We’ve got great news for .NET developers – JFrog Artifactory can now act as your fully featured Symbol Server! Artifactory has long offered native support for NuGet packages, now developers can also store their symbol files in Artifactory where they can be indexed and consumed by the Visual Studio Debugger and other debugging tools.
What Are Symbols and Why Do They Matter?
Symbol files provide important information about your NuGet Package such as names of variables, stack traces, and the association between compiled and source code. Symbol Packages (.snupkg or legacy.symbols.nupkg) contain Symbols which are .pdb files that provide a blueprint of the functions that are contained in executable (.exe) files and dynamic-link libraries (.dll).
NuGet Packages are notoriously pesky to debug and Symbol Packages make debugging NuGet Packages much easier by providing more information to the debugger about the NuGet Package’s source code.
Why Use Artifactory as your Symbol Server?
A Symbol Server stores the Symbol Packages for all your public builds. These are used to debug and trace any crash reported for one of your stored builds. Both Visual Studio and WinDBG can access Symbol Servers, and if the binary you are debugging is from a public build, the debugger will get the matching Symbol file automatically by sending a symbol download request to Artifactory.
With Artifactory you can store your NuGet and Symbol Packages together or separately and take advantage of the benefits Artifactory offers for package management such as setting up local, remote, and virtual NuGet Symbol Package repositories, controlling access by various teams, and ensuring version controls. By leveraging Artifactory’s unique virtual repository functionality, users can configure a single endpoint that enables all the flows for Symbol Packages (upload, download, proxy external symbol server registries, etc.). And of course, Artifactory will automatically manage all the metadata associated with your Symbol Packages and index them for consumption by debuggers..
For more information on setting up JFrog Artifactory as your symbol server, check out the documentation or request a demo to see it in action. To try Artifactory as your Nuget Symbol Server, sign up for a free instance of the JFrog Platform.