Coder Perfect

Is it possible to find out the return value before returning in Visual Studio while debugging?


Consider the following procedure:

DataTable go() {
    return someTableAdapter.getSomeData();

Is it possible to analyze the returned value when I create a breakpoint in this function? In an.aspx page, go() is directly linked to a datagrid.

Using a temporary variable is the sole option to inspect the returned datatable. That, however, is inconvenient. Isn’t there a different option?

Asked by doekman

Solution #1

I’m not aware of any. It’s worth noting that if you do add a variable, the compiler will remove it in release builds anyhow…

This feature has now been included in VS2013. The return values are visible in the autos windows, and you can use $ReturnValue in the watch/immediate window.

Because the value can only be viewed after the method returns, the simplest approach to get it is to set a breakpoint on the function call and step over it (F10).

Update for Visual Studio 2015: bummer! Unfortunately, it does not appear to be included in Visual Studio 2015. (devenv v14) VS2017 has been updated: it is now available. (v15 devenv)

Answered by Marc Gravell

Solution #2

According to the customer feedback site, this can be done in Visual Studio 2013 with CLR 4.5.1. In prior versions of C#, it was not available.

(VB.NET was supported in Visual Studio 2008 and prior.) C/C++ programmers have always had access to it.)

Answered by Alex Angas

Solution #3

I believe that viewing the return value of a method before stepping out of it, as well as the return values of methods I’ve just stepped over, is a really valuable feature. It was built as part of “OzCode,” a commercial extension for Visual Studio.

As a type of HUD-display, you can observe method return values immediately on the code editor with it:

Please watch this video for further details.

Answered by Omer Raviv

Solution #4

According to Microsoft, managed code cannot be used to achieve this reliably. They are aware of the issue and are trying to resolve it:

Answered by Dan Solovay

Solution #5

In terms of Visual Studio 2015:

According to Marc Gravell’s current accepted answer:

This functionality does not work in Visual Studio 2015, according to that answer. This isn’t totally correct. There is a comment on Examine return values of method calls that says:

Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise was used to test this:

Answered by PascalK

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