Debugging hidden features in SharePoint

Well it’s been a while since I have done a blog entry so I thought I would ease myself back into them with a small post about how to debug a hidden feature.

As everyone knows in SharePoint you have the ability to make a feature hidden which means it doesn’t show up via the UI. This is useful if you don’t want users deactivating or activating a feature in the wrong site etc and making a mess of things. However, to debug these features I until quite recently use to switch the “hidden” attribute back to “false” so I could activate the feature via the UI and attached the debugger to the “w3wp” to see what gremlins were making my code go up in a cloud of smoke. However I learnt the other day about the “Debugger.Launch();” method which enables you to launch a debugger for your code and attach to the relevant process to enabling debugging (see

Now all I need to do when I want to debug my hidden feature is add “System.Diagnostics.Debugger.Launch();” at the start of the feature activate or deactivate. Additionally this same technique can be used to debug custom stsadm commands.

June 16 2009
blog comments powered by Disqus