Developer Dashboard in SharePoint 2010

Written By: Arshad Ali -- 11/23/2010 -- join -- contribute -- (0) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Infrastructure, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, System Administration

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Do users complain about SharePoint performance? Prior to SharePoint 2010, tracking down performance bottlenecks might involve attaching a debugger to code and enabling a trace from the SQL Server Profiler. Now, with SharePoint 2010, you can use a cool new feature called Developer Dashboard.


The SharePoint 2010 Developer Dashboard displays tracing and diagnostic information about page rendering and includes information about page components, controls, queries and execution time (an analogy of ASP.NET page tracing).

The Developer Dashboard feature is disabled by default and can be enabled or used on demand either by using STSADM SharePoint Administrative tool or a PowerShell cmdlet or using an API object model. The Unified Logging Service (ULS) logs contain information details about performance issues and resource usage, but analyzing ULS raw data is very difficult and takes time. The Developer Dashboard displays all of this information in a graphical way which makes understanding/troubleshooting quite easier.

The Developer Dashboard works in three different modes.

If you are changing it programmatically, you would use this enumeration : SPDeveloperDashboardLevel), by default it's in OFF mode where it will not capture any tracing information (no debugging information instrumentation).

You can make it capture tracing information On-Demand (allows toggling to capture data or not) or you can put it in ON mode where it will capture all the tracing information all the time. This information is displayed on the bottom of the every page which uses a SharePoint Foundation 2010 master page or a custom master page included with the Dashboard control. You even include Dashboard control on any specific page you want, for detail refer to "Using Developer Dashboard on Custom Master Pages" section on this link.

Enabling/Disabling Developer Dashboard with STSADM

On a SharePoint 2010 installation, STSADM (by default) is in "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\BIN".

To turn it off (execute either of these two commands)

stsadm -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv off
stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname developer-dashboard -propertyvalue off

To turn it on demand (execute either of these two commands

stsadm -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv OnDemand
stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname developer-dashboard -propertyvalue OnDemand

When you enable Developer Dashboard on demand, you will notice a small icon on the top right corner of the page as shown below. Clicking on this icon will put the Developer Dashboard on the bottom section of the page. You can use this icon to toggle ON or OFF the Developer Dashboard.

To turn it on (execute either of these two commands)

stsadm -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv On
stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname developer-dashboard -propertyvalue On

Once you have enabled the Developer Dashboard, you will see similar information as shown below on your pages. This information includes performance counters which measure usage and resource consumption at the stage of the processing request . For example, Execution start time, Thread execution time, URL of the request, SQL statements generated by the request processing, call stack information about each WCF call, etc.. You can click on the link "Show or hide additional tracing information" shown on left bottom corner to display additional tracing information.

You can hover the mouse over each of the sections and a pop up will display additional information (as below):

Notice that database calls are hyperlinks. Clicking on this link will give you a complete picture about the SQL Command executed, the numbers of parameters passed and returned, IO stats from SQL and the call stack as you can see below:

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