.NET Tip: Debugging: Dynamically Determining the Name of the Current Function

Determining function names dynamically can simplify your debugging and trace logic as well as ensure that your trace messages match the actual code that generated them. All you have to do is wrap all your calls to Trace() with your own custom function. This utility function then can reference the stack frame to find the name of the function that called it. Here is the utility function:

public static void TraceContext(string FormattedMessage)
{
   Trace.WriteLine(string.Format(FormattedMessage,
      new System.Diagnostics.StackFrame(1).GetMethod().Name));
}

This function takes the message to output to Trace() and replaces the '{0}' in the message string with the name of the function that called TraceContext(). That is really all there is to it. To test the function, I created a form and added a button. In the button's click event, I call TraceContext() and call another function that also calls TraceContext(). Here is the sample code for calling TraceContext():

private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
   TraceContext("In event handler: {0}");
   DynamicNameTest();
}

private void DynamicNameTest()
{
   TraceContext("In function: {0}");
}

Here is the trace output when the button is clicked:

In event handler: button1_Click
In function: DynamicNameTest

You now can have confidence in your trace output because you do not have any hard-coded function names in your messages.

About the Author

Jay Miller is a Software Engineer with Electronic Tracking Systems, a company dedicated to robbery prevention, apprehension, and recovery based in Carrollton, Texas. Jay has been working with .NET since the release of the first beta and is co-author of Learn Microsoft Visual Basic.Net In a Weekend. Jay can be reached via email at jmiller@sm-ets.com.



Comments

  • Alternative

    Posted by jmcilhinney on 09/11/2007 09:14am

    System.Reflection.MethodBase.GetCurrentMethod().Name will give you the name of the current method.

    Reply
  • Clear and precise explanation

    Posted by JonnyPoet on 09/09/2007 01:16pm

    Very clear description of how to do,makes debugging easier

    Reply
Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • The explosion in mobile devices and applications has generated a great deal of interest in APIs. Today's businesses are under increased pressure to make it easy to build apps, supply tools to help developers work more quickly, and deploy operational analytics so they can track users, developers, application performance, and more. Apigee Edge provides comprehensive API delivery tools and both operational and business-level analytics in an integrated platform. It is available as on-premise software or through …

  • Not long ago, security was viewed as one of the biggest obstacles to widespread adoption of cloud-based deployments for enterprise software solutions. However, the combination of advancing technology and an increasing variety of threats that companies must guard against is rapidly turning the tide. Cloud vendors typically offer a much higher level of data center and virtual system security than most organizations can or will build out on their own. Read this white paper to learn the five ways that cloud …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

Latest Developer Headlines

RSS Feeds