AmberPoint Instruments Visual Studio .NET

New tool improves ability to debug and test Visual Studio .NET applications by monitoring messages, performance and SOAP fault ratios.

Web services management provider AmberPoint Inc. today targeted attendees at Microsofts Professional Developers Conference with a new product line integrates with Visual Studio .Net.

At the same time, Microsoft and AmberPoint announced that Microsoft will bundle a customized version of the new AmberPoint Express tool in "Whidbey" – the next release of Visual Studio .Net due out by mid-next year.

The new AmberPoint Express tool helps Microsoft deliver on its goal of encouraging developers to create applications that are readily managed. The new tool makes it simple for developers to instrument their applications to collect the necessary data to troubleshoot Web services problems.

"It is non-invasive. There is no specialized management library or set of controls you have to wire in. It automatically happens once the web service is completed. Theres no special coding you have to do to the web service while it is being built," said Ed Horst, vice president of marketing at the Oakland, Calif. company.

The product is designed to give Web services developers a real-time view into how their applications are performing and behaving during the test phase. This should allow developers to better fine-tune those applications before deployment into a production environment.

AmberPoint Express can be launched directly from within Visual Studio .NET. The program reads Visual Studios meta data by using Web Services Description Language files. It also monitors the formatted messages going in and out of a system. "Visual Studio .Net produces the web services, Express automatically configures an agent if there isnt one and it starts collecting information it knows about," described Horst.

During the application test phase, the tool can visually depict spikes in performance. Developers can click on those graphs and drill down into the messages generated when the spike occured. The program formats request and response messages in an easily readable format. Those messages can then be re-submitted for further execution, or they can be modified. In addition, new data values can be added or existing ones subtracted without having to write additional code.

Developers can share data with Quality Assurance testers and operations personnel using a browser-based interface,. With performance monitoring, it can also track response time, throughput, SOAP fault counts and SOAP fault ratios.

AmberPoint Express, which executes in native Microsoft Visual C# .NET, uses the Web services system libraries of Microsofts Common Language Runtime (CLR). AmberPoint distributed an early release of the tool for free to attendees. It will be generally available later in this quarter.

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