Profiling bigger, more complex applications


I'm contemplating the purchase of ANTS for our project. However, I'm curious when it comes to the usefulness and performance of ANTS when it comes to larger applications. The projecs profiled in the demonstration video are very small and not complex. I have over a hundred source code files (which still isn't big at all) of an application that has intensive GUI which means that things don't happen sequentially.

Not knowing ANTS I'm not sure what are the best questions to ask but:
- How much slower will my application run with profiling turned on?
- How easy will it be to drill down in search for information given that the entire application generates calls to hundreds of methods and creates thousands of objects?
- Can I narrow the scope of the profiled code to a module or a set of classes?
- Can I turn performance profiling on and off while my app is executing to take a look at specific operations?
- Etc.

In other words, is there a limit code base size beyond which it becomes difficult to interpret the results and find answers?

Michal Blazejczyk
Lead Programmer
Genome Quebec


  • Brian DonahueBrian Donahue Posts: 6,590 New member
    Hello Michal,

    I'd say it depends on how the application is structured. ANTS Profiler can help in the following ways:

    1. There is a summary screen outlining the slowest methods and lines of code
    2. There are many filtering options available
    3. The profiler can be disabled/reset

    The most obvious filter is the default one -- to show only your code, not third-party/Microsoft code. But there is a custom filter which you can use to tell Profiler to only collect data for certain namespaces. If you have many dll assemblies in their own namespace, you can filter on specific dlls.

    If you get to a certain part of the application that you believe to be a problem, you can get to that point in that application and reset the profiler, effectively throwing away all previous results collected, so you can focus on the problem area. Likewise, the profiler can be disabled to allow you to get to the interesting point in the application, where again you can enable and begin collecting information again.
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