Skype4B 2015 quick tip: keep debugging tools automatically updated

As you know the Debugging Tools is a separate installation product published a few weeks/months from the initial Lync/Skype4B. This tool is fundamental on troubleshooting the platform.

debugging-tools

It contains the information required to decode the debug traces of every component on two files: ‘default.tmx’ and ‘default.xml’, included and installed by the debugging tools package.
But they are also on the Lync/Skype4B package installation and all cumulative updates. Every new update/feature might require the ‘decoder’ to support the updated component. So, if you install the debug tools they are outdated and you might not be able to decode new features, partial logs line or even none.

The information on how to update them it’s referenced on the main cumulative update page  KB2809243 for Lync 2013 (doesn’t exist for Skype for Business 2015, but it’s the same principle):
Debugging tools require the latest version of the Default.TMX file that is included in each Cumulative Update to properly decrypt logs files. In order to keep … Debugging Tools updated, you will need to browse to the “C:\Program Files\…\Tracing” folder, and copy the default.tmx and default.xml files to the install location of Lync Debugging Tools. The default location is C:\Program Files\…\Debugging Tools\.

But there’s a much efficient and automated way to do this. Instead of copying the 2 files on every cumulative update, just replace them with an ‘symbolic links’ to the main Lync/Skype4B location:

  • Delete the default.tmx, default.xml file on the debug tools installation folder;
  • Create a symbolic link for each file (command line), ex:
    MKLINK “<Debugging Tools install folder>\default.tmx” “%CommonProgramFiles%\Skype for Business Server 2015\Tracing\default.tmx”
    MKLINK “<Debugging Tools install folder>\default.xml” “%CommonProgramFiles%\Skype for Business Server 2015\Tracing\default.xml”

debugtools-tip

Note: do not mix ‘symbolic link’ with a ‘shortcut’. The debug tools (and any other application) will not support the second option.

Every time the you run cumulative update package, the debugging tools will be pointing to the most up-to-date (for sure).

Hope you can find this simple trick useful. 😉

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