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Installing dynaTrace Free Ajax Edition

After reviewing the enterprise version of dynaTrace and recovering from sticker shock, I was intrigued by the free version of the product: dynaTrace Java Edition. There's a number of freeware tools that I've added to my copy of Visual Studio and this looked like a potentially useful addition. I discussed the role that the free version plays in dynaTrace's marketing strategy earlier in a recent blog post.

dynaTrace provides tracing capabilities for your .NET (or Java) applications -- following a thread of execution across multiple tiers, classes and threads (with version 3.2). It also costs $10,000.

dynaTrace Ajax Edition does something simpler: track the thread of execution through JavaScript code executing in Internet Explorer. Purportedly, dynaTrace will even handle tracing asynchronous calls to Web Services, allowing you to see how much of your response time is being eaten by your browser and how much is eaten by calling a server-side process.

I had downloaded version 1.4 some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to using it. I decided that I should get the latest version (1.6) from http://ajax.dynatrace.com/pages/. But, after returning to the site and logging in (you have to register to get the download) I was told that I didn't have permission to access the resource.

Fortunately, I take rejection well (hey, I used to date). I decided to stick with version 1.4. I also took advantage of the benefits of working for Visual Studio Magazine: I sent an e-mail to the marketing guy I worked with on the original review of the Enterprise product. It's entirely possible that I can't have the free edition because I still have my review copy of the full version installed. I'll find out.

Installing dynaTrace is a snap, and it adds a new menu choice to your Start menu. Note that this product does not integrate with Visual Studio. If you're interested in the kind of code you can trace, you can look at the sample app I used in my article on jQuery and subsequently extended over a series of Practical ASP.NET columns.

By the way: As soon as I started dynaTrace, it informed me that a new version was available and asked if I wanted to download it. I clicked the link in the dialog, taking me to the dynaTrace site where I tried downloading the application again. The site still wouldn't let me have the latest version.

A guy can get an inferiority complex from this kind of constant rejection. I'll soldier on with version 1.4.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 04/16/2010 at 1:16 PM

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