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Overview

Auto Debug is a Windows API monitoring tool. It can be used to automatically trace calls to all functions exported by the shared libraries linked to a running process, including COM interfaces such as ActiveX. During tracing, all input and output parameter values are recorded, and memory dumps are generated to show the values referenced by the pointer-type arguments.

Unlike other call tracers, such as API Spy or API Monitor, Auto Debug does not require the user to develop any hooks or custom DLLs. It is very easy to use: just specify the command line-parameters to invoke a program (or attach Auto Debug to a program that is already running), select which API calls to monitor, and you will receive a detailed trace of all selected calls.

When available, the PDB files corresponding to the DLLs being traced are automatically analysed, resulting in more detailed and easier-to-navigate traces. Alternatively, in the absence of the original PDB files, the Professional version of Auto Debug can generate sufficiently detailed PDB files from the prototype headers often distributed with some libraries (for example, see the PDB file generated for comdlg32.dll at $InstallPath\PDBsample).

No source code is required to successfully trace the libraries or to interpret the trace results, but when it is available, the trace viewer will display the the exported functions visited by Auto Debug inside their source files.

Features

  • Export Monitor result as text file.

  • The calls are traced by automatically inserting breakpoints at those locations in the target program where the DLL calls originate. The user can decide whether to select several individual calls for tracing, or all calls in a chosen set of DLLs, or all dynamic library calls the program makes.

  • Auto Debug can be further automated by scripting. Its operation can be scripted in VBScript or in JScript.

  • It allows monitoring all calls at the source code level, whether or not the source code for the called routines is available.

  • The trace captures all function arguments and return values. The pointer arguments are dereferenced, showing memory areas before and after each function call.

  • Structured function arguments and their elements can be analysed using the PDB files from Visual Studio 2005, Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual C++ 6.0, and likely other build tools.

  • Both debug and release (stripped) versions of the code can be traced.

  • Convenient sequence-based rendering of traces in multi-threaded programs.

  • Basic profiling can be done even on the functions with unknown prototypes, based solely on the symbols defined in the DLLs.

  • Undocumented APIs can be traced as well.

  • Can dump the full call stack when the program exits abnormally.

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