTalk Server makes extensive use of Web services for use with the SOAP adapter and when publishing orchestrations as Web services. This topic provides some steps that you can follow to troubleshoot Web services, as well as some common Web services problems and how to resolve those problems.

Use .NET Framework tracing to capture and log errors in a Web service

The .NET Framework System.Diagnostics.Trace class can be used to capture and write errors to a text file.

To use the System.Diagnostics.Trace class to capture and write errors to a text file

  1. Update the web.config file for the Web service to set the TRACE compiler directive to true and add a TraceSwitch value:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
          <compiler language="c#;cs;csharp"
                    type="Microsoft.CSharp.CSharpCodeProvider, System, Version=2.0.3500.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" warningLevel="1" />
          <add name="WebSvcTraceSwitch" value="2" />
          <!-- Set to 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4, which corresponds
          to TraceLevel.Off, TraceLevel.Error, TraceLevel.Warning
          TraceLevel.Info, and TraceLevel.Verbose. -->


    If the TRACE compiler directive is not set to true then no trace output will be generated. The TraceSwitch value can also be set in the calling class, but is set here in the web.config file for convenience. Set the TraceSwitch value to the appropriate level for development purposes and change the value after development is complete to reduce or inhibit trace output.

  2. Create an instance of the TraceSwitch and TextWriterTraceListener classes and use a try…catch block in the Web service [WebMethod] call to trap and write errors to a trace output file. For example, the following code traps an error that is generated when attempting to set the integer variable s2 to a null instance of the object variable o2:

    using System;
    using System.Web;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
    using System.Diagnostics;
    [WebService(Namespace = "")]
    [WebServiceBinding(ConformsTo = WsiProfiles.BasicProfile1_1)]
    public class Service : System.Web.Services.WebService
        TraceSwitch WebSvcTraceSwitch = new TraceSwitch("WebSvcTraceSwitch", "Web Service Trace");
        TextWriterTraceListener TestTracer = new TextWriterTraceListener("C:\\traceout.txt");
        // Note that by default the local ASPNET account(IIS 5.x) or the
        // local NETWORK SERVICE account(IIS 6.0) needs write access to
        // this directory so that the instance of the
        // TextWriterTraceListener can write to the trace output file.
        public Service () {
        public string HelloWorld()
        string h2 = "Hello World";
        //object o2 = 1;
        object o2 = null;
                int s2 = (int)o2; //Error if o2 set to null
                return h2;
            catch(Exception e)
                Trace.WriteLineIf(WebSvcTraceSwitch.Level = TraceLevel.Warning, "Exception caught: " + e.Message);
                //Writes to the trace file if specified TraceLevel switch value (in web.config) >= 2
                return "An error occurred in the Web service, please contact the web server administrator.";


    This code is a modified version of the default HelloWorld Web service that is generated when you create a new ASP.Net Web Service project in Microsoft Visual Studio.


    For Windows Vista, Administrator privileges may be required to write the trace output file to the root folder.

  3. Rebuild the Web service project. Now, if an error occurs in the Try statement the exception is handled in the Catch statement and an error is written to the trace output file.

Known Issues

A Web service returns an HTTP 404 (File Not Found) error


Attempts to call a Web service return an HTTP 404 (File Not Found) error.


This error can occur if ASP.NET is not installed and/or enabled on the IIS server that hosts the Web service.


Ensure that ASP.NET is installed and enabled. Install the .NET Framework if it is not installed and/or run the aspnet_regiis.exe program located in the %WinDir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\vXXX.XXX\ folder of the IIS server.

A "System.IO.FileNotFoundException" error occurs when a Web service is called


When you call a Web service in a Microsoft ASP.NET Web application, you may receive the following error:



This error can occur if either of the following conditions is true:

  • The worker process does not have permissions to read to the process Temp directory, and the worker process does not have permissions to write to the process Temp directory.

  • There are compilation errors in the code that XmlSerializer generated.


This error is documented in PRB: You Receive a "System.IO.FileNotFoundException" Error When the Client Application Calls a Web Service".

See Also

Guidelines for Resolving IIS Permissions Problems Guidelines for Resolving Web Services Permissions Problems