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Debugging, Tracing, and Profiling

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). After a managed application has been 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.

.NET Framework applications are easily debugged by using Visual Studio, which handles many of the configuration details. If Visual Studio is not installed, you can examine and improve the performance of .NET Framework applications by using the debugging classes in the .NET Framework System.Diagnostics namespace. This namespace includes the Trace, Debug, and TraceSource classes for tracing execution flow, and the Process, EventLog, and PerformanceCounter classes for profiling code.

Debugging and Profiling How-to Topics

Lists links to How-to topics contained in this section.

Enabling JIT-Attach Debugging

Shows how to configure the registry to JIT-attach a debug engine to a .NET Framework application.

Making an Image Easier to Debug

Shows how to turn JIT tracking on and optimization off to make an assembly easier to debug.

Enabling Profiling

Shows how to set environment variables to tie a .NET Framework application to a profiler.

Tracing and Instrumenting Applications

Describes how to monitor the execution of your application while it is running, and how to instrument it to display how well it is performing or whether something has gone wrong.

Diagnosing Errors with Managed Debugging Assistants

Describes managed debugging assistants (MDAs), which are debugging aids that work in conjunction with the common language runtime (CLR) to provide information on runtime state.

Enhancing Debugging with the Debugger Display Attributes

Describes how the developer of a type can specify what that type will look like when it is displayed in a debugger.

ETW Events in the .NET Framework

Explains how event tracing for Windows (ETW) can be used to supplement the profiling and debugging support provided by the .NET Framework and to profile parallel application code.

Debugging Tools (.NET Framework)

Includes tools that provide information about the internal common language runtime environment, help you find and fix problems in applications that target the common language runtime, and let you view assembly binds.

Debugging ASP.NET and AJAX Applications

Provides prerequisites and instructions for how to debug an ASP.NET application during development or after deployment.