Make use of the stack trace

As you’re debugging and stepping through your code in Visual Studio, you will no doubt have come across the Call Stack window in Visual Studio:

image

You can get access to the same stack trace information using the StackTrace and StackFrame class and this opens up some interesting possibilities. For instance, you can have a Log method which can work out the caller method name as suggested in this blog post.

You can find the caller method using the following code:

StackFrame frame = new StackFrame(1);
MethodBase method = frame.GetMethod();

With information about the caller method in hand you can even do interesting things such as restricting a method so it’s only callable from particular class or method:

if (method.DeclaringType != typeof(MyClass) || !method.Name.Equals("Mymethod"))
{
    throw new Exception();
}

Limitations

There are some important limitations you need to consider when using the Stack Track, these are discussed in more details in the second post I’ve included in the ‘References’ section. In short, it’s not guaranteed to give you the result you’d expect as result of compiler optimization when you make a Release build. And you require information from the source file such as the line number, etc. you will need to generate the symbols (.pdb file) and make sure it’s included in the release package.

References:

Getting the Current Stack Trace

Caveats about System.Diagnostics.StackTrace

JIT Optimization: Inlining