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Universal Trace Monitor for Software Developers and Testers

DevTracer - The Trace Monitor for Software Developers and Testers

DevTracer is a universal Trace Monitor, which can be used with any development environment for Microsoft Windows® supporting .NET or COM (Component Object Model).

The trace information, also called diagnostic output, is still available with the compiled and deployed application. DevTracer is independent of the IDE used by the developer.

  • .NET (C#, VB.Net)

    DevTracer uses a TraceListener. The TraceListener is supplied. It can be used with desktop and web applications.

  • Silverlight

    Silverlight® is based on .NET. Although the .NET framework for Silverlight does not have a TraceListener, DevTracer is ready for Silverlight.

  • Windows Phone 7

    Windows Phone 7 provides two frameworks for building applicaqtions: Silverlight and XNA. Tracing support is very limited, but can be enhanced using DevTracer.

  • C++ (MFC)

    DevTracer can be used to capture the output of the TRACE(...) macro.

  • Scripting

    DevTracer can be used with scripting languages like VBScript.

  • Viusal Basic® 6 and Visual Basic for Applications

    DevTracer replaces Debug.Print, making trace information available after the application is compiled and deployed.

  • log4net

    Monitor output of log4net in realtime

  • Distributed applications

    Monitor trace output of all components simultaneously.

Benefits and features

  • Customer site debugging

    Solve problems after the application has been deployed. Often a debugger is not available, and tracing is the only means of debugging.

  • Debugging

    Find bugs you cannot find with a debugger. Did you ever have the problem that a software was running perfectly on a developer's computer, but not after it was deployed at a customer's site? If your application issues trace information, and you have a trace monitor, there is always a chance to solve the problem.

  • Better performance with log4net

    Using Devtracer Monitor with log4net results in much better performance than using log4net's ConsoleAppender. See Trace Monitor for log4net for details.

  • Can be used for any type of application

    Create and collect trace output for desktop applications, distributed applications, web applications, script, ...

  • Unicode support

    Necessary to develop international applications.

  • Remote Monitoring

    The Trace Monitor can can on any computer in your network, i.e. it can run on a machine different from the one running the application monitored.

  • .NET and COM

    Can be used with .NET and COM (Microsoft Component Object Model) compatible applications.

  • Application performance

    Does not decrease the performance of the application significantly.

  • No dependencies

    Applications using DevTracer do not depend on DevTracer, i.e. they will still run on machines without DevTracer (or part of it) installed.

  • Multiple application monitoring

    Monitor several applications simultaneously. For example: if you develop an ASP.NET application and a Web Service consumed by the ASP.NET application, both can be monitored at the same time.

  • Real Time Monitoring

    Trace information is displayed in real time.

  • Multi threaded applications

    Monitor and debug multi threaded applications.

Who can use DevTracer?

Basically every software developer writing software for Microsoft Windows® can use DevTracer. It does not depend on how you develop your software. It can be used with all development tools targeting the Microsoft .NET platform, and with all tools that support COM (Component Object Model).

DevTracer is also a great tool for testers. Whenever they find a bug, they can use DevTracer to create some trace information. This information they can send to the developer along with the bug report, helping the developer to find the cause of the bug.

What is "tracing"?

Tracing is sometimes called creating diagnostic output and is closely related to logging.

While logging is normally used to monitor the behavior of an application after it has been deployed in a production environment, tracing is used by software developers during development. It normally displays more detailed information than logging.

Tracing is used to debug software, and to monitor it. Those of you who already developed software for MS-DOS with C probably still remember the function printf, which was the only way to debug software (debuggers were rare during those days).

Nowadays debuggers are standard. But tracing is still extremely useful. It provides a snapshot about the history of the current instance of the application.

Testers normally do not use a debugger (it is not their job), but they can record the trace to make it easier for developers to find the cause of bugs, or other strange behavior.

Tracing is by no means a replacement for a debugger. It complements debuggers. In some areas tracing is superior to using a debugger. Examples are recursive programming and monitoring of SQL statements.