Internet Explorer Tools

Normally when debugging problems with web applications, I try to use Firefox. However, every once in awhile there is a web application that is very Internet Explorer specific and will not work in Firefox at all.

To that end, here is a list of nice tools and add-ins for Internet Explorer.

Fiddler

Fiddler2 Screenshot

Fiddler is a freeware HTTP debugger that sits between your browser and the web server. Fiddler provides the ability to see POST and GET requests as well as alter the data that is received or sent.  It also allows you to record your session for review later.

In Fiddler you can set breakpoints, view cookies as they come in, decompress gzipped responses from the web server and see how long responses took from the web server.  You can also save your captured sessions for review later.

Fiddler provides it’s functionality by acting as a proxy between the web browser and the web server.  Fiddler can also decrypt HTTPS traffic, but requires that you import and trust the root certificate the application generates.

HTTP Analyzer

HTTP Analyzer Screenshot

IE Inspector’s HTTP Analyzer is similar to Fiddler above with the exception that it’s not free. HTTP Analyzer does appear to offer a few more powerful features like being able to filter the HTTP stream for what you can see as well as a search function.  You can also save your session for review later.  The latency bars that are included with each line for a request is nicer then Fiddler’s.

HTTP Analyzer comes in two versions, a stand alone version and an IE Add-on for Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar

IE Developer Toolbar

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar appears to be similar to the Firefox Web Developer plug-in.  It’s an add-on for Internet Explorer and is available from the toolbar.  It sits at the bottom of the browser window and can get slightly annoying when viewing pages.

You can view the HTML in a tree format as well as look at cookie information, set cache settings for a page as well as validate the HTML.  I have not had a chance to fully play with this tool as much as the web developer tool for Firefox, but it’s pretty similar.

That’s it for the tools I use in IE when I can’t use Firefox. Aside from Alex’s IECacheView tool, if you find any others leave a note in the comments section.

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