Side Topics: Windows PIDs and SharePoint Code

While we’re getting ready for our first SharePoint 2010 project in Visual Studio 2010, I ran into a couple of rich resources that I hope you find interesting.

First, even robots need to know why their computer is running slow and it’s always stuff running that we’d prefer not run. You see these on your task manager where you see a  list of gobbledygook and a column for Memory. There’s always a couple of items taking tens or even hundreds of thousands of Kbs and it’s aways hard to figure out if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

So, what this robot does is click on the Memory column header twice to sort descending. That brings the fat pigs to the top. Then I look at the Image Name for a given pig and see what it is. If I don’t recognize it, I look it up on Google. Google always returns a load of sites that want to sell me anti-malware garbage so I try to stick to and a small number of others.

One thing I didn’t know was that you can add columns to the Process list using the Select Columns option on the View menu. Two of the columns I like are the PID and the Memory Delta (Working Set Delta). The former gives you a key to learning more and the latter gives you a real-time value of memory grabbed or released by the given process as it runs.

One probelm is, often, the image name is undecipherable such as svchost.exe or conhost.exe. This is where the PID comes in handy.

Our friends at have clued us into converting the PID to an actual program. They told us to open a command prompt and run:

 >Tasklist .svc

This gives us a list of the processes and their PIDs but also any services supported by the process. This, too, can be gobbledygook but at least it’s gobbledygook you can look up on Google. For example, I have a svchost.ese running on PID 160 and it’s supporting by AudioEndpointBuilder service.


And, yet, I find this and this and it seems like that’s one service to which I might not mind allowing access to a bit of my precious 8Gb of RAM.

Repeat the process for all your images, PIDs and services and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you might not want to run, like the IIS Admin Service on my Pentium 3 Windows ME box.

Then, I got to thinking that the command prompt is so last week, we really ought to have a sweet little PowerShell command to do the same but better, and, of course, we do but it’s a little more complicated than that. Out friends at outline it here.

Our second topic today is a nice little series by our new friend, Dan, who write for He’s alot like us in that he’s stubborn enough to try to squeeze the maximum functionality out of OOTB SharePoint and then, consider custom code. His post from last week sets up a good look at this process regarding the use of dates in list views. Another recent post looks at customer service as a business process. both of these are topics we’ve covered here at SharePoint from Scratch. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Finally, we’re still planning on having our VS2010 SharePoint Project completed by the end of the week. Let’s see what the rest of the week brings us.





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