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Jolt Awards: Utilities

, July 24, 2012 The Jolt judges combed through more than 40 products to find the very best developer utilities. We now reveal the Jolt Award winner and the runners-up.
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Jolt Productivity Award: JetBrains dotTrace 5.1

JetBrains, the company that made its stripes with the high-end Java IDE, has long been a well-respected player in the .NET programming space on the strength of its ReSharper product. Its dotTrace performance and memory profiler might not be as well known, but it is certainly the best app profiler for .NET development. What distinguishes dotTrace 5.1 is its ease of use. It is a plugin that runs directly from Visual Studio and can run against any .NET binaries, including those on a remote machine. It offers data in a single snapshot or over many long runs to get the full application memory and performance profile. The resulting data is presented in a variety of useful formats that invite drilling down to see where the bottlenecks are occurring. You can drill down to a specific line of code, if you wish. Another feature captures program execution tracing so that you can see every function as it was called, what it called in turn, and who called it. This new version adds the ability to decompile code in the profiler when you discover a hotspot in a library for which you don't have the code. You can see the decompiled code and get some idea of which function is the culprit. This release has also shifted to monitoring remote machines via HTTP, rather than the earlier proprietary protocol. This step greatly simplifies set up and facilitates performance profiling of Web applications. This product will continue to solidify JetBrain's reputation as the top designer of code-level tools for developers.

— Andrew Binstock

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