Finding out if SharePoint Objects are Disposed Correctly

27 February, 2009

Finding out if SharePoint Objects are Disposed Correctly

Everyone should know by now that certain SharePoint objects, including SPSite and SPWeb need to be disposed of when you have finished with them or you will get a memory leak. If you want to refresh your memory have a look at the MSDN white papers Best Practices: Using Disposable Windows SharePoint Services Objects on MSDN and Best Practices: Common Coding Issues When using the SharePoint object model.

What you may not know is that there are a couple of tools/techniques which can help you find areas in your code where you are not disposing of objects correctly.

  1. SPDisposeCheck. This is a tool which will analyze your assemblies to search for coding patterns which lead to objects not being disposed correctly. It’s a great tool and worth running regularly on your assemblies.
  2. SPRequestStackTrace registry value. Creating the registry key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server ExtensionsHeapSettings
SPRequestStackTrace: DWORD = 1 

Will cause the SharePoint runtime to log a stack trace everytime a SPRequest object is not disposed of correctly. This will actually pick up all the types of objects not being disposed of as internally the problem with not disposing of them is that they contain a reference to SPRequest.


At this point I have to say thank you to Jared Kahlil who pointed out a memory leak in the SLK by using the second method above and started my research into both of these methods. Unfortunately we can’t use SPDisposeCheck on SLK as it checks to see if the file name begins with Microsoft and if there are any namespaces beginning with Microsoft, and if so ignores the assembly.


Richard Willis

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