An essential tool for every WPF/Silverlight developer

Last year i blogged about a great product called Silverlight Spy from First Floor Software. Silverlight Spy is an run time inspection tool that allows the developer to exmaine various aspeccts of their Silverlight or Windows Phone 7 application. It provides the ability to visually debug, examine XAML, identify application bottlenecks and understand why the application is behaving as it does. My only complaint about the product was what about all the developers who were developing in WPF? Well back in the summer of 2012, First Floor Software answered that question and released XAML Spy. XAML Spy works in Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone, and WinRT. In addition, it also works with Windows Surface. It is now the upgrade to Silverlight Spy. Think of it as Silverlight Spy promoted to new platforms. It has all the wonderful capibilities of Silverlight Spy and works on additional platforms.

Over this next year, I place to blog about my experience developing a line of business application in WPF using IdeaBlade Devforce and Intersoft ClientUI tools. I plan to blog also on how to use XAML Spy to reduce development and debugging time. I am a firm believer that XAML Spy is a necessary tool in every Silverlight/WPF/Windows Phone developers toolbox. I can honestly say that using XAML Spy will make the development and debugging process easier and reduce the amount of time needed to make the product ready for release. And isn’t that the goal that as developers we try strive for? First Floor Software has made a valuable but yet affordable product that no developer should be without.

While I will cover in more detail in later blogs the features of XAML Spy, let me enumerate some of my favorite ones. XAML Spy povides a much cleaner interface than Silverlight Spy. The developer can now focus on the content of their application much more easily. In addition, it is a separate windows application. This feature alone allows for some great new possibilities. The best new feature is remote debugging. I can use XAML Spy to remotely debug a Windows Phone application running on a Windows Phone. I can also specifiy which emulator I want to use. And to increase speed of debugging XAML Spy uses TCP sockets to connect to the Windows Phone as opposed to HTTP polling as was used by Silverlight Spy. Not only that I can remotely debug Silverlight applications running on MACOS and applications running on a S
urface device

One of the most important things I like about First Floor Software is their frequent updates to this product. Since the initial release in the summer of 2012, the company has come out with 7 updates. As a developer this allows me to be confident that I am using a product that is continually being improved and reported bugs are being fixed in a timely manner.

I am not an employee of First Floor Software. I am a developer who is continually looking for ways to improve productivity to reduce my development time and to allow me to get a product more quickly from my development machine to the clients machine.

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