Performing Message Analyzer Operations with Aliases
Message Analyzer enables you to use Aliases in the following common operations that you can employ when analyzing session results:
This section briefly describes these capabilities, in addition to the dynamic application of Aliases as you are acquiring input message data through a Live Trace Session or a Data Retrieval Session.
Using an Alias in a Filter Expression
Message Analyzer enables you to use an Alias in Filter Expressions. Any applied filter that uses an Alias should behave in a manner that is similar to any other functionally equivalent filter. However, when creating filters that use Aliases, you must consider that the Alias name is always a string. For example, if you want to create a view Filter that isolates source traffic based on a hypothetical Alias named "MyComputer", you might have a Filter Expression that looks similar to the following examples:
<moduleName>.Source == “MyComputer”
Also note that you can still use the original data type that underlies the Alias configuration, for example, an IP address. In this case, the equivalent Filter Expression might look similar to the following:
You should be aware that because an IP address is a different data type, no quotes are used in the latter Filter Expression.
After you create and save a Filter Expression with the Edit Filter dialog — accessible by clicking the New Filter item in the Library drop-down list on the default Filter panel of the Filtering Toolbar — and that expression uses an Alias, as expected the Filter will appear in the centralized Filter Expression Library — accessible from any Filter panel on the Filtering Toolbar and on the toolbar above the Session Filter text box of the New Session dialog. Because any Filter Expression that contains an Alias is saved in the centralized Filter Library, you can use such an expression as a Session Filter or view Filter. However, for an Alias to function properly in either of these Filter Expressions, the Alias must be enabled in the Aliases drop-down list, which you can access on the global Message Analyzer toolbar. Also, if you change a Filter Expression that contains an Alias in mid-stream during a capture, the changes will immediately take effect.
If you attempt to use the Filter IntelliSense Service to compose a Filter Expression with an Alias, you will be unable to find any Aliases in the IntelliSense tree because this capability is not yet supported.
Sorting Operations with Aliases
After you create or apply an Alias, the data fields in an Analysis Grid viewer column for a supported data type may contain varying types such as integers, strings, or others such as addresses. If you sort such a column by clicking the column header, or by clicking the ascending or descending column arrow, it will be sorted in lexicographical order. For example, sorting results might look like the following:
Grouping Operations with Aliases
If you group an Analysis Grid viewer column that supports aliasing and an Alias is enabled that corresponds with data field value instances that display in that column, Message Analyzer will create a separate group among other group nodes to contain the messages that correspond with the Alias name. For example, if you have a Source IP address for which you created an Alias named “MyComputer” and you perform a grouping operation, by right-clicking the Source column in the Analysis Grid viewer and selecting the Group command, the results will show expandable Source nodes (groups) that display the following information:
The number of messages in parentheses for each node or group.
The data field value, in this case an IP address or the Alias name.
For the hypothetical Alias named “MyComputer”, the group identifier might look similar to the following:
> Source (110): MyComputer
If you expand this group by clicking the arrow, you will see only the messages that have a “MyComputer” Alias in the Source column of the Analysis Grid viewer.
Dynamically Applying Aliases
If you have a Live Trace Session in progress or if you are in the process of loading static data into Message Analyzer through a Data Retrieval Session, you can create a new Alias or enable/disable an existing Alias and the results will immediately take effect.