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Chapter 4: Publishing Packages > Publishing a Symbol Package

Publishing a Symbol Package

We have all had the experience of debugging an application in Visual Studio that contains external libraries. Usually, you don't have the debugging symbols or the original source code for those dependencies at hand. It's often difficult to obtain all of those, let alone to hook them up in your Visual Studio and step through the external sources.

A symbol server can provide relief there: symbol servers host the .pdb files related to an assembly referenced in your project. Ever since Visual Studio 2005, a symbol server could be referenced in the Visual Studio settings to retrieve debugging symbols and source code for external assemblies directly from such symbol server.

Users of Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) can make use of the built-in symbol server and index their sources during builds. This is a configurable setting in the default Team Foundation Server build definition template. When using this feature, and Visual Studio is configured correctly, you can still benefit from stepping through the source code directly from TFS Source Control while inheriting all built-in security and permission checks on these sources. However, not everyone is using TFS, and NuGet is meant to be Version Control System (VCS)-agnostic. That's where SymbolSource.org comes in.


  

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