Deploy PDB files into production to ease exception report investigation.

 

 For a long time I believed that PDB as a part of debugging information should not be included in production deployment. Recently my colleague suggested to copy them to simplify exception investigations. 

 

The following  SO discussion convinced us that it is a good idea  ( at least for web sites).

 http://stackoverflow.com/questions/933883/are-there-any-security-issues-leaving-the-pdb-debug-files-on-the-live-servers

    These files will not be exposed to the public if kept in the right places (website\bin). 

 
 So we decided to deploy the PDBs into production.
 

BTW, if you include PDBs with your deployments, you don't need to store them in a symbol server,

 as it is suggested in http://www.wintellect.com/CS/blogs/jrobbins/archive/2009/05/11/pdb-files-what-every-developer-must-know.aspx

However we found that  PDBs   were generated not for all DLLs.  After some analysis we believe that MS changed default settings starting from VS 2008 (or may be since VS 2005) and make generation of PDB-only even for release mode. This is why older projects had generation of PDBs disabled.

To change setting in Visual Studio there is an option in the "Project Properties", "Build", "Advanced...".

Change "Debug Info:" to PDB-only.

The screenshots are available in the posthttp://callicode.com/Homeltpagegt/tabid/38/EntryId/24/How-to-disable-pdb-generation-in-Visual-Studio-2008.aspx

 

Related links:
The article http://blog.vuscode.com/malovicn/archive/2007/08/05/releasing-the-build.aspx compares different options for debug and release and confirms that in 2007 pdbonly was the default for release configuration of visual studio                  

/optimize+ /debug:pdbonly (release configuration of visual studio)

The article Include .pdb files in Web Application Publish for Release mode (VS2012)  wasn't applicable for us, but may be useful for someone else.
posted @ Saturday, May 4, 2013 1:03 PM
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