One of the really nice new features in TFS Build 2010 is support for symbol and source server. While the names “Symbol Server” and “Source Server” are somewhat misleading (there isn’t really a separate server involved), the functionality is really useful. Symbols are those *.pdb files that get generated by your builds. Those files make it possible to map execution points in your assemblies to their corresponding class and method. “Source Server” support makes it possible for the debugger to locate the correct version of the source file from the version control repository – particularly useful for server builds where the version of a file used in the build may differ from the version in your local workspace.
Here are the steps for setting up symbol server with TFS Build 2010 Beta 1:
To use the symbols generated at build time, your users will need to do the following in Visual Studio:
Now you’ll be able to debug server builds with full symbol and source server support. You’ll also be able to do historical debugging and profiling of server builds. Note that, by default, when a build is deleted due to a retention policy, its corresponding symbols will be deleted as well. You can, however, customize this behavior in the build definition editor’s retention tab.
@Midas79: You don’t need to install the Debugging Tools for Windows on your build machine to use this functionality. We include the required components with the build service install. Also, Aaron Hallberg has a blog post on Writing Custom Activities for TFS Build 2010 Beta 1.