Glimpse with ASP.NET


The moment I say Glimpse with, .Net developers might start thinking that I am talking about some features of But I am actually talking about “Glimpse” – an open source tool that helps in web debugging and diagnosing 4.0 applications.

Why Glimpse:

Glimpse provides information such as:

  • Action called
  • Time taken to execute the method
  • Time taken to execute an SQL script etc.

You folks might have already used web debugging tools like Fiddler or even browser debugging tools like Firebug, Chrome F12 developer tools etc. Fiddler would just provide you with details of the web traffic such as HTTP Request, HTTP Response etc. The significant difference between these tools and Glimpse is that Glimpse runs on the server side while all the other developer tools run on client side. Glimpse could also be used in a production environment as a profiling tool to get a Timeline view of what’s happening in the server.

Adding Glimpse to your project is pretty simple. You can add this through a Nuget package manager as shown below:


You can also install this through the Package Manager Console using the commands given below:

Install-package Glimpse.MVC2

Install-package Glimpse.EF4.3

It is important to select the right Nuget packages for your project types. For example, you should select Glimpse.MVC2 if your project type is MVC2. There are also a lot of plugins available from the community that you can use Glimpse with.

Glimpse could be used with multiple web frameworks, such as Webforms, MVC, ADO, Entity Framework etc.’s latest version is 1.9.0.

One more significant aspect of Glimpse is that it can provide server details, timing details about the action methods and also help in debugging callbacks.

Once you have installed Glimpse through Nuget, you can start using it by turning on Glimpse through Glimpse.axd (HTTP handler file) as shown below:


You can also configure the tabs as shown in the above screen shot.

Once you turn Glimpse on, you can find Glimpse at the bottom right of the page as shown below:


Glimpse provides the timing for each server side activity and displays it visually as shown below:

Once you add Glimpse into your project, this internally adds Glimpse related configuration settings into the web.config. You can use these settings to remove tabs and also for security policies.

There are plenty of other uses from Glimpse like Route Debugging, Tracing etc. But I would like you to explore this yourself by trying Glimpse. And don’t forget to share them with us through the ‘Comments’ section below!