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SvcPerf - Trace Analysis Tool for WCF Released

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SvcPerf, recently released by Microsoft is an end to end Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) based trace viewer for manifest based traces. The tool enables you to view ETL files or live trace sessions and will have an ability to create custom queries.

The tool is an end to end trace analysis tool for WCF/WF and other activity based ETW traces and is based on Linq over Traces (TX). It enables you to view ETL files or live trace sessions and will have an ability to create custom queries.

SvcPerf can also be used from command prompt to dump raw events or perform custom queries using linq over traces. The tool provides support for raw ETL files when compared to other tools. In addition to ETL viewer, it also acts as a query engine built on top of LINQ to Traces (Tx) and has a file count limit of 64.

In order to work with the tool, double click SvcPerf.exe and locate the ETL file, which is also called as Windows Performance Analyzer Trace file. You need to press F5 key to view the event logs after the timeline is loaded. After that you can perform filter operations by following the guidelines listed on the user guide.

The ETL file can also be loaded either from command line prompt

SvcPerf <File_Name>

You can also load manifests which is an XML based file that defines all events that providers write along with their layout information. The file can be loaded either using Add Manifest option under Manifest menu or from the command prompt:

SvcPerf.exe /m:<Manifest1> /m:<Manifest2>

SvcPerf provides support for dynamic filters such as Source, View and Search. In the Source mode, filters are applied to the incoming event source. The View mode enables you to capture source stream of events in memory and filters can be applied on top of this. The search mode is capable of performing case insensitive search based on events loaded in the grid. You can also use expression filters which are examined in detail on the official user guide. Moreover, ActivityId field or the RelatedActivityId field can be used to filter the logs to the specific activity.

"SvcPerf is a very useful tool for WCF developers," says Arman McHitaryan, Software developer, Altacode.

SvcPerf tool can also be used to execute free form queries that make use of Dump() extension to display the result as tabular or graphical forms such as histograms or performance counter Microsoft has explained all the concepts related to the tool in detail with the help of source codes and screenshots in the user guide released along with the tool.

"It'd be really nice to get some better ETW support in the .NET Framework. The EventSource is an alright first start but lacks the channel support to get good visibility within Event Viewer," mentions Colin Bowern.

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