Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative

(This post is part of my Visual Studio 2010 series)

This article talks about Visual Studio 2010’s new features related to debugging, applicable from beginner to expert(based on Visual Studio 2010 beta 2). Visual Studio 2010 comes with powerful debugging features. Debugging is an area where an improvement brings great relief to developers, and increases developer happiness. Visual Studio 2010 seems to highly enhance debugging support, and can change some basic ways we used to debug applications, let us have a look.

Export/Import Breakpoints

By using Export/Import breakpoints in Visual Studio 2010, you can debug a portion of the application and export the current set of breakpoints and import it back whenever you want to debug the same portion of application, no matter what breakpoints you have currently placed in your code. This feature will enable you to have different set of breakpoints for each scenario or portion of application that you may need to debug. This is one of the features that I highly wished to have.

An example scenario… consider your web page/windows form has basic CRUD(Create/Read/Update/Del) options, you are currently working on “Create” part. When executing if you get unexpected results, you will set up several breakpoints and debug, then you proceed to code “Update” part.

Now, when you need to debug “Update” part you mostly clear/disable all breakpoints you just set and create new breakpoints. But what if you get some new error in Create part again? you have to clear/disable all break points, and again go to different locations, set breakpoints and debug the Create part.

This example is not complex, but think of all those complex scenarios you may have debugged for hours; switching one scenario to another.

Visual Studio 2010 new features in debugging - how to Export and Import Breakpoints

Choose Debug->Windows->Breakpoints and Export/Import breakpoints as indicated above. Breakpoints will be exported as a file in the location you choose and you can select this file when you import.

Stick the DataTips

You know that, while debugging, we can hover our mouse over a variable/object and inspect, edit & explore it and we call this as DataTip. In Visual Studio 2010, we can stick DataTips to our code window and drag & drop to any location and the DataTip will hang there. This new feature gives pretty easy view to monitor the variables that matters for your current debugging.

Pin, Unpin(delete), add comment

You can click the pin icon next to a variable’s DataTip and it will stick to your code window for you to drag & place as you like.

You can remove it by clicking the "X" in the DataTip mouse hover menu.

You can add comments/notes for a variable by clicking the double down arrow in the DataTip hover menu.

How to use DataTips in Visual Studio 2010

Unpin from a single source and make it available in all source files

By default the DataTip will be pinned to current source file, if you want the variable/object on other source files too (in page1.aspx.cs, page2.aspx.cs, etc) then you can click the unpin icon in datatip hover menu. You may do this for global objects.

Export/Import DataTips

As I explained in Export/Import Breakpoints, we can export/import DataTips too, in the same way in Visual Studio 2010.

More on Datatips…
If you pin(stick) the elements of same array(a[1],a[4]) it is automatically placed as a group.

Update: Just noted that there is no mention about Intellitrace feature(historical debugging) in this post, I didn’t include this previously because of few reasons.

Intellitrace (Historical Debugging)

IntelliTrace is a feature previously known as Historical debugging, which is a major enhancement made to the Visual Studio 2010 debugger. When an exception occurs, you usually start debugging with breakpoints set in suspected areas and check variable/object values for correctness.

But if an exception occurs when IntelliTrace is enabled, it allows you to just go back in time of your application execution and find out what events got raised and what were the values of various variables, etc similar to Call stack like approach. This helps you inspect all the events that finally triggered the exception. This helps in many ways, even you don’t need to worry about breakpoints.

Update: I have written an article on IntelliTrace here

 

Conclusion:

I am sure these new features of Visual studio 2010 would have excited you as it did to me. These tools help speed up debugging. I take this opportunity to encourage you to highly utilize these wonderful changes that are going to be available in Visual Studio 2010. (Update: Visual Studio 2010 final product is released on April 12, 2010).

Please Note:

This article discusses about only Visual Studio 2010’s new features that will get immediately noticed by majority of the developers, and features that will be used by all kinds of developers using Visual Studio, hence I ignored some options related to specific category of developers or options that are advanced, or minor differences that might Not get noticed as “new features”, things I didn’t cover includes – parallel computing, new menu/context-menu options, etc. The article keeps beginners and Non-native English readers too in mind.

Also, as I have posted this blog entry as article in too, you may notice style difference.

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Comments for this entry..


                Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

                Thank you for submitting this cool story - Trackback from DotNetShoutout
            

by.. DotNetShoutout | December 27, 2009 15:28 | Reply

It's good to share things which we know well about. It's a valuable blog keep it update with new things.

by.. jagan | January 21, 2010 17:19 | Reply


                Great posting about this issue. I got new knowledge here. Your article easy to understand. Keep writing and happy blogging.

                Regards
                bibak
            

by.. Home | January 28, 2010 15:12 | Reply


                i agree that debugging is one of the better innovation in Visual studio 2010 but personally i love how you can use the Navigate To feature to search for a symbol or file in source code. you can search for keywords that are contained in a symbol by using Camel casing and underscore characters to divide the symbol into keywords.
                thanks
            

by.. application development | February 9, 2010 18:45 | Reply


                Yes.. that is also one of the great features of Visual Studio 2010..
                I was initially captured by debugging features hence wrote about it first..
            

by.. author | February 9, 2010 23:14 | Reply

I am new to visual studio and have encountered some issues about debugging. Good thing that I've found this post. It really helps me a lot. Thanks!

by.. Ana | March 11, 2010 15:27 | Reply

Good day I just wanted to find out on what is the difference between blogenenigne and wordpress blogs? Is it easier to use or more efficient? I amseeing a lot of blogs powered by this software popping up lately and wondering if it is better or not? Thanks...

by.. Helene Purdon | March 19, 2010 13:04 | Reply


                Good day to you too.. sorry for delayed reply..got some issues in comments section.. but tried to reply you via your email,but it got bounced.

                I was not having wordpress as an important alternate..as it is in php..I am a .net guy and blogengine will be easier to modify as it's in .net..
                I tried blogengine.net and heard it was good and i didn't had any problems using it till now and it was very simple to setup and modify, but I had other options like dasblog,etc
            

by.. author | March 31, 2010 21:16 | Reply

Nice blog post! Are you using Wordpress as your main platform? I ask this because your blog looks a little different.

by.. Sammy Kretschmann | March 29, 2010 07:51 | Reply


                Thanks.. I am using blogengine.net..
                see http://dotnetblogengine.net
            

by.. author | March 31, 2010 21:19 | Reply

Where did you get this theme. Is this Wordpress?

by.. Officjet 6500 | March 30, 2010 12:30 | Reply


                This is my own theme(and have no plans to share to others as of nowSmile ) and the software is http://dotnetblogengine.net..
                For themes that you can reuse, you can visit http://www.blogenginetheme.com
            

by.. author | March 31, 2010 21:22 | Reply

i hate visual studio

by.. bob | April 2, 2010 02:54 | Reply

It's Great/Good feature.

by.. Mohan | April 5, 2010 10:39 | Reply


                you hold a few useful facts there in your article. I knew Yahoo are going to bring me to some unique stuff today Smile. Alright should search this now! Have a great time you all!
            

by.. equipement boxe | May 8, 2010 02:22 | Reply


                Thanks for post. It’s really informative stuff.
                I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!
            

by.. fuel pump | May 10, 2010 00:15 | Reply

I just clicked over from a similar website and figured I would take a look around. Like what I see so now I'm following you. Look forward to reading your some of your posts again.

by.. Towanda Rawle | May 19, 2010 00:11 | Reply

I found your blog filled with great info.

by.. Loren Rosek | May 22, 2010 03:07 | Reply

clearly know about this

by.. Jeff | May 24, 2010 02:10 | Reply

Interesting post, as I dont know a lot about Visual Studio. Do you know of any alternatives?

by.. Kredittkort | May 25, 2010 18:45 | Reply

Nice post!!! You make some interesting pionts - Im gonna keep checking back for updates. Keep up the good work

by.. Katelynn Portilla | May 26, 2010 02:29 | Reply

Hello,this is Johanna Whiters,just identified your web-site on google and i must say this blog is great.may I share some of the Post found in your weblog to my local friends?i'm not sure and what you think?anyhow,Thx!

by.. Johanna Whiters | May 26, 2010 14:35 | Reply

Thanks for very useful info

by.. Issac Maez | May 29, 2010 16:30 | Reply

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by.. Ivonne Brasuell | May 30, 2010 06:05 | Reply

You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side?

by.. lab0rat | May 31, 2010 14:09 | Reply


                There is little changes in VB 10, I am using the old version till now, I work on latest version after i read good reviews...


                Thanks for the post
            

by.. paas | June 9, 2010 15:40 | Reply

I have been reading online all day and this was actully worth reading.

by.. General Lee | June 10, 2010 00:31 | Reply

this is some good stuff man!

by.. Ingrid Huth | June 11, 2010 12:49 | Reply

STOP ENTERING SPAM COMMENTS.. ALL SPAM COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED PROMPTLY..

by.. Admin | June 17, 2010 00:10 | Reply


                9 new features of Visual Studio 2010 that can help your productivity right away

                9 new features of Visual Studio 2010 that can help your productivity right away
            

by.. CodeHappiness.com | June 22, 2010 01:06 | Reply

nice article sir.thanks

by.. gseda | June 23, 2010 10:32 | Reply

WoW. Good article.

by.. Jocuri | June 25, 2010 16:57 | Reply

This is great new features. But I'm still comfortable on using the old version.

by.. lee | June 25, 2010 21:45 | Reply

very nice post! keep on !

by.. criação de sites | June 29, 2010 08:01 | Reply

great apply my friend thanks visial studio is the best

by.. hasni | July 14, 2010 06:08 | Reply

Is jagan keeping new party?

Someone referenced this post to answer question "Is jagan keeping new party?"...

by.. Copious-Systems | December 1, 2010 20:44 | Reply

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

Visual Studio 2010 New Features in Debugging – Exciting & Innovative - Code Happiness

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