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                                  • Description:
                                    I know that the Visual Studio compiler generates PDB files for assemblies and I can use them for debugging. Is it possible to get PDB files for DevExpress assemblies to debug them?

                                    Yes, it is possible. We provide PDB files starting with version 13.1. If you have a subscription that includes our source code (Universal or DXperience), these files are available for download from your Download Manager.
                                    Perform the following steps to include PDB files when debugging:

                                    1. Download the PDB files for the version that is installed on your machine. If you have two or more major versions installed, you can debug each of them. In this case, it is necessary to download PDB files for all versions installed on your machine. See the Understanding the DevExpress product versions and release dates KB article for more information on DevExpress .NET product versioning.
                                    If you upgrade your product version, you will need to download a new version of PDB files as well.
                                    2. Register a path to the PDB files in the Visual Studio Options dialog window. To access this window, select Tools -> Options... in the main menu. In the invoked Options window, expand the Debugging node and select Symbols, as illustrated in the image below.

                                    Note that if you need to debug our Silverlight assemblies, the folder that contains PDB files for them is located in the Silverlight folder of the downloaded archive.
                                    After this, you will be able to debug the source code. Click the F11 key to execute the "Step Into" command. See the Debugging in Visual Studio MSDN article for more information.
                                    When you navigate to our code, Visual Studio will ask you for a source code file. You will see the following dialog:

                                    At the top, this dialog shows a path to the source code file as it was compiled on our side. It is necessary to locate the same file on your machine. For example, in this dialog, Visual Studio asks me for the C:\Projects\13.1\BuildLabel\Temp\NetStudio.v13.1.2005\Win\DevExpress.XtraBars\DevExpress.XtraBars\Ribbon\Ribbon.cs file. Thus, it is necessary to point Visual Studio to the DevExpress.XtraBars\DevExpress.XtraBars\Ribbon\Ribbon.cs file in the folder in which you installed our source code. For example, for version 13.1 installed on an x86 OS, the default path is C:\Program Files\DevExpress\DXperience 13.1\Sources, and on an x64 OS the default path is C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress\DXperience 13.1\Sources. Thus, if my OS is 64-bit, I need to navigate to the C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress\DXperience 13.1\Sources\DevExpress.XtraBars\DevExpress.XtraBars\Ribbon folder to get the required file. Once you have navigated to a folder containing the source file, Visual Studio closes the dialog automatically.

                                    Note that particular paths to our source files can differ from a file structure on your machine. Usually, it does not cause any issues since Visual Studio "remembers" locations of previously loaded source files and does not prompt you each time you debug their code.

                                    You can avoid searching for source files each time if you set the source code locations for your solution in Visual Studio (see the Specify symbol (.pdb) and source files in the Visual Studio debugger article). Usually, it is enough to add the *C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress 17.1\Components\Sources* path. It might be necessary to also add the *C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress 17.1\Components\Sources\DevExpress.ExpressApp* path if you need to debug XAF. Since these settings are saved in the *.suo file, you need to do this only once per application solution.

                                    For improved debugging, I suggest disabling the "Enable Just My Code" and "Step over properties and operators (Managed only)" options. To access these options, select Tools -> Options... in the main menu. In the invoked Options window, expand the Debugging node and select General, as shown in the image below.

                                    During the debugging process, you may be unable to watch local variables. This occurs because of debug optimization. To avoid this side-effect, run Visual Studio with COMPLUS_ZapDisable set to 1, and disable "Enable the Visual Studio Hosting Process" in the project properties:

                                    NOTE: The latter option has been removed in Visual Studio 2017, so skip it. You may also want to check the JIT Optimization and Debugging settings, How to disable optimizations when debugging Reference Source and How to: Disable the Hosting Process articles for more information about debugging optimizations.

                                    In the attachment to this article, you will find CMD files that run Visual Studio with the required key. Run the file that is appropriate for your VS and OS versions. The files run Visual Studio from its default location. If your Visual Studio is installed in another folder, edit the file to provide the correct path.
                                    You may also not monitor the values of local variables if Visual Studio is run as Administrator where the "Run as Administrator" option is set via the "devenv.exe" file properties on the "Compatibility" tab. Check this option and disable it if it's enabled.
                                    1) I cannot find the required source files. Can I trace the code of some of the products?
                                    Please be sure to select "Source Code" when installing our products. If you did not do this, run our installer in Repair mode and choose the corresponding option. If you do not see it, make sure that you are assigned a license for our Universal or DXperience Subscription, which includes the source code.
                                    Also note that we provide source code for Dashboard starting from version 14.1.
                                    2) The cursor is positioned on a code line that does not match the call stack.
                                    This may occur if you have not disabled debug optimization. To do this, run Visual Studio with COMPLUS_ZapDisable set to 1 (you can use the CMD files attached to this article) and disable the "Enable the Visual Studio Hosting Process" option in the project’s Properties -> Debug window. Note that you may have a source row selected that is the row next to the method shown in a call stack. This side-effect is due to the fact that our assemblies were built in Release configuration. You will see the same behavior if you build your project in Release configuration and navigate through its methods.
                                    3) I cannot inspect a local variable value.
                                    This also occurs due to debug optimization. See the previous paragraph to resolve the issue.
                                    4) Why does Visual Studio show the following warning: "The source file is different from when the module was built."?
                                    This happens when the PDB file version is different from the source code version. For example, it may occur when you’ve upgraded your DXperience version, but have not yet downloaded new PDB files. Refer to the Q288305: Understanding the DevExpress product versions and release dates KB article for more information on DevExpress .NET product versioning.

                                Show all comments
                                • John Baerg_BayCare 08.26.2013

                                  Works perfectly. Thanks for this.

                                • Marco Castro 09.03.2013

                                  DevExpress.ExpressApp.EF.45.v13.1.pdb is missing

                                • Dennis (DevExpress) 09.04.2013

                                  @Marco, thank you for your feedback. We need additional time to research why this PDB file is missing. Please add the Q379665 ticket to your Support Center favorites list to be automatically notified of our progress.

                                • Saulius Čebanauskas 02.26.2014

                                  It's possible to debug with pdb when installed hotfix (not official version)

                                • Serge (DevExpress Support) 02.26.2014

                                  Hi Saulius,
                                  This approach may fail because hotfix builds contain modified source code that does not match the PDB files shipped with official updates. Anticipating your next question, I need to mention that we do not provide debugging symbols for daily builds at present, but we may consider this for future improvements.

                                • André Litfin 03.21.2014

                                  Hi Serge, I would like if you deliver pdb files for daily builds too. Thanks in advance! André

                                • Alisher (DevExpress Support) 03.24.2014

                                  Hi Andre,
                                  I have posted a new ticket on your behalf regarding your request: Q468305

                                • Catalin Nastac 07.25.2014

                                  I try to debug the DevExpress in another instance than my project because I need to debug the node generator for the project's model on design time. I made all that it's specified here, I attached the VS (DevExpress) instance to VS (my project) process end still got "Cannot evaluate expression because the code of the current method is optimized" when it hit the breakpoint into DevExpress. Any other suggestion? I am using Windows 7 64 bit with VS2010.

                                • Gosha (DevExpress Support) 07.28.2014


                                  I would like to research this issue in detail so I have created a separate ticket on your behalf: T134136: Can't inspect local variables. Let's continue our conversation there.

                                • Apostolis Bekiaris (DevExpress) 08.19.2014

                                  It is possible to workaround the VS dialog prompt for source by using symbolic links. A script we use in our XAF community project (eXpandFramework) can be found at

                                • Asbjørn Mikkelsen 10.07.2014

                                  that script doesnt exist anymore at that url?

                                • Asbjørn Mikkelsen 10.07.2014

                                  And, would it be possible to use some sort of sourceserver setup to host pdb and sourcefiles for debugging?, similar to what Microsoft does with .net code?
                                  either locally or remote..

                                • Apostolis Bekiaris (DevExpress) 10.07.2014

                                  Hi all,

                                  Not long ago I posted a solution to workaround that browse for symbol box using symbolic links. That solution was hard to support due to its nature so in our XAF community project (eXpandFramework) now we use a C# project that re-indexes symbols and its very easy to debug/support/update.

                                  Have a look

                                  and if you have questions or wanna report a bug please use the community forums and not this ticket.

                                • Nick Sologoub 10.29.2014

                                  I am still unable to view local variables due to optimisation even though I have followed all the steps in this article.
                                  I am trying to debug an exception in DevExpress code. When I select the *.cs file VS informs me that source is different from the file selected, even though I am 100% sure I am running the correct version of DevExpress.
                                  And if I select to continue to use that file, I can get it into the method that fails and I can see values of a parameter of the method, but not variables in the method itself.

                                • Alisher (DevExpress Support) 10.30.2014


                                  To process your recent post more efficiently, I created a separate ticket on your behalf: T167415: Local variables are not visible during debugging assemblies. This ticket is currently in our processing queue. Our team will address it as soon as we have any updates.

                                • fabio borghi 07.07.2016

                                  Hi, i've followed this instructions in order to debug a ASP.NET MVC project.
                                  Nothing to do: i'm able to debug .Net Framework component but not DevExpress component.
                                  Any suggestion?
                                  Thank you

                                • Artem (DevExpress Support) 07.07.2016


                                  To process your inquiry more efficiently, I've created a separate ticket on your behalf (T400892: Unable to debug source code of DevExpress MVC components). It has been placed in our processing queue and will be answered shortly.

                                • Chen Noam 08.09.2016


                                  Where can I find the pdb files for version
                                  We get an error within your component and cannot understand why and don't know how to reproduce in a simple app.

                                  Best regards,

                                • Serge (DevExpress Support) 08.09.2016

                                  Hi Chen,
                                  I've created a separate ticket on your behalf (T413127: PDB files for version It has been placed in our processing queue and will be answered shortly.

                                • Piotr Borkowski 10.28.2016

                                  I can't find sources (ver 6.1.7). In ..\ DevExpress16.1 \ Components \ Source there are only:
                                  - DevExpress.CodedUIExtensionPackage
                                  - DevExpress.Images
                                  - DevExpress.Key

                                • Serge (DevExpress Support) 10.28.2016

                                  Hi Piotr,
                                  Let's research this issue in a separate ticket created on your behalf: T444776: Cannot find source code in v16.1.7.

                                • Poul Halgaard 05.18.2017

                                  I tried PDB now, but there is no step into you code attempt when placing a breakpoint on e.g. grid.DataBind(), hitting it and F11
                                  I downloaded PDB files, unpacked and added the folder in Options, Debugging.

                                • Stan (DevExpress Support) 05.22.2017

                                  Hi Poul,

                                  Thank you for reaching out to us. I've created a separate ticket on your behalf (Cannot debug DevExpress .NEt source code using PDB files). I will answer you in this thread shortly.


                                • David Shannon 10.11.2017

                                  I copied all the files and folders from "C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress 17.1\Components\Sources" to "C:\Projects\17.1\BuildLabel\Temp\NetStudio.v17.1.2005\Win" as suggested.  But this does not appear to be the correct folder structure.

                                  For example, when attempting to trace into XafApplication.cs, VS 2017 gives the anticipated source folder as " C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress 17.1\Components\Sources" to "C:\Projects\17.1\BuildLabel\Temp\NetStudio.v17.1.2005\XAF." But copying the ...\Sources\" folders to that location also does not solve the problem.

                                  It only works if I move the "...\Sources\DevExpress.ExpressApp\DevExpress.ExpressApp" up one level so that the XafApplication.cs file finally resides in "C:\Projects\17.1\BuildLabel\Temp\NetStudio.v17.1.2005*XAF\DevExpress.ExpressApp\DevExpress.ExpressApp*."

                                  Can you clarify what the structure should be so that I won't have to help VS search for each file when it is needed?


                                • Stan (DevExpress Support) 10.12.2017

                                  Hi David,

                                  I've created a separate a ticket on your behalf about this topic (What is the correct folder structure). We will do our best to answer your question as soon as possible.


                                • Mysoft Systems 04.19.2018

                                  I have a universal subscription but cant find PDB files 

                                • Stas (DevExpress Support) 04.19.2018


                                  To avoid any misunderstanding, I've created a separate How can I debug DevExpress .NET source code using PDB files ticket on your behalf. Please refer to it for further discussion.

                                • Elijah 05.14.2019


                                  Please were is the attachment to this article.

                                  "In the attachment to this article, you will find CMD files that run Visual Studio with the required key"

                                • Serge (DevExpress Support) 05.14.2019

                                  Hi Elijah,
                                  Take a look at the info panel to the right:

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