A common misconception among developers is that Debugging Tools for Windows is a package exclusively reserved for “native” developers. While it is true that the package doesn’t have inherent support for managed code, Microsoft developed a very powerful debugger extension called SOS that can be used to troubleshoot extremely difficult bugs in managed code applications.
Furthermore, the importance of the SOS debugger extension led the Silverlight team to retrofit SOS to work on the Silverlight CLR as well and make the debugger extension available to the general public. It is an extremely powerful extension that can be used to efficiently debug problems that can otherwise be very tricky to nail down using other debuggers.
In this article, we took a brief look at a simple and faulty Silverlight application and how the Debugging Tools for Windows, in accordance with SOS, can be used to efficiently troubleshoot the root cause. While the application was rather simple, it served to illustrate the process of debugging Silverlight applications, and the process used is applicable to any type of application fault. To get indepth knowledge about debugging .NET applications, I recommend reading my book Advanced .NET Debugging, which takes a detailed tour of the CLR and the SOS debugger extension, and how to debug tough .NET application bugs.