How to Debug Electron Apps

How to Debug Electron Apps

Learn how to debug Electron Apps. Electron is a great framework that makes developing cross-platform desktop applications easy. We’re going to be making use of Exceptionless and the Exceptionless JavaScript client to debug and monitor our Electron application. Exceptionless is free to get started and totally open-source.

Electron is a great framework that makes developing cross-platform desktop applications easy. If you’re a JavaScript developer, it is probably the first thing you’ll reach for when you decide to build a desktop application. I know I did. In building my first and second desktop applications, I used Electron. In that process, I learned some tricks to help the development process go a little smoother. One such trick is how to better debug issues that may arise in the packaged, production version of your Electron app that you won’t see in development.

If you’re not familiar with Electron, it is a framework that allows you to write apps with web technologies and use them on the desktop. This is accomplished by packaging your app within its own dedicated Chromium-based application. Think of a web browser. All it is is a desktop application that allows you to explore web apps and web pages. That’s what Electron does for your app. It creates a one off desktop browser. In doing so, you get access to native desktop functionalities that are not available to traditional web applications.

Like with many software projects, you might find that your local development experience doesn’t exactly match what happens in production. When an app is minified, built, compiled, and packaged for production use, there can be subtle changes that can break the experience of the application or break the app entirely. This is especially true when dealing with desktop applications that have more access than you might be used to with web apps. Debugging problems when your application works locally but doesn’t work in its production state can be frustrating. This becomes even more frustrating in Electron when you only have access to the web application’s JavaScript output in production and not the underling Electron code’s output. Fortunately, we can solve this by using an error monitoring service.

We’re going to be making use of Exceptionless and the Exceptionless JavaScript client to debug and monitor our Electron application. Exceptionless is free to get started and totally open-source.

Let’s get started.

javascript electron software-development programming web-development

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