HTTP Trace & Web Service Trace
When you are doing some HTTP upload or download development, like in a Web Client it is useful to do an HTTP Trace. A HTTP Trace basically dumps on screen or in a file the entire dialogue that takes place between your client (typically your Web Browser) and the server (Web Server).
One handy HTTP Trace tool I use is called Fiddler. Fiddler is free and is developed by a Microsoftie. The good thing I like in Fiddler is that it works without any configuration. You just browse from your favourite browser or client application as normal, and fiddler is tracing it in the background. In fact, Fiddler doesn’t even have an options dialog box!.
There is also a useful Page in Fiddler website that links to useful HTTP/HTML Resources on the Internet.
Web Service Trace
If you are programming SOAP/Web services, it is useful to have a SOAP Trace utility. A SOAP Trace tool is a specialised HTTP Trace tool that understands SOAP messages and displays them accordingly. If you are programming with Microsoft WSE 2.0, then a good free tool is available from Mike Taulty. Once you have downloaded the application, you read the example.config file. It has a small portion of XML Configuration code, that you need to insert in your web.config or app.config files for tracing to begin.
Mike’s WSE 2.0 Tracing Utility is written in .NET Framework 1.x. I loved this tool so much I used in my WSE Security session in this India Tech Ed 2004.