Although it's always a good idea to design and build code to be as fast as possible, it's also a good idea to analyze and test your code once written to see where a little performance tweaking and tuning can do some good, or where resource consumption (particularly memory) could be economized. That's where automated analysis and profiling tools can come in really handy, since they approach code by looking at where and how much resources are consumed, measure code path lengths, look for structural inefficiencies (which may occasionally come from compilers, development environments and other elements of the Visual Studio world normally beyond developer control), and measure how code behaves under varying loads.
A surprisingly large number of tools fall into this general "automated performance or load test" category for VS.NET—enough of them, in fact, that it's not really practical to enumerate all of them in the context of a short tip like this one. But the listings at testingfaqs.org, which advertises itself as "an information resource for software tester" does an awfully good job with this topic on its Load and Performance test tools list page.
There you'll find lots of packages that take .NET either as an exclusive focus, or as one of several environments that such tools can serve. You'll also find detailed listings for and pointers to Web pages for all the testing tools mentioned in this category. The following products should be of particular interest to those seeking potential candidates to fill this role in their development environments:
- Redgate Software's ANTS Profiler
- Parasoft .TEST
- AutomatedQA AQTime
- Compuware Vantage (includes Application-, Client, Network-, and ServerVantage)
But even a small amount of digging into the subject of .NET performance monitoring, tuning, analysis, and tweaking will show that this is just the beginning of a very long list indeed.
Ed Tittel is a full-time writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security topics. E-mail Ed at email@example.com with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review.