Ever since I started using the Plugin Trace Log for investigation of my plugins around three years ago, I have wondered why we don’t have timestamps with better granularity than seconds.
As I expressed it in an article from 2017:
Given the CPU power we have today, it is just incomprehensible why we should not get more detail in the timing of plugin execution.From A Canary in CRM
It is like defining my age by saying I was born sometime during the second half of the 20th century.
The lack of milliseconds becomes obvious when several plugins fire off the same event. It becomes impossible to see in which order they actually triggered, and even if the plugins write more granular details, such as internal timestamps or exact contents of the target records etc, you still cannot “trust” the order displayed in the trace log.
A millisecond for man, but a giant leap for developers
After a number of tweets over the years, a CRM Idea that has survived at least three different platforms for the Ideas site (currently my Idea resides in the PowerApps Community), blog posts and countless mentions of the issue in my sessions at conferences, a few weeks ago I finally got the message from “a trusted source” at Microsoft that they were rolling out the change!
The out of the box UI (the view for Plug-in Trace Log entity) still doesn’t even show the seconds, as it uses standard behavior for DateTime fields in Dynamics 365.
But since I am in full control of the CRMGridView control that is used in Plugin Trace Viewer for XrmToolBox to display the log data, I immediately started updating the control to support the newly added details.
Plugin Trace Viewer support is released
Now that the new feature has been rolled out globally by Microsoft, the new version of Plugin Trace Viewer is also released, and you can finally trust the accuracy and sorting of the log records down to a thousandth of a second!
So make sure you update Plugin Trace Viewer! The next time you start the tool, you will see this.
From my understanding, Microsoft do not intend to do any updates to the UI for the Plugin Trace Log. So even though they now shipped the most wanted improvement around plugin investigation, the Plugin Trace Viewer tool will likely be around for a while.
Now we’re just waiting for Microsoft to take my Idea from the New status it has been in since it was submitted two years ago… 😉