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Debugging Client/Server Side Scripts

Debugging Client/Server Side Scripts


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by Sandipan Datta

A facility for script debugging is something which we all need when we write ASP or client-side scripts. Microsoft provides the Microsoft Script Debugger with IIS 4.0. Otherwise the setup program can be downloaded from the Microsoft Web Site. On setting up the debugger, we need to open IE. On clicking on the View menu item, if Script Debugger appears ( as it will do if the setup has gone right ), we are ready to debug!

A facility for script debugging is something which we all need when we write ASP or client-side scripts. Microsoft provides the Microsoft Script Debugger with IIS 4.0.

Now before we proceed further, a few things need to be set clear. This debugger runs only on IE browsers. And server side code can only be debugged by sitting on the server machine.

Client side debugging: To debug a client-side script, what we need to do is simple. At the place where a breakpoint needs to be set , type in the command debugger; for JavaScript. If you are using VBScript for client-side scripting then the command is stop Then start off the page/site. As the page execution reaches the breakpoint, the Debugger opens up and the subsequent code can be walked through as in other debugging environments. To view variable values, we use the Command Window. This is a window which can be opened by clicking Command Window on the View menu item in the Script Debugger. Inside this, we can type in the variable name and press enter. The current run-time value appears below the variable.

Server side debugging: To debug server side scripts, we first need to enable ASP Debugging on IIS. To achieve this, we can open the Internet Service Manager and then right-click on the required web. On selecting Properties, the properties dialog box opens up. In the Directories tab, on clicking Configuration , we go to a dialog where there is a tab on ASP debugging. This needs to be clicked ( a check box ) to enable server-side debugging.

Once this is done, we can go to the code, type in stop ( for VBScript ) where we want the breakpoint and start up the site. The script debugger will be opened up at the appropriate point and we can debug. One important thing, the debugging option should be disabled after we are done.

I hope this article will enable you to start debugging your ASP/Web applications. Of course once you have installed the Script Debugger, help files come with it to facilitate more advanced use.

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This article was originally published on Jun 7, 1999
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