Managing Symbol and Source Files in Software

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Managing Symbol and Source Files
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When the authorization to the source code is not controlled by a source revision system, the source files can be stored to a simple UNC share or an HTTP server The access to the source code is then restricted using the authorization mechanism supported by the backend storage The access to an HTTP server can be restricted using different mechanisms, ranging from basic authentication to client certificate authentication, all being supported by the debuggers Moving the source location from the source revision system to an HTTP server can be achieved in three steps, as follows: 1 We first extract all source files from the source revision control system, using the source server information stored by the source indexing process described in the earlier section Gathering Source File Information The file extraction is performed by using srctoolexe with the x option for each PDB file generated The source server tool set provides a helper batch file, walkcmd, that can enumerate all files from a specific folder and pass each filename to another command The following line executes srctoolexe for all symbol files we have in the public symbol folder
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C:\>walk C:\AWDBIN\symstorepri\*pdb srctool -x -d:C:\AWDBIN\sources
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The extracted sources are organized similarly to the tree shown in Listing 411, in a structure that enables multiple file versions to be simultaneously stored in the sources folder This tool is very powerful; it can extract all source files that were used to build the products Listing 411
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C:\AWD>tree c:\AWDBIN\sources /F/A Folder PATH listing Volume serial number is B817-38E9 C:\AWDBIN\SOURCES +--AWD | \--chapter3 | \--spydbgcpp | \--VERSION1 | spydbgcpp
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2 In the next step, we change the source file information stored in the symbol files The cv2httpcmd batch file, available in the source server installation folder, can change the source server information to the location of choice The next line changes the source server information to the book s HTTP site, http://wwwadvancedwindowsdebuggingcom:
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C:\>walk C:\AWDBIN\symstorepri\*pdb cv2httpcmd HTTP_AWD http://wwwadvancedwindowsdebuggingcom/sources
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4 MANAGING SYMBOL AND SOURCE FILES
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If the desired source server location is an UNC path or an HTTPS address, this address replaces the URL used in the previous command line HTTP_AWD is a simple variable that can be ignored in most cases The source server documentation explains how to use this variable, if necessary 3 In the final step, the folder containing all sources is added to the HTTP server as a virtual directory, enabled for browsing A snapshot of the virtual folder settings is displayed in Figure 45, which was taken from the Internet Information Services MMC snap-in running on Windows Vista
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Be aware that the symbol files prepared in this way have no trace of the original source revision control system If that is required, the original symbol files should be preserved before starting the operation described in this section
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Debugging Tools for Windows provides additional tools, enabling all Windows platform developers to manage the symbol files and maintain the source server information for their modules A variation on the steps described in this chapter can be integrated in the release management process of important release This phase is important in providing support for the application Although it seems daunting at first glance, we want to assure you that the steps required are trivial For example, we created an entire process for all book samples in the form of a very simple batch file, called releasecmd, that does it all It creates the binary for the specific processor architecture used to start the WDK console, and it splits the symbols into private and public symbols that are stored in the respective symbol stores The private symbol files are later used to extract the source files from the source revision control management The source server information is replaced with the HTTP server information We then manually copied all the files from the symbol servers and the source server folder to the book s Web site This process can be easily automated or integrated in your software release process Whether you use a very simple process or a specialized tool that integrates all those steps, the process of indexing all those files must be done 13, Postmortem Debugging, describes how to integrate your product into the Windows Error Reporting system The rest of the chapters are full of information that will help you to understand the cause of the crash reported through the WER mechanism Without the source file information in the symbol files, we can still retrieve a good source file version from the source revision control system That is not great, but it is acceptable Without a symbol file, the success rate of fixing a WER report drops closer to zero The customer will experience the problem over and over until the next version of the product is released Will the new version fix the problem That question is impossible to answer, but most probably the problem will remain
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