Generating Visual C++ Crash Dump For Debugging

Detecting cause of problem that occurs only in production environment is hard. For Visual C++ created native windows application, this can be done using DebugDiag tool.

Download and install the tool on the production server, run it, and create a Crash rule type


Select a specific process target:


And search for your process


Tick This process instance only if multiple processes with same name are running but you’re only interested in one.

Click next and accept all defaults. Then when the crash occurs, you will get a .dmp file on C:\Program Files\DebugDiag\Logs\Crash rule for process id NNNN folder.

This .dmp file can be copied into your PC and opened in Visual Studio for stack trace analysis. Don’t forget you need to tell Visual Studio where to find the symbol (.pdb) file.

Select Set symbol paths on Visual Studio Action bar and add the folder containing your .pdb file.


Then start the debugging session by selecting Debug with Native Only. Visual Studio will tell you the stack trace when the crash happens.

Thanks to Ganesh R for providing this solution on Stack Overflow.

Also checkout Microsoft’s documentation on DebugDiag.


C++ min max Macro When Including Windows API

This is yet another quirks of C++ programming I found (and could be very hard to debug).

When you use Windows API (eg: you have #include <afxwin.h>), it will pull min() and max() macro.

Apparently this will cause confusion for the compiler if you’re including another 3rd party library which expects standard library min() and max(). The error message you get is something like this (how obscure is this?):

1>c:\mongodbsrc\src\mongo\db\../bson/bsonelement.h(630): warning C4003: not enough actual parameters for macro 'max'
1>c:\mongodbsrc\src\mongo\db\../bson/bsonelement.h(630): error C2589: '(' : illegal token on right side of '::'
1>c:\mongodbsrc\src\mongo\db\../bson/bsonelement.h(630): error C2059: syntax error : '::'
1>c:\mongodbsrc\src\mongo\db\../bson/bsonelement.h(630): error C2143: syntax error : missing ';' before '{'

To avoid pulling the macros from Windows API, hash define following:

#define NOMINMAX

Connecting to MongoDB On Visual C++ / Visual Studio 2010

Environment / Dependencies:

  • Windows 7 64bit
  • Visual Studio 2010 (Win32-Release target project)
  • MongoDB 2.2.3
  • Git

Visual Studio 2010 sample client project doesn’t appear to compile on the latest version of mongodb source code (2.4.3 at the time of this writing). It seems the last working sample is version 2.2.3. Follow these steps to compile and use it as your starting point

  1. Clone the source code from git:
    git clone git:// C:\mongodbsrc
  2. Open command prompt to C:\mongodbsrc, switch to version 2.2.3 by running:
    git checkout r2.2.3
  3. Double click C:\mongodbsrc\src\mongo\client\examples\simple_client_demo.vcxproj. If Visual Studio prompt to upgrade, don’t do it
  4. Compile the project on visual studio and test it. Use this as your starting point
  5. If you’re trying to copy the settings into your own project, pay particular attention to following items:
    • Boost cpp files and mongo_client_lib.cpp inclusion
    • VC++ Directories
    • C/C++ –> General –> Additional Include Directories
    • C/C++ –> Preprocessor –> Preprocessor Definitions
    • Linker –> Input –> Additional Dependencies
    • Additional preprocessor definitions only for these boost files: thread.cpp, tss_dll.cpp, tss_pe.cpp
    • Different Output Files for utf8_codecvt_facet.cpp file

Quick Cheat Sheet

// Connecting to mongodb on c++
mongo::DBClientConnection conn;

// mongo shell
db.mycoll.insert({name: "Gerry", age: "25"})

// c++
conn.insert("mydb.mycoll", BSON("name" << "Gerry" << "age" << 25));

// mongo shell
db.mycoll.update({name: "Gerry"}, {name: "Gerry", age: "30"}, {upsert: "true"})

// c++
conn.update("mydb.mycoll", BSON("name" << "Gerry"), BSON("name" << "Gerry" << "age" << 30), 1);