Dump File Bucketing

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Windows Mobile SupportedWindows Embedded CE Supported

Crash dump files are compressed and sent through an HTTPS (secure HTTP) connection, either directly from the device or through an Active Sync pass-through connection, to Microsoft. The receiving server uses a concept called bucketing to organize dump data.

The server groups the minidumps into categories called buckets. A bucket is a group of minidump files that arose from similar crashes, that is, crashes with the same code defect.

A combination of variables defines a bucket:

  • Application name, version, and timestamp
  • Owner application name, version, and timestamp
  • Module name, version, and timestamp
  • Offset into the module

Thus, when two users encounter an application crash using the same version of a program at the same offset, the server buckets the crash dumps into the same category. The design hypothesizes that those two users hit the same bug.

Software support personnel can judge the severity and priority of an issue by the number of crashes that occur, which is the hit count of a particular bucket.

Because a handful of bugs cause most crashes, developers can prioritize which crashes to examine first.

Windows Embedded CE developers review the issues presented to the upload site and debug the problem that caused the crash in the uploaded file.

In addition to being able to judge the severity of a bucket using its hit count, bucketing enables the support software to provide feedback tailored to a particular crash.

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