Use DebugView to inspect variables and objects inside your BizTalk orchestrations

September 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm 5 comments

At the beginning of this month Microsoft released the new version of DebugView. This new release (4.77) includes the following improvements:

  • A command-line switch to enable or disable kernel-mode capture.
  • A switch to enable millisecond clock display.
  • A number of bug fixes.

DebugView is a very useful tool to monitor variables and code inside a BizTalk Orchestration. For example if you want to find quickly find out how a message has changed or is being processed inside an orchestration you only need to do the following:

Let’s suppose you are transforming a message inside your orchestration and you want to take a look at its content so you can find out if the transformation is performing as expected.

In this case you will need to define an Xml variable to temporary hold the contents of your message.



Next you will add an Expression Shape in the point of your orchestration where you want to know the content of the message and give it a descriptive name.


Now you will need to perform two simple steps:

  1. Assign the message to inspect to the Xml variable.
  2. Include a call to the method System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine() to display the information you need.


Finally in the Solution Configuration Manager select Debug as an Active solution configuration and deploy.


Now run DebugView and execute you integration process in BizTalk, the Xml variable message will appear displayed in the console window.


You can do the same process with any other kind or variable of object to inspect its content in runtime. Keep in mind however that DebugView hogs memory if you keep it logging data for extended periods of time, so pause it by disabling Capture Events in the Capture menu whenever not in use.



Entry filed under: BizTalk. Tags: , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Eduard  |  May 20, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    In my Configuration Manager (VS2010) there is only Deployment and Development, which is the Active one. There is no Debug configuration. Any help?

    • 2. Ignacio Quijas  |  May 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Use “Development” 🙂

      • 3. Eduard  |  May 21, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Thanks. I did it and nothing comes up in DebugView. Any suggestions?

  • 4. Eduard  |  May 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Ohhh… Finaly made it work. Solution was:
    1. Use Development as you mentioned already
    2. Setting “Restart Host Instances” to true in project Proprieties, Deployment tab.

    • 5. Ignacio Quijas  |  May 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Great! 🙂

      Next week I’ll share a post on how to use other tools for more extensive debugging.


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