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by Gary Wisniewski - Spider Eye Studios
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I've just discovered something really useful... or, maybe I'm totally stupid and I just discovered the obvious ... you tell me.

You can use the VC++ debugger to debug VB5 ActiveXs DLLs while they're running from inetinfo.exe, setting breakpoints, examining variables, etc., all with the full power of the VC++ debugging environment and a live connection to IIS as it's running.

OK ... if you knew this, read no further because I'm about to embarrass myself. But, if this is news, it may be the saviour for those really tough-to-find ActiveX DLL bugs which you just can't figure out.

Here's how:

  1. Compile your VB5 DLL native and check the symbolic debugging option.
  2. Run VC++.
  3. Open inetinfo.exe.
  4. Go to Project settings, Debug. As the executable, make sure it says inetinfo.exe. Under program arguments, set it to "-e W3SVC". Use the drop-down combo to choose "Additional DLLs" and point to your ActiveX server DLL.
  5. Open your BAS and CLS files and set breakpoints where you wish.
  6. Ensure IIS isn't running.
  7. Choose "Start Debug->Go" in the Build menu.
  8. Debug until you're blue in the face.

This came as a total revelation to me, and one of the absolutely coolest things since… well, never mind!

Written by: Gary Wisniewski
January '98

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