Visual Studio integrated ULS Viewer does not come to substitute or demand a place among the currently existing ULS viewers. Definitely it cannot even be compared with the richness of functionality of the originial UlsViewer from Microsoft (currently discontinued) but this is not the case as VS Integrated ULS Viewer was created with a totally different mindset and for totally different target group than the rest. VS Integrated ULS Viewer was not created for system admins or any other users that point to traditionally monitoring SharePoint activity. It was conceptualized for the average developer who feels comfortable inside Visual Studio and gets his time wasted by hopping around screens, windows and GUIDs to get his staff done.
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In the top of the tool window lies one simplist toolbar consisting of the following options :
- Live mode, choose this to hook on the current log and poll for new entries.
- Static mode, open an existing log file of your choice.
- Information about number the currently filtered and fetched ULS traces
- Clear and dispose the items
- The currently processed log file.
All buttons are interactive and come with 4 states noted by their border color :
- Black : Inactive
- Light Green : Active
- Red : Error (Hover over the button and a tooltip relative to the error will give you a hint)
- Orange : Currently processing
By clicking on the filtering expander you will be offered with the following choices :
- Choose among the following categories : Message, Area, Category, Level and Correlation ID
- Choose among the following filtering options : Contains, Is equal to, Starts with, Ends with
- Enter the value your are looking for. The TextBox is providing search-as-you-type functionality.
- Go forth and back to previous filtering you have already made. My experience with Microsoft UlsViewer (besides that is a perfect tool) is that I was frustrated how I could (re)apply filters or remove them.
- Remove any filter.
- Send maximum 50 of your filtered results to a collegue for his own consideration. It is been million times that an admin or another developer is trying to discuss with me a bug and it takes ages until I get all the related traces in my hand. No more ! Check.
All the ULS traces fetched are presented in a ListView with the following format :
- Every item is a collapsed Expander, bringing to the user the minimum required information (timestamp and a summary of the message). If you want to see more just expand the Expander.
- The message comes limited to a certain amount of characters, if you want to see the full message click on the “More details” link that will be explained later.
- Filtering links. By clicking any of the links for Area, Category, Level or Correlation ID automatically you apply a filter for this value.
- When the message is too long is been cropped. By clicking “More details” you get the full message and a little bit more…
- The full ULS trace.
- Send this message to a collegue.
- Search the web for this message or a part of it by selecting the text of your preference in the TextBox.
Every ULS trace that its level is one of the : Warning, Critical or Unexpected is adorned by a respective icon and alarm color like in the following pictures :
Hint : Press “End” button while having focus on your ListView and set it to autoscroll mode. Otherwise it keep visible the last selected item.
For an even more enhanced SharePoint debugging experience, combine the Visual Studio ULS Viewer with our other tool Visual Studio SharePoint Debugging Assistant : https://spassistant.codeplex.com
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