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Using the CLR Profiler with VS2008 Web Projects

May 13, 2008

Download CLR Profiler for .NET 2.0 Framework.

The CLR profiler is great; it’s sweet to be able to see where memory is allocated and how well objects are disposed of (and whether or not I missed something that GC just isn’t catching). 

The form is pretty easy to use, but there’s a bit of a trick for VS 2008 web application profiling when using the built-in Web Development Server.

NOTE:  This isn’t anything like the ANTS Profiler (which I wish I had a license for, but don’t).  ANTS will tell you where code slowdowns are and more, this simply returns back histographs of object usage, memory, and the stack/heap.  Still very useful none the less.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Download the CLR profiler (see the link at the beginning of this article or click here).

2. Extract the profiler into a directory (it defaults to C:\CLRProfiler); it will extract two directory structures (binaries, source) and a readme document.

3. To start using the application immediately, browse into the Binaries directory and execute the CLRProfiler. 

Use the x86 version. I haven’t been able to get the x64 version to work correctly (even though I’m on a x64 machine) when profiling .NET web applications ala the built-in web development server.

4. Under File > Set Parameters, modify the “Command Line” to reflect the parameters required to start the built-in web development server.  After the parameters have been set, click OK.

Usually, you have a Port parameter and a Path parameter.  Here’s an example:

/port:1234 /path:“J:\Projects\Work\Current\ERC\web\”

5. Click ‘Start Application’.  A browse window will open.  Visual Studio 2008’s web development server is located in the Common Files directory.

    \Microsoft Shared\DevServer\9.0
    \Microsoft Shared\DevServer\9.0

6. After selecting the WebDev.WebServer.Exe application file, your server will kick off with the parameters you set.

Now you’re ready to open up a web browser, begin browsing around, and evaluate your application.  When finished, click the ‘Kill Application’ button on the Profiler or simply close the WebServer application.

  1. November 10, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Good post. Thanks. Works fine in VS.NET 2008 SP1.

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