Applying and Managing Analysis Grid Viewer Layouts

Message Analyzer enables you to apply built-in and custom column layout configurations to the Analysis Grid viewer to create unique data viewing capabilities that expose other data fields of interest beyond the default Analysis Grid viewer column configuration. These layout configurations are included in the Message Analyzer View Layouts asset collection Library, which is accessible from the Layout drop-down list on the Analysis Grid viewer toolbar. By default, this Library contains a list of built-in view Layouts and a customizable Example layout, which are included in every Message Analyzer installation. The Layout drop-down list also has several commands that enable you to save, restore, and manage the Layouts. The main reason why you might change the default Layout is to reconfigure the Analysis Grid viewer data column arrangement to one that is more applicable to the type of troubleshooting or analysis tasks you are performing. When you select a built-in Layout, Message Analyzer adds new data columns that expose additional message field values. By doing this, you can expose hidden data that might be critically important to your data analysis perspectives.

You can change the default column arrangement by applying any built-in Layout or by creating, saving, and applying any custom Layout of your own. You can create your own custom Layouts by using the Field Chooser Tool Window to add new columns to the Analysis Grid viewer, or you can similarly customize the Example Layout however you want. Note that you can even apply the Group function to one or more Analysis Grid viewer data columns, by right-clicking chosen data columns and selecting the Group command from the context menu, and then save the resulting grouped configuration as a new view Layout asset collection Library item. You can also sort any column and the sort configuration will be persisted when you save the Layout.

The commands that facilitate these features, along with the built-in Layout functions, are described in the sections that immediately follow.

Applying Built-in View Layouts

Message Analyzer provides several built-in view Layouts that you can quickly apply to a message collection in the Analysis Grid viewer by simply selecting them from a drop-down list. These layouts consist of many different column configurations that expose data that can be useful for troubleshooting common problems, for example, when the TCP or HTTP protocol is the focus of analysis. In addition, the built-in Layouts provide various grouped message presentations that streamline analysis of data from Perfmon, WPP, ProcMon, and other logs. The built-in Layouts are contained in the following subcategories of the top-level Message Analyzer category:

  • Azure Storage category

    • All .Net Client Columns — displays all data columns from a .Net client log.

    • Grouped by ClientRequestId and Module — provides a grouped Layout of ClientRequestId at top-level and Module as a nested group, for Client, Storage, and Network logs.

    • Storage Log — provides a Layout that displays key data columns from Azure Storage logs such as ClientRequestId, EndToEndLatencyMS, ServerLatencyMS, RequestStartTime, RequestStatus, and StatusCode.

  • Cluster category

    • Cluster Log — provides a Layout that is useful for analyzing Cluster logs with data columns such as ProcessId, InfoLevel, Subcomponent, and RemainingText. Enables you to correlate process IDs with various debug levels and Cluster Service components where errors and warnings may have occurred, respectively. This Layout is intended to work with the Cluster Logs Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from a Cluster.log file and the Cluster Logs Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the Cluster Logs Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze these logs, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which are also described there.

  • Windows Event Tracing category

    • ETW — provides a Layout that is useful for analyzing ETW messages that contain ProcessId and ThreadId data. The ProcessId is a number that is used by the operating system kernel to uniquely identify an active process for which an ETW provider or some other component is generating events. The ThreadId is a unique identifier of an execution thread that is running under a particular process. This Layout also includes a TimeDelta column that exposes the running time at which each message was captured, similar to the way TimeOffset does in the Network Monitor view.

      This Layout is intended to work with the ETW Guids and IDs Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout automatically displays if data from an event trace log (*.etl) file is loaded into Message Analyzer while the ETW Analysis Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the ETW Analysis Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze these logs, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is also described there.

  • Examples category

    • Event Log (.evtx) — provides a Layout that is useful for analyzing ETW event data. This Layout is intended to work with the Event Viewer Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from a *.evtx file and the Event Logs Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the Event Logs Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze these logs, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is also described there.

  • HTTP category

    • Fiddler SAZ — provides a Layout that is useful for analyzing HTTP data in an environment that is similar to Fiddler, with data fields such as StatusCode, Uri.Schema, Method, Uri.Host, Uri.AbsPath, PayloadLength, ContentType, and Payload. This Layout is intended to work with the Fiddler Grouping Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from a *.saz file and the Fiddler Traces Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the Fiddler Traces Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze the data in these files, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is also described there.

  • File Sharing category

    • File Sharing Perf SMB2/SMB — provides a Layout that enables you to analyze SMB/SMB2 performance in terms of ResponseTime and TimeElapsed values for SMB/SMB2 request and response messages. Also provides other data columns that are useful for SMB analysis such as SessionIdName, TreeIdNameReference, FileNameReference, and MessageId. This Layout is intended to work with the File Sharing SMB/SMB2 Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from files in any of the following formats and the File Sharing Perf SMB2/SMB Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic:

      • *.etl

      • *.cap

      • *.pcapng

      • *.pcap

    See the File Sharing Perf SMB2/SMB Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze the data in these files, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is described there.

    • File Sharing SMB/SMB2 — provides a layout that groups by SMB SessionId, TreeId, and FileName to assist SMB troubleshooting.

    • SMB Flat — provides an SMB/SMB2 analysis environment that includes data columns such as TimeDelta, SessionIdName, TreeIdNameReference, FileNameReference, and Header.MessageId. After your data displays, click the Flat Message List button in the Filtering toolbar to remove Operations and simulate the Network Monitor view.

    • SysLog — provides an environment for analyzing SambaSysLogs with data columns such as level, source_file, file_line, function, and content. This Layout is intended to work with the SysLog Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from a SambaSysLog.log file and the Samba Logs Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the Samba Logs Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze the data in these logs, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is described there.

  • Network category

    • HTTP — provides a Layout that is useful for troubleshooting HTTP issues, which includes the ResponseTime, ContentType, StatusCode, and Summary information columns. ResponseTime data is particularly useful because it can provide an indication of server performance in terms of the time it takes for the first server response to HTTP requests. StatusCode can quickly expose client and server errors and ContentType can provide an indication of the loads that the server is handling.

    • Network Conversation Tree with Process ID — provides a layout that groups by DataSource, ProcessId, Network, and Transport, to enable correlation of conversations with process IDs in *.etl files.

    • Network Monitor — displays the default Network Monitor view, with exception of several columns being named differently in Message Analyzer, but which are functionally equivalent to the corresponding columns in the default Network Monitor layout.

    • Process Name and Conversations — provides a nested group configuration, where each top-level group node is identified by a ProcessName and nested groupings consist of Network and Tranport groups. Enables you to view the IP conversations and the TCP ports that carried those conversations for each process that is identified in the ProcessName group. This Layout also adds a ProcessName column to the Analysis Grid viewer column configuration.

      Note

      Message Analyzer can identify process names from .etl files that are generated with the Netsh utility. Therefore, you might use the Process Name and Conversations view Layout when you are working with event logs (*.etl), to expose data for the ProcessName group in the Analysis Grid viewer.

    • TCP Deep Packet Analysis with ABSOLUTE Sequence Number Flat — provides a Layout that adds several columns to the default Analysis Grid viewer column configuration to expose the values of fields that can help you troubleshoot TCP and network layer issues. Added columns consist of the TimeDelta, Flags, SourcePort, DestinationPort, PayloadLength, SequenceNumber, NextSequenceNumber, AcknowledgementNumber, WindowScaled, TopModule, Options, and so on. Absolute sequence numbers are the long version of such numbers, as in the original format that is transmitted on the wire.

    • TCP Deep Packet Analysis with ABSOLUTE Sequence Number with Grouping — provides a Layout that creates a hierarchy of Network, Transport, and Sourceport groups that isolate network conversations at top-level, the transport that carried them in the first nested group, and the ports over which the conversations transited in the second nested group. The Network and Transport groups provide quick access to data that can assist you in troubleshooting the network layer and related communication ports, for example IP addresses, conversation direction, and conversation ports. The columns in this Layout are identical to those of the TCP Deep Packet Analysis with ABSOLUTE Sequence Number Flat, as is the use of absolute sequence numbers.

    • TCP Deep Packet Analysis with RELATIVE Sequence Number Flat — provides a Layout that exposes the values of fields that can help you troubleshoot TCP and network layer issues. The columns in this Layout add relative sequence number and relative block (RelBlock) columns to the ones previously described in the TCP Deep Packet Analysis with ABSOLUTE Sequence Number Flat Layout. Relative sequence numbers are the short version of such numbers for easier reading, as modified from the original wire format.

    • TCP Deep Packet Analysis with RELATIVE Sequence Number with Grouping — provides a Layout that creates a hierarchy of Network, Transport, and Sourceport groups that isolate network conversations at top-level, the transport that carried them in the first nested group, and the ports over which the conversations transited in the second nested group. The Network and Transport groups provide quick access to data that can assist you in troubleshooting the network layer and related communication ports, for example IP addresses, conversation direction, and conversation ports. The columns in this Layout are identical to those of the TCP Deep Packet Analysis with RELATIVE Sequence Number Flat Layout, as is the use of relative sequence numbers.

    Note

    If you also specify a TCP Viewpoint with the TCP Layouts described here, you can isolate all TCP traffic as top-level messages for ease of analysis.

  • IIS category

    • IIS — provides a Layout of data columns that is useful for troubleshooting Internet Information Server (IIS) logs. This Layout is intended to work with the IIS Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from an IIS.log file and the IIS Logs Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the IIS Logs Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze the data in these logs, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is described there.

  • Netlogon category

    • Netlogon category — provides a Layout of data columns that is a basic environment for troubleshooting Netlogon logs. This Layout is intended to work with the Netlogon Group by Message Type Layout of the Grouping viewer to create an interactive analysis environment. In addition, this Analysis Grid viewer Layout displays by default if you are loading data from a Netlogon.log file and the Netlogon Logs Profile is enabled in the Options dialog, as described in the Working With Message Analyzer Profiles topic.

      See the Netlogon Logs Profile in the table of the indicated topic for more information about how to analyze the data in these logs, where such analysis is enhanced by complementary Layouts for the Grouping and Chart viewers, which is described there.

  • Common category

    • Perfmon Log — provides a Layout with grouping for Perfmon logs that are saved as comma-separated value (CSV) files.

    • Performance Top Down — provides a Layout that is useful for analyzing performance issues associated with TimeElapsed and ResponseTime field values. In this Layout, the TimeElapsed data column is sorted in descending order (top-down) to expose Operations that are taking a long time to complete, for example with protocols that use request/response messages such as DNS, HTTP, and SMB. This may be an indication of a network issue if the corresponding server first response (ResponseTime) is a relatively low value. On the other hand, if the ResponseTime is a high value and the TimeElapsed is only slightly higher, this might indicate a slowly responding server rather than a network issue.

    • Process View — provides a Layout that enables top-down performance analysis, similar to the Performance Top Down Layout. However, this Layout also adds a ProcessName column for traces that contain process name information, so that you can correlate processes with TimeElapsed and ResponseTime data.

    • ProcMon Logs — provides a grouped Layout by process name and includes other data columns such as Time Delta, PID, Operation, and so on, for ProcMon logs.

    • Protocol/Module Summary — provides a grouped Layout by Module with nested message Types for a high-level overview of such data.

    • WPP ETL — provides a Layout with grouping and special data columns for WPP-generated events that are logged in a *.etl file.

  • My Column Layouts category

    • Raw Text Log — provides a Layout that contains MessageNumber and Summary columns only. You can apply this Layout to the data that you load into Message Analyzer from any log file to obtain a high-level view of the log data. Note that none of the log fields that exist in the Summary column are provided a separate column for displaying their data in the Analysis Grid viewer.

      However, you may be able to parse the summary data into individual fields/columns, if a configuration file exists for the log type with which you are working. You can select different built-in configuration files from the Text Log Configuration drop-down list in the New Session dialog for a Data Retrieval Session after you add a log file to the files list. If it is a log type for which a configuration file already exists, the drop-down list is enabled for selection. For more information about working with text logs, see Opening Text Log Files.

  • My Items category

    • Example View Layout — provides a sample Layout based on TCP fields that you can modify as you wish. You can save your changes with a new Layout name that is appropriate for the type of analysis it supports.

Managing View Layouts

The Layout asset collection Library drop-down list also provides a set of commands that enable you to manage your view Layouts. Most commands are accessible in a submenu that displays when you click the Manage Layouts item in the Layouts drop-down list, as described in the "Manage Layout Commands" section below. However, the following frequently used command is directly accessible from the Layout drop down list for convenience:

  • Save Current Layout As… — enables you to save view Layouts that reflect unique column configurations that you create with Field Chooser, so that they appear as items in a specified Category in your local asset collection Layout Library. Thereafter, you can reapply them whenever you want to by selecting them from the Layout Library, or you can export them to a designated location for sharing with other users.

    When you use this command to save the current Layout, the Edit Item dialog displays to enable you to specify a Name, Description, and Category in which to place the Layout. Note that any Layouts that you save from the Edit Item dialog will display in a subcategory under the top-level My Items category.

Manage Layout Commands
Other commands that are available for managing view Layouts display in a submenu that appears when you select the Manage Layouts item in the Layout drop-down list, as follows:

  • Save Current as Default User Layout — enables you to save the current Analysis Grid viewer column configuration as the default Layout for the Analysis Grid, which then displays whenever you specify the Analysis Grid as the viewer for session results, providing that an enabled Profile does not override that Layout.

  • Load Default User Layout — enables you to restore the Layout that you saved as the default with the Save Current as Default User Layout command, as needed.

  • Restore Application Default Layout — enables you to restore the default view Layout for the Analysis Grid that ships with Message Analyzer, as described in the Analysis Grid Viewer topic.

  • Manage… — displays the Manage Column Layouts dialog from where you can export one or more Layouts as shareable items so that other users can take advantage of your Layout configurations. You can also import one or more Layouts that other users have made available as shareable items, to expand your local Layout Library. In addition, you can edit the information for any column Layout in the My Items category of the dialog by executing the Edit command from the dialog's right-click context menu.

Sharing View Layout Items

When you save a view Layout, it becomes part of a local asset collection Library containing Layout items that you can manage and share with others. Message Analyzer provides a simple way to expose these Layout items to others for sharing, or to retrieve Layouts that others have shared. From the Manage Column Layout dialog, you can share Layout items directly with others by selecting the item/s you want to share and then clicking the Export button on the dialog tool bar. The Save Library dialog then displays so that you can enter Title, Description, and Organization data. Thereafter, you can specify the file share location where you want to post your items. You can also use the Import feature in the same dialog to access Layout items that have been shared by others to a designated file share. The Manage Column Layout dialog is accessible by selecting the Manage… item in the submenu that appears when you select the Manage Layouts item from the Layout asset collection Library drop-down list on the Analysis Grid viewer toolbar.

You can also share your Layout items through the Message Analyzer Sharing Infrastructure by creating a user feed from the Settings tab of the Asset Manager dialog, which is accessible from the Message Analyzer global Tools menu. When you create your own user feed, you will point it to a file share or other designated location where you post your Layout items. To post your items, click the Export button on the Manage Column Layout dialog tool bar and navigate to the designated share location. Thereafter, you can update existing items or add others and make them available to team members or other users through the configured feed, where users can view, download, and synchronize to updates to your Layout items. However, the synchronization feature will be available only in a future Message Analyzer release, at which time the Sharing Infrastructure publishing features will enable others to automatically synchronize to any updates that you make to your Layout items on a user feed. In the meantime, you can perform a manual configuration process that enables users to synchronize to your Layout asset collection updates, as described in Manual Item Update Synchronization.

Microsoft also provides a default Message Analyzer feed on the Downloads tab of the Asset Manager dialog that enables you to download Message Analyzer View Layouts or Azure Storage View Layouts asset collections from a Microsoft web service and to synchronize with asset collection updates that are periodically pushed out by the service. At any time, you can perform a download of an auto-synced collection from the Settings tab of the Asset Manager dialog.

Note

Message Analyzer View Layouts that apply to the Analysis Grid viewer and Message Analyzer Grouping View Layouts that apply to the Grouping viewer are separate and function independently of each other. You can view these asset collections in the Asset Manager dialog.


More Information
To learn more about sharing asset collections in Message Analyzer, including further details about the common Manage <AssetType> dialog, see the Sharing Infrastructure topic.
To learn more about the Field Chooser, see the Field Chooser Tool Window topic.
To learn more about the Analysis Grid viewer Group function, see Using the Analysis Grid Group Feature.
To review some simple examples of TCP troubleshooting with Message Analyzer, see Procedures: Using the Data Filtering Features.