C#

How to setup recording & monitoring for C# applications

Requirements

  • C# project configuration
  • Any .NET application
  • Configured & installed RevDebug Server
To setup RevDeBug you will need to:
  1. 1.
    Add RevDeBug dependency
  2. 2.
    Configure the connection to RevDeBug Monitor

Adding RevDeBug dependency

Add RevDeBug NuGet repository to your solution. You can do that globally in Visual Studio settings:
Or by adding nuget.config file on solution level:
nuget.config
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration>
<packageSources>
<!--To inherit the global NuGet package sources remove the <clear/> line below -->
<clear />
<add key="nuget" value="https://api.nuget.org/v3/index.json" />
<add key="rdb" value="https://nexus.revdebug.com/repository/nuget/" />
</packageSources>
</configuration>
Next use the NuGet package manager to add RevDeBug dependencies by adding the following NuGet packages:
After searching for a RevDeBug package, select both:
  • For .NET Core application:
    • RevDeBug.Net.Compilers.Toolset
    • RevDeBugAPM.Agent.AspNetCore
  • For .NET Framework application:
    • RevDeBug.Net.Compilers.Toolset
    • RevDeBugAPM.Agent.AspNet

Configure the connection to RevDeBug Monitor

Add Directory.Build.props file on solution level
Directory.Build.props
<Project>
<PropertyGroup Condition="'$(RevDeBugDisableNuget)' != 'true'">
<RevDeBugActive>true</RevDeBugActive>
<UseRevDeBugOnThisProject>true</UseRevDeBugOnThisProject>
<RevDeBugStateStorageType>CrashRecorder</RevDeBugStateStorageType>
<SendToServer>true</SendToServer>
<RecorderAddress>127.0.0.1</RecorderAddress>
<RecorderTCPPort>42734</RecorderTCPPort>
<RevDeBugForceTLS>false</RevDeBugForceTLS>
<ImportGitInfo>true</ImportGitInfo>
</PropertyGroup>
<PropertyGroup Condition="'$(TargetFrameworkIdentifier)' != '.NETFramework'">
<isNetCore>true</isNetCore>
</PropertyGroup>
</Project>
There are several configurable fields:
  • RecorderTCPPort - Default port to connect to RevDeBug DevOps Monitor.
  • RecorderAddress - Here you have to enter the IP address or hostname of the recording servers (if you are using Docker, use Ifconfig command to get an IP address). It’s possible to send metatada to more than one server, just type another IP after comma.Recording will appear only on first address
  • RevDeBugForceTLS - Forces TLS connection with the server. Set this to true if your RevDeBug DevOps Monitor instance has been configured to work with a SSL certificate.
  • RevDeBugUseWarningOnFailedSend - Replaces error messages with warnings for metadata transfer process. Useful for non-mandatory builds.
Both these fields are used to connect to the data repository. In most cases, it is a RevDeBug server - a place to store recordings.
  • RevDeBugActive - Fast way to disable revdebug on your solution.
  • RevDeBugStateStorageType - this field is crucial for application performance. There are three values that you can use here:
    • Continuous - means that your application will be permanently connected to the RevDeBug server. Even if you select standby or emergency recording mode, the application will be connected. It will not stream data, but there will be a slight decrease in performance.
    • OnEvent - works on the contrary. The application connects to the RevDeBug server only for a specific event. And this event must come from the application. For example, a failure or a particular method or object you want to record.
    • Noop - this field is handy when you want to connect to the RevDeBug server only in case of an emergency, or you care about performance. For example, you can build your application with RevDeBug, prepare all events that should be recorded, but until you change this setting, nothing will be recorded.

RevDeBug Compiler Tools behaviour modifiers

You can use these settings to modify how RevDebug Compiler Tools (RCT) will transform your application code. By default all modifiers are active. To turn off a behaviour, you have to set a corresponding MSBuild property to false. If you want to change the behaviour for all projects, add the property modification to your Directory.Build.props file. If you want to change the behaviour for one project only or for a selected group of projects, add the property modification directly to your project MSBuild file/files or to *.user* file of that/those projects.
Available modifiers:
  • RevDeBugHttpClientHandlerInject - used with ASP .NET (legacy) projects only. If this modifier is active, RCT will inject HttpClient wrappers into your project, which will allow our APM agent to track HttpClient calls from your code. Default value: false.
  • RevDeBugStoreInject - if this modifier is active, RCT will inject internal tracking points and will create RevDeBug metadata. If you turn this modifier off, you won’t be able to create recordings or track exceptions with RevDebug Monitor. Default value: true.

Configure tracing

The first step to configure the RevDeBug APM agent is to create skyapm.json file. This file should be in the startup project. Make sure the skyapm.json file has been copied to the output directory after compilation.
skyapm.json
{
"SkyWalking": {
"ServiceName": "ServiceName",
"Namespace": "",
"HeaderVersions": [
"sw8"
],
"Sampling": {
"SamplePer3Secs": -1,
"Percentage": -1.0
},
"Logging": {
"Level": "Information",
"FilePath": "logs\\skyapm-{Date}.log"
},
"Transport": {
"Interval": 3000,
"ProtocolVersion": "v8",
"QueueSize": 30000,
"BatchSize": 3000,
"gRPC": {
"Servers": "[address]:11800",
"Timeout": 10000,
"ConnectTimeout": 10000,
"ReportTimeout": 600000,
"ForceTLS": false
}
}
}
}

Required settings

Options which setting is necessary for the proper functioning of your application with RevDeBug
Name
Explanation
Default
Transport.gRPC.Servers
Address of your RevDeBug server, remember you need to have communication between the application and RevDeBug port 11800 open
127.0.0.1:11800
Transport.gRPC.ForceTLS
For RevDeBug SSL enabled server it is necessary to use change the secure connection option to “true”
false
ServiceName
Name of the service as it will appear in the RevDeBug APM
ServiceName

Optional settings

Additional options that allow you to adjust RevDeBug APM Agent to your needs
Name
Explanation
Default
Sampling.SamplePer3Secs
Negative or zero means all traces are monitored (default). Any positive number means tracing only the number of requests in the 3 seconds window, every other trace will be dropped
-1
Transport - section
Transport level configuration. Not needed to alter in most use-cases
Transport.Interval
Trace sending interval (ms)
3000
Transport.QueueSize
Transport queue size for gRPC messages
30000
Transport.BatchSize
Batch size for gRPC messages
3000
Transport.gRPC.Timeout
Timeout for gRPC connection creation (ms)
10000
Transport.gRPC.ConnectTimeout
GRPC max connection time (ms)
10000

Troubleshooting

In case of .NET web applications under high traffic not all traces are being sent to RevDeBug server (will be seen a plateau on the number of connection graphs on the dashboard) setting of Transport.Interval and Transport.QueueSize need to be altered. Decreasing the Transport.Interval value to increase the frequency of sending data, and increase the Transport.QueueSize to send more data at a time
IMPORTANT NOTE: When you run ASP.NET Core application set environment variable ASPNETCORE_HOSTINGSTARTUPASSEMBLIES to RevDeBugAPM.Agent.AspNetCore

RevDeBug agent configuration using WebConfig

It is possible to configure selected revdebug agent options using the WebConfig file. At this moment we can change the following settings:
  • AgentActive - The option responsible for activating and deactivating the RevDeBug agent
  • ServiceInstanceName - Name of the application instance displayed in RevDeBug
<configuration>
<configSections>
<section name="revDeBugConfigs" type="SkyApm.Agent.AspNet.Configuration.AgentConfigsSection" />
</configSections>
<revDeBugConfigs agentActive="true" serviceInstanceName="servicename" />
</configuration>

Controlling RevDeBug with environment variables

Once the application is compiled with RevDeBug it reports exceptions and traces to the RevDeBug server. You can turn off this behavior without the need for recompilation. To do so, simply follow this instruction:
Set environment variable on the server where your application is running (this setting will turn off exception reporting):
REVDEBUG_CONNECTIVITY_TYPE=noop
To turn off traces reporting unset ASP.NET Core Hosting Assemblies environment variable
ASPNETCORE_HOSTINGSTARTUPASSEMBLIES