VSS and WinDBG ++ Together at Last


Are you a hardcore debugger:  a kernel-mode, device driver-writin’ stud?  Do you avoid chrome-plated GUI and your mouse at all costs?  If so, you can stop right now. This post isn’t exactly for you.


At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re one of the vast majority of my twenty three readers who are happy and content with the Visual Studio debugger, take a gander at iUnknown’s WinDBG Rocks and Saikat Sen’s phenomenal WinDBG tutorial.  WinDBaG, as it is affectionately known inside Microsoft, is powerful, free, and has a much smaller footprint than Visual Studio, all of which make it the ideal debugger for non-development machines.


If you are a post-hardcore debugger and WinDBG beta convert (or potential convert:-), I have some good, good news to share:


The WinDBG beta includes a “source server” component that enables you to retrieve the exact version of the sources used to build the PDB file from a source control database or repository, directly and on-the-fly.  The WinDBG Beta download does not provide a way to retrieve sources from a Visual SourceSafe (VSS) database in particular. I do.


If the ability to retrieve sources from a VSS database to investigate issues on-the-fly sounds like something that you might put to good or even nefarious use, I’ll be happy to send you a program that does just that. In return, I ask only three things:



  1. Share and share alike.

  2. Read the attached README prior to use and;

  3. Provide me and my team with a little feedback about the tool, in the comments for this post or via email.

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This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Comments (19)

  1. Korby Parnell posts that a new beta version of a free debugging tool from Microsoft has the ability to integrate with Visual SourceSafe (VSS). I am not familiar with this tool, but it sounds like it could be very useful…

  2. JJ says:

    About SourceSafe 2004 (VS Preview):

    Will is be ok to post feedbackquestion about it here? Is there an official place where we should post that?

  3. I suppose I’m about as close to the VSS development team as you can get. Ask away.

  4. Hi Sam,

    It was nice to see you at the MVP summit! I hope next time it’s a bit quieter so we can talk. The link to codeproject works for me…

    Korby

  5. Sam Gentile says:

    Yes it was awesome to hang out with you and Luara. Next time we’ll have to do it when the music isn’t so loud-)

    Yes, the link works now. Must have been a network problem on my part.

  6. JJ says:

    My feedbackquestions:

    1. Remote access doesn’t seem to work. The webservice is not installed and i don’t see any option to connect to it from VSS exploer.

    2. How’s the Webservice going to work? Will we have a different interface (Web-Based) to access it, or will the VSS explorer use it?

    3. What does the VSS helper service do? Does the client connect to it using TCPIP?

    4. The help for VSS is not installed.

    5. Any chance that the VSS API will have more options? I have some ideas but i just want to make sure before i post them.

    6. Will the new namespace extension work outside Visual Studio? I managed to make it work but it only have a "rename" command. Are you considering adding other commands too?

    7. Please start VSS and Outlook 2003 on the same machine. See the differences between menu colors and such. The new look is .. ahem.. not so attractive.

    I have more – but let see how you deal with these first..:)

    Thanks!

  7. Hi JJ — Remote access can be configured through the Server menu in VSS Administrator for the version we’re calling VSS8 internally. However, Remote access is only available in Visual Studio when VSS is your plug-in. Frankly, I think it should be available in VSS Explorer but I don’t make the tough decisions, I just write the docs that attempt to explain them, when possible. "VSS Helper Service"? Do you mean the LAN Performance booster? If so, it’s an RPC thing. The help for VSS is not installed? What version of Visual Studio are you using? Help should be in place and working for the Beta 1 release due out later this spring. Don’t expect _too_ much for Beta 1. I’m in the process of completely revamping the docs for the standalone VSS Explorer and VSS Administrator. By "namespace extension", do you mean namespace change propagation? Rename, move, and delete propagation? If so, the feature is enabled via new MSSCCI functions and are therefore consumable outside Visual Studio. If you’re referring to Namespace Extension in the Open dialog boxes in Visual Studio, the answer is no. If this is the case, I’m anxious to learn how you enabled it ouside Visual Studio… Feel free to contact me offline. K-

  8. Staffan Gustafsson says:

    Any chance for documentation on how to write your own srcsrv.dll?

    We are using perforce, so is should be very similar to the one for Source Depot.

    What are the plans for srcsrv?

    Thx,

    /Staffan

  9. Pat Styles says:

    Staffan, The version of srcsrv.dll that ships with the debugger already supports Perforce.

  10. I have just revisited this after some internal discussion with my friends

    Katie King and Cappy Popp,…

  11. I have just revisited this after some internal discussion with my friends

    Katie King and Cappy Popp,…

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  15. Hey, This is a pretty old post, but I was curious if this tool was still available? I’d be interested in playing with it.

    Thanks!

  16. I have just revisited this after some internal discussion with my friends Katie King and Cappy Popp,