Profiling an Application in Microsoft Windows

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Article ID: 94209
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Version 1.2 of the Microsoft Source Profiles includes two executable files: PROFILE.EXE and PROFILEW.EXE. PROFILEW.EXE is a Microsoft Windows-hosted source profile utility that can run from the command line or from an icon in the Microsoft Windows operating system. The names of batch files used to profile a Windows-based application end with the letter "W." Run these batch files from the MS-DOS prompt because each one starts Windows. You also can profile a Windows-based application in Windows.

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The text below provides the steps to profile function timing in the GENERIC sample application provided with the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). The explanation assumes that the GENERIC sample is installed in the C:\WINDEV\GUIDE\GENERIC directory and that the Source Profiler is installed in the C:\PROFILER\BIN directory. The procedure has three main steps, as follows:

  1. Create the PCF file and run PREP.
  2. Create an icon for profiling and profile the application.
  3. Create an output file with PREP and PLIST.

Create the PCF and Run PREP

The PCF (Profiler Command File) provides greater control to select the parts of the executable program to profile. The PCF is optional and is not necessary to collect statistics about all functions of the application.

With the following PCF, the profiler collects statistics only for the main window procedure and for the About dialog box procedure in GENERIC. For more information on PCFs, see chapter 4 of the Source Profiler "User's Guide." Place the following text into the GENERIC.PCF file:
   FUNCTION MainWndProc ADD  # Note: function names are case sensitive
To use this file, perform the following three steps:
  1. Place the GENERIC.PCF file into the same directory as the source code for the GENERIC sample.
  2. Build the GENERIC sample with debugging information (specify the /Zi compiler option switch and the /CO linker option switch).
  3. Use the following command line to run the PREP utility:
For more information about the PREP utility, see Appendix A of the Source Profiler "User's Guide."

You can place the PREP command into the makefile that builds profiling versions of your application. Run the PREP utility after building the executable file.

Create an Icon for Profiling and Profile the Application

Perform the following seven steps:
  1. In the Microsoft Windows Program Manager, activate a program group.
  2. Choose New from the File menu.
  3. Choose OK to create a new program item.
  4. In the Properties dialog box, enter the following text in the Command Line field:
    Note: This command line assumes that the PBI and PBO files are named GENERIC.PBI and GENERIC.PBO, respectively, and that each resides in the C:\WINDEV\GUIDE\GENERIC directory.
  5. In the Working Directory field, enter the path to the PROFILEW.EXE file. In this example, the correct directory is C:\PROFILEW\BIN.
  6. Choose OK to create the program icon.
  7. To run and profile GENERIC, either double-click the icon or select the icon and choose Run from the File menu. Close GENERIC to complete profiling.

Create an output File with PREP and PLIST

Perform the following two steps:
  1. At the MS-DOS prompt, enter the following command to update the PBT file:
  2. At the MS-DOS prompt, enter the following command to create an output text file:
For more information about the PLIST utility, see Appendix A of the Source Profiler "User's Guide."

Even though GENERIC.TXT lists all the functions in the GENERIC application, it contains timing and hit statistics for only the About() and MainWndProc() functions.


Article ID: 94209 - Last Review: June 17, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
kb16bitonly KB94209
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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