The SharePoint Developer Dashboard is one of the new features and instrumentation frameworks developed to provide additional performance while tracing information that is used to troubleshoot and debug issues related to page rendering time, which would otherwise be difficult to isolate. For instance, a system administrator or developer can unknowingly introduce extra SPWeb or SPSite objects in his or her code or sometimes the same developer can extraneously add SQL Server queries.
In the recent past, the only known options used to debug performance problems that would have been caused by extra overhead of such instances in the code was to attach a debugger on the code and monitor keenly the SQL Server Profiler trace(s). Indeed, those available ways were quite cumbersome. However, with the recent introduction of software, a system developer or administrator can easily identify the above problem(s), either programmatically using object model or by visually looking at the output page. Although the resource usage information and performance issues are made available in the Unified Logging Service, commonly referred to as ULS, interpretation of the raw data can be extremely time consuming.
SharePoint Developer Dashboard Modes
SharePoint Developer Dashboard can be displayed in two major modes; On and OnDemand. With the former mode, the Dashboard can be viewed on all pages with the default master page. On the other hand, when the Developer Dashboard is switched to OnDemad mode, an icon that allows the user or the system administrator to toggle the Dashboard, either on or off will be displayed on the top-right side of the page.
How to Enable the SharePoint Developer Dashboard
Ideally, Developer Dashboard was designed to be off by default. Therefore, you must enable it to make the pages viewable by using Windows PowerShell, STSADM, or even the SharePoint Foundation Object Model. When you have managed to successfully turn on the Dashboard, you will find information about the queries, controls, and execution time. All these information appears at the bottom of the displayed page.
How to Disable the SharePoint Developer Dashboard
Disabling Dashboard uses stsadm commands. However, the stsadm command requires the user to set the ‘Display Level’ to ‘SP Developer Dashboard.Off’ and run the command as a farm administrator. In some instances, if the Developer Dashboard is OnDemand mode, you can turn it off by setting the value to ‘SPDevelperDashboard.OnDemand’. This command will add a small icon, which will appear on the right hand corner of the displayed page. You just need to click the displayed icon to either toggle the Dashboard on or off-in this case off.
Commercially Available Version of Developer Dashboard
Currently, there are two versions: SharePoint 2010 and 2013 Developer Dashboard. The former version has three different useful options for the ‘DisplayLevel’, that is Off, On, and OnDemand. Though version 2010 is sometimes useful, it has several limitations and deemed to have resource-consumption issues that have reduced its usages. However, the latter version (2013) is much improved with more functionality. Luckily, the procedure for enabling and displaying both versions is similar, hence no need to learn new procedures if you are used to the earlier version and opt to change to the new version.
It is beyond reproach that the above software offers amazing benefits to both system developers and administrators. In this regard, if you wish to enjoy the stunning functionalities of the SharePoint Developer Dashboard, then, the best option is to get it running on your systems.