Every now and then, we like to give you some insight in our development and the tools we use. This time, let’s have a look at Glimpse. Glimpse gathers and presents detailed diagnostic information about the behavior and execution of your web application. It’s like Firebug, but for the server.

Glimpse can be installed by installing the Glimpse.Mvc4 package. Different packages exist for different frameworks. Once installed, we can navigate to the /glimpse.axd file to enable/disable Glimpse on our development machine. The links on this page are also bookmarklets which can be used to turn on/off Glimpse. Once enabled, here’s what we see: a nice overview of important timings for our current page.

Glimpse toolbar

We are using Glimpse on our development machines to get some simple diagnostics at a glance. And the fun fact of the day: Glimpse uses MyGet to publish nightlies. Interested in what’s going on with that project? Add their nightlies feed to Visual Studio through the Package Manager Console:

Install-Package DiscoverPackageSources
Discover-PackageSources -Url "https://www.myget.org/gallery/glimpsenightly"


From then on, you can add Glimpse from their nightlies feed. We’ve used these nightlies in the past weeks and discovered their new HUD (head-up-display) feature in there as well as a new look-and-feel for the Glimpse client.

We can click the Glimpse toolbar and explore our request. For example, we can fetch a list of all actions and attributes that are being executed in ASP.NET MVC:

ASP.NET MVC Pipeline

A complete timeline of our requests is available as well:

Glimpse request timeline

We are also able to intercept and debug AJAX requests. If you are using Entity Framework or ADO.NET, expect to see your queries in here. If you’re developing mobile web applications, expect to be able to intercept remote calls as well. And the best thing: this is open source!

Happy packaging! And happy Glimpsing!