Data Viewer Concepts

Message Analyzer provides a set of default and preview data viewers that enable you to display session results in different viewing formats, whether you are working with a Data Retrieval Session or a Live Trace Session, as described in Starting a Message Analyzer Session. The ability to do so is made possible by the Message Analyzer data viewing infrastructure. The viewing infrastructure enables you to specify the data viewers that provide the unique analysis perspectives that are most advantageous for streamlining your data assessment tasks.

Data Viewing Infrastructure

The Message Analyzer data viewing infrastructure makes use of various data viewers and various types of Tool Windows that are either message-specific, session-specific, or provide annotation capabilities. Many data viewers, including the Analysis Grid and Gannt viewer, are known as multi-instance viewers. Multi-instance viewers provide the capability to display message data in multiple instances of the same viewer type. Message-specific windows are typically driven by multi-instance viewers. They reflect data based on the selected messages or fields of an in-focus, multi-instance data viewer. Because message-specific windows can have only a single instance in display, they are considered single-instance windows. Multi-instance viewers typically interact with single-instance windows to provide additional data details and presentation enhancements.

For example, by selecting a row of message data in the Analysis Grid viewer, the message-specific Details and Message Data single-instance Tool Windows display message field data and hexadecimal field values, respectively, for the selected message. A session-specific window such as Diagnostics is driven by session selection. For example, if you have multiple Live Trace Session and Data Retrieval Session viewer tabs displayed, the Diagnostics window displays the associated diagnosis summary information for the particular session that corresponds to the viewer tab that you select.


The Message Analyzer viewing infrastructure also enables interaction between some Tool Windows. For example, selection of message fields in the single-instance Details Tool Window drives interaction with the single-instance Message Data and Field Data Tool Windows.

Data Presentation Configurations

The Message Analyzer viewing infrastructure represents message data in several presentation configurations, as follows:

  • Tree grid format — provides a familiar grid view for displaying, filtering, grouping, and analyzing trace or log data, as shown in the Analysis Grid Viewer topic.

  • Graphic visualizers — consists of several types of graphic displays, as follows:

    • Chart viewer layouts — provides graphic data visualizers that are contained in Layouts for the Chart viewer, which includes built-in and user-configurable Layouts that employ Bar element, Pie slice, Table grid, and Timeline graphic visualizer components. A built-in Layout for the Chart viewer that contains a Bar element visualizer component is shown in the Chart Viewer Layouts topic.

    • Gantt viewer format — this viewer provides an at-a-glance graphic view of message dispersion across a trace timeline that is presented as color-coded protocol module identifiers, with source/destination address message pairs shown in the y-axis and timestamps in the x-axis. You can see an example of the Gantt viewer data visualizer in the Gantt Viewer topic.

    • Interaction viewer formats — this viewer contains Swimlane, Mapping, Diagram, and Chord viewing formats in which you can view IP conversations between end points in a set of trace results. The Interaction viewer is shown with the Swimlane configuration in the Interaction Viewer topic.

    • Message Summary Tiles format — this viewer uses data tiles to provide a high-level overview of major trace statistics, data summaries, and other important values for any set of trace results. The Message Summary Tiles viewer is shown in the Message Summary Tiles Viewer topic.

    • Message Summary List format — this viewer uses three data lists to summarize Module, Endpoint, and Diagnostic message count to provide basic information at-a-glance for a set of trace results. The Message Summary Tiles viewer is shown in the Message Summary Lists Viewer topic.

  • Other viewing formats — other unique viewing formats consist of the following:

    • Grouping viewer format — organizes traffic into summary hierarchies based on Grouping viewer Layouts that contain predefined message field Groups in nested configurations. Enables you to expose data at top-level that can normally be difficult to find. The Grouping viewer with the ProcessName and Conversations view Layout is shown in the Grouping Viewer topic.

    • Pattern Match viewer format — organizes data into several results panes that display after you execute a built-in Pattern expression that locates a particular message pattern for which the Pattern expression is configured. To see an example of results from executing the TCP Three-Way Handshake Pattern expression, see the Pattern Match Viewer topic.

  • Tool data — provided by message-specific and session-specific Tool Windows that serve as analysis tools by working interactively with a data viewer that is in-focus. Tool data provides additional message details and data presentation perspectives that are relative to data selection from an in-focus viewer. Some common Tool Windows are shown together with the Analysis Grid viewer in the Tool Windows topic.

Data Viewing Infrastructure Implementation

The most common Message Analyzer viewing infrastructure components with which you will typically work the most are described in this section. They display in the main analysis surface where all data viewers appear and includes the Analysis Grid viewer, Tool Windows, and Chart viewer Layouts, among others. In Message Analyzer, these viewing components are interactive and integrated such that message selection in one viewing component drives the display of related data such as low-level details or high-level message summaries in one or more other viewing components, providing that integrated components are currently displayed. The following types of message data are implemented in these viewing components:

  • Message detail summaries — displayed in the tree grid format of the Analysis Grid viewer, as described in the Analysis Grid Viewer topic. This format contains session results data that is presented as expandable message nodes in a stacked configuration. Each parent node in the stacked configuration represents an Operation or top-level transaction, while child nodes represent the underlying modules (protocols or providers) that supported such Operations or transactions, including reassembled message fragments that arrived at varying times. In this documentation, these child nodes are also referred to as the message origins or the origins tree.

  • Message field and value details — displayed in tabular format and reflect the names, values, types, bit offsets, and bit lengths of the fields of most messages that are selected in the Analysis Grid viewer. This information is contained in the message-specific and dockable Details Tool Window that displays by default beneath one or more session viewer tabs, as described in the Message Details Tool Window topic.

  • Message field hexadecimal values — displayed in a message-specific, configurable, and dockable Message Data Tool Window that shows the hexadecimal values of fields selected in the Details Tool Window or messages selected in the Analysis Grid viewer. See the Message Data Tool Window topic for further details.

  • Message diagnostics data — displayed in the session-specific and dockable Diagnostics Tool Window that enables quick location of embedded diagnosis message types, summarizes message group counts, and synchronizes diagnosis message selection with their parent messages in various data viewers of a selected session, as described in the Diagnostics Tool Window topic. Note that diagnostic data also displays in the default DiagnosisTypes column in the Analysis Grid viewer.

  • Message layer data — displayed in a message-specific and dockable Message Stack Tool Window that displays the full stack in several viewing formats for any message selected in the Analysis Grid viewer, as described in the Message Stack Tool Window topic. Enables quick exploration of the network architecture for a selected message without manually expanding message nodes in the Analysis Grid viewer.

  • Message top-level summary data — displayed in built-in Layouts for the Chart viewer, for example, the HTTP Content Type Volumes layout, or in custom, user-designed Layouts. The Layouts consist of graphical and statistical summary visualizer components that can provide a high-level overview of network traffic, focus on lower-level message details, or display other message activity that occurs across a set of trace results, as described in the Chart Viewer Layouts topic.

    Layouts for the Chart viewer condense and encapsulate large volumes of data into visual-graphic presentation formats that are easy to understand at a glance, enabling you to bypass the examination of thousands of messages to obtain a similar level of assessment. This helps to simplify the analysis of data trends, patterns, structures, relationships, and failures, so that you can more efficiently solve messaging problems.

    Note that you can modify the configuration of any built-in Layout for the Chart viewer and that you can save it under a different name as a new user Library item that you can share with others, as described in Managing User Libraries.


Message Analyzer data viewers are available from the locations described in Session Data Viewer Options.

More Information
To learn more about the multi-instance data viewers, see the Data Viewers topic.
To learn more about the message-specific and session-specific Tool Windows, see the Tool Windows topic.
To learn more about creating and managing your own Layouts that contain data visualizer components for the Chart viewer, see Extending Message Analyzer Data Viewing Capabilities.