Debugging can be a pain, regardless of what language you are using. I like to believe that using a compiled language with strong types makes this easier, but sometimes even C# devs can get stressed out when looking through deep collections or trying to figure out what could be triggering an application to fall over.

OzCode is a tool that has very quickly spread across the .NET community since it was born from its previous incarnation BugAid. It is an extension for Visual Studio that adds a number of valuable debugging aids, such as:

  • A better exception window with a full intelligent trail to indicate where an application fell over. No more digging through numerous innerexceptions!
  • Search functionality to collections. If you have a List with a hundred entries and you want to find one called Dave it only takes a small text search.
  • Clever iteration tools, allowing you to skip to a given item, or jump an interation using its "foresee" functionality. No more fiddling with conditional break points!
  • The ability to show all instances of a certain type. Want to find all items currently in an application's memory? Load the type in and see everything your program can use.
  • Adding log statements during runtime. This alone will save a ton of time for developers that need to constantly modify and recompile code to log an issue in their application.

After an initial play, OzCode compliments Visual Studio and ReSharper well. One worry for me would be running OzCode on a fully loaded machine, as a tool with as many features as OzCode boasts is sure to put some additional strain on a tool that is already a bit of a resource hog.

Currently, the documentation is lightweight, but things seem to be constantly improving, and I'm hopeful that within the next few months the documentation will pick up.

OzCode is one of those tools that boasts enough features for it to seem invaluable to a developer. If you're working on a reasonably fast machine, or are working on an application that may be a nuisance to debug I highly recommend that you give the 30 day trial a try. 

OzCode is $105 for a corporate license, and $75 for a personal license, but act fast as these prices are only for the first 5,000 customers.