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SmartInspect 2.0
by John Spano | Published  08/08/2007 | Software Reviews | Rating:
John Spano

John Spano cofounder and CTO of NeoTekSystems, a Greenville, South Carolina technology consulting company. NeoTekSystems offers IT consulting, custom programming, web design and web hosting. We specialize in Microsoft .Net enterprise development and business design.

I have six years of experience in software architecture. My primary focus is on Microsoft technologies, and I have been involved in .NET since beta 1. I currently hold a MCSD certification, 2 MCTS's (Windows, Web) a MCPD in Distributed, 2 MCITP's, a Microsoft MVP, and have won the Helper of the Month contest for July 2002 in the devCity.NET forums.

Corporate URL: www.NeoTekSystems.com
Primary email: JSpano@NeoTekSystems.com
Alternate email: Jspano@devcity.net.

 

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SmartInspect Review

                Gurock Software has released version 2.0 of their SmartInspect product.  SmartInspect is a full logging utility for Dot Net.  I had the opportunity to review version 1.0 for DevCity.Net.  You can check out that review here.  In this review we’ll check out the new features that have been added to 2.0 and see what it offers.

                There are over one hundred new features in version 2 of SmartInspect.  I suggest you check out their what’s new page for a list of all of them.  I’m going to concentrate on several of the top ones, including the watches graph, memory and text protocols and the new view enhancements like markers and the new filters they added.

Watches Graph

                Let’s look at the watches graph first.  It allows you to graphically see any watches you have.  In the following screen shot you’ll see a graph of the number of clients that are connection to a web site over time.  You can track any variable this way allowing a quick overview of what’s happing with your application.

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Memory and Text Protocols

                Along with simple file writes, you have several other options to store your logs in.  The memory protocol stores all logs in memory.  This allows you to have full control over them and write them out when you want to.  You could go to a file output, database output or whatever you need for your application. 

                The text protocol allows you to output logs in a formatted text file.  You can use format tags and prepare output for review by customers or nontechnical staff that you don’t want to show raw log files to.  An example might include a timestamp with some of the tracked parameters like session and title.

text(pattern="[%timestamp%] %session%: %title% (Level: %level%)")

They can also be read by a simple text editor so you don’t have to have the SmartInspect console to view them.

Markers and Filters

                Markers are responsible for colorizing certain log entries in the SmartInspect console.  You can colorize specific lines or apply a filter to the console that will color all lines that meet that filter for easy viewing.  You’ll see some markers applied in the screen shot below.

                Filters have been expanded to make multi view filtering much easier.  You can also specify inverse filters so it will highlight all rows that are different from the filter.  Title filtering can now also be done to filter rows based on their title.  Overall the filtering system has been made much easier to work with and has some powerful new options.

                SmartInspect has always been a very well written logging product.  With the release of version 2, it’s much more powerful and easy to use now.  I highly recommend it and suggest you download the trial version and see how it can simplify your application logging.

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