Debugging and Profiling Applications

To debug a .NET Framework application, the compiler and runtime environment must be configured to enable a debugger to attach to the application and to produce both symbols and line maps, if possible, for the application and its corresponding Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL). Once a managed application is debugged, it can be profiled to boost performance. Profiling evaluates and describes the lines of source code that generate the most frequently executed code, and how much time it takes to execute them.

The .NET Framework applications are easily debugged using Visual Studio .NET, which handles many of the configuration details. If Visual Studio .NET is not installed, you can examine and improve the performance of .NET Framework applications in several alternative ways using the following:

  • Systems.Diagnostics classes.
  • Runtime Debugger (Cordbg.exe), which is a command-line debugger.
  • Microsoft Common Language Runtime Debugger (DbgCLR.exe), which is a Windows debugger.

The .NET Framework namespace System.Diagnostics includes the Trace and Debug classes for tracing execution flow, and the Process, EventLog, and PerformanceCounter classes for profiling code. The Cordbg.exe command-line debugger can be used to debug managed code from the command-line interpreter. DbgCLR.exe is a debugger with the familiar Windows interface for debugging managed code. It is located in the Microsoft.NET/FrameworkSDK/GuiDebug folder.

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