Conditional Attribute and TRACE in ASP.NET 2.0

Date Published: 16 September 2006

Conditional Attribute and TRACE in ASP.NET 2.0

In ASP.NET 1.x I had created some helper classes that wrapped the ASP.NET Trace class. These included methods like this one:

public static void Write(string category, string message, Exception myException)
context = HttpContext.Current;

if (context != null)
context.Trace.Write(category, message, myException);

In VS2003, I would simply mark my project as having the TRACE conditional compilation flag, and this would work fine. In production, I could turn it on or off as desired, and all overhead from the tracing would disappear when it was turned off (and recompiled).

In VS 2005, using basic Websites (folders – not Web Application Projects), there doesn’t seem to be any way to tell the server to use conditional compilation constants when it builds the site. The best I’ve found thus far is to use #define TRACE (in C#) inside my BasePage class, but unfortunately changing this requires a change to my BasePage class, not simply to my build process, so it’s less than ideal.

Apart from using WAP to build websites, has anyone come up with a simpler solution to this issue? I’m not prepared to switch to WAP just yet.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.