Debugging NHibernate: session management

Invalid session management is one of the common problems when using NHibernate and can lead to severe issues such as memory leaks or data inconsistency. In this post I am going to show you how to eliminate those pitfalls using the Visual Studio debugger. We will step through the process of opening and closing the session. We will also have a look at its properties in order to check if entities are correctly persisted. Let’s start then from breaking into the session open event.

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Take advantage of Reference Paths in Visual Studio and debug locally referenced libraries

Are you using NHibernate or other open-source library in your project? I’m pretty sure that you are. Have you ever wondered what’s happening “under the cover” when you call Session.Get or perform a query? You probably did. The problem is that usually all the external assemblies are stored in one directory (libs, packages, reflibs etc.) with no symbol files or sources. In this post I would like to show you how you can benefit from project’s ReferencePath property and debug the source code of your libraries at any time you want.
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Visual Studio source server cache

Have you ever wondered where Visual Studio 2008/2010 stores the source files that it downloads from the source server? By default they are put in your home directory under Local Settings\Applications Data\SourceServer. If you are using two different debuggers or you have more than one user using your machine you probably would like to change this location. Unfortunately there is no way to do that through the options dialog. You are left with two options described below:

  • through registry – by changing a value of the SourceServerExtractToDirectory key in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Debugger\ branch
  • through options file – locate your Visual Studio settings file (its path should be displayed under Tools->Options->Import and Export Settings), then a tag: <PropertyValue name=”SourceServerExtractToDirectory”> and change it’s value to your desired cache directory

If you know any other way of changing this Visual Studio setting, please describe it in the comment.