Hello Windows Azure

To get familiar with Windows Azure I created a new web application:

www.instantprojector.com (Update 10/27/2013: website not available anymore)

Currently the application only provides some basic functionality, but I intentionally wanted to publish an early stage to be able to work with it in real life. I plan to add more features over time.

These are some of the technologies I am using:

Creating Stack Traces with MDbg

Recently I have written about the Managed Stack Explorer. In the meantime MDbg (.NET Framework Command-Line Debugger) is my favorite tool for creating stack traces of running .NET applications in customer or test environments.

Download: MDbg_2.1.zip (412 KB)

Usage:

  1. Start MDbg.exe (if you want to trace a process that is running in 32 bit compatibility mode in a 64 bit environment, use MDbg32.exe).
  2. Enter “a” to list all running .NET processes and their process IDs.
  3. Enter “a <ProcessID>” (e.g. “a 1234″) to attach the debugger to a specific process.
  4. Enter “fo w” to display stack traces of all threads within the attached process.
  5. Enter “de” to detach the debugger from the process.

Example:

Managed Stack Explorer

To easily get stack traces of a running .NET application I was searching for a small tool and found the Managed Stack Explorer from Microsoft. Unfortunately it was not maintained anymore since 2006 and thus didn’t support Windows 7 and 64 bit. I fixed these issues and built a version 1.01. It currently only can trace .NET 2/3/3.5 applications and not .NET 4 applications.

Download: ManagedStackExplorer-1.0.1.zip

I mostly use the tool from the command line:

  1. List process IDs (needed for step 2):
    MSE /p
  2. Dump stack traces of all threads from a certain process to a text file (1234 is a placeholder for the process ID):
    MSE /p 1234 /s > c:\temp\StackTraces.txt

The package now additionally contains a MSE32.exe. Use it if you want to monitor an application that is running in 32 bit compatibility mode on a 64 bit OS.

Hello Silverlight

I had some time to play with Silverlight 2. I like editing Silverlight XAML by hand (in Visual Studio that is the only possiblility), but to get a nice design or add some effects, Expression Blend is helpful. I’m a bit disappointed that there is no SVG support in any of the Microsoft tools – so you cannot easily integrate existing SVG graphics or icons (e.g. from Open Clip Art Library). The free tool Inkscape can help here.

The first outcome of my coding is here (click on the items to edit them; drag the items to change the order).