The Elusive Microsoft ULS Viewer


If you do any amount of work in SharePoint then you’ve probably needed to dive into the ULS logs at some point. Once there, you realized that working in those using a simple text editor results in nothing but frustration.  At which point, you probably went looking for a tool to make the ULS insanity go away … or at least to make it manageable.  Prior to May of 2014, the best tool out there was the free Microsoft ULS Viewer (ULSViewer.exe) which was a single file with no installer and ran on everything from Windows XP to Server 2012.  The old URL was http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/ULSViewer/ but that is merely a redirect now.

Unfortunately, Microsoft retired that entire site and only provided links for a smattering of the utilities that were present and ULS Viewer was not one of those listed.  This left the SharePoint community with no ‘official’ place to get the ULS Viewer.  A few bloggers have since added it to their sites just so that it is at least available in some form but there are no assurances that they have not tampered with the files or even that the files have been properly virus scanned.  Not something you want to put on a client’s servers… Others in the community have attempted to write their own ULS viewers but these generally fall far short of the capabilities the old and free utility provided. Microsoft is supporting this again and has put the updated version on their Downloads site.

I contacted Microsoft several weeks ago and they have now added the official executable for the ULS Viewer on the Archive’s OneDrive folder.  There are a number of other utilities and samples there as well but the ULS Viewer was my only concern.  The files and links did come from Microsoft so this is as official as it can get given the circumstances.  I’m hoping they eventually put the file and the source code up on the code.msdn.microsoft.com site but am not going to hold my breath.

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=38EB61838A7224E1&id=38EB61838A7224E1%21105

Hope this helps!

Update: It seems that another user took the time to compile everything he had on ULS Viewer and put it up on the MSDN Technet Gallery so perhaps we will have a stable place to find it until it simply doesn’t work  or Microsoft decides to release it to the Open Source community.

Big Update!  It seems Microsoft is now supporting this again and has published an updated version on their Downloads site.  The UI is a slightly different and I haven’t had a chance to work with it in the real world yet but it looks promising.

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Posted on September 16, 2014, in SharePoint. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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