Glimpse - server-side firebug for ASP.NET projects

    ASP.NET developers have a unique tool that can make their life easier. The open source project Glimpse, created by a web development enthusiast, offers what might be called the server version of the popular firebug debugging tool (extension for Firefox).

    Glimpse is an extension that you can add to an ASP.NET-based project and get rich debug server information while your web application is running.


    The panel shown in the figure is installed using a bookmarklet for any browser. It offers a lot of important information about the operation of the application on the server side . Including:
    • Web application configuration
    • the value of environment variables and information about .NET assemblies;
    • information on the stages of the application life cycle in response to a request;
    • Information about the ASP.NET routes used by the application
    • HTTP request parameters
    • ASP.NET session parameters and values ​​stored in them
    • ASP.NET view options and lifecycle
    • Tracking and working with Ajax requests.
    Like many tools today, Glimpse is available for easy, unattended installation through the NuGet package manager. Let us consider in detail the installation and use process.


    First of all, you can watch the video on the official Glimpse website, in which the author talks about his project:

    Install Glimpse

    Create a simple ASP.NET MVC project or open one available in Visual Studio 2010. To install Glimpse, just use one NuGet command:

    > install-package glimpse


    You can use the GUI and install the Glimpse package through the menu item “Add Library Package Reference”:


    After installing Glimpse becomes immediately available in your web application.

    Glimpse Launch

    Launch your application and go to your_address_address / glimpse / config . You will be taken to the Glimpse panel, which allows you to activate the Glimpse console and add a bookmarklet to your browser for quick activation.


    To activate the Glimpse console, simply click on the “Turn Climpse On” button. You can drag this button to the browser quick launch bar in order to activate Glimpse from there without going to the configuration page.

    Return to the main page of your application and you will see the icon of the hidden Glimpse panel:


    By clicking on the icon you will get access to the console.


    Work with Glimpse

    Working with the Glimpse console is no different from working with ordinary developer tools. Use the tabs to navigate through panels with different information.

    For example, go to the Routes tab and you will see information about the routes that were used to process the page. For the MVC project, by default, the panel will display the following information:


    You can see the route processing order and the selected route that was used to form the page with detailed information on its configuration.

    Working with Ajax requests requires a separate explanation. The XHRequests tab displays a list of completed requests on the page.


    In order to start exploring the data of a particular request, you must select it using the Launch link. After that, the Glimpse status bar will change its value to indicate working with the data of the Ajax request:


    Now you can examine the server and other data that related to this particular request:


    In order to return back to working with data throughout the page, select Reset link in the XHRequests tab.

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