I know, I know, this is the canonical starting point topic everyone has already covered with the Whidbey profiler. I just needed something easy to psyche myself up before launching off into the more technical issues we've come across while working on getting Beta 2 ready, so bear with me and consider this one of those fluffy first chapters that plague most technical literature:
The profiler tool shipping with Whidbey represents an amalgamation of two profiling tools that originated within Microsoft Research and have been used inside the company for some time. One was a sampling profiler and the other an instrumentation profiler. Now we are shipping a product including both modes of profiling in a single tool. In order to make the right choice about what mode to use, it's important to understand the differences:
So basically those are the two modes for profiling. If you don't mind my lame comparisons, it's like having a hedge trimmer and a lawn mower. You could probably mow your lawn with the hedge trimmer and trim your hedge with the lawn mower, and nobody would stop you. But if you mow your lawn with the lawn mower, you can have that personal satisfaction of using the right tool for the job and get the job done before it gets dark. But of course never, ever, wear your best shoes while mowing the lawn or they'll turn green.