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Naming Saved Files

When saving data in one of the Message Analyzer native file formats, you are advised to consider file naming conventions. The following elements can be represented in saved message data and can therefore impact how you name the file:

  • The stack level at which you ran a trace or the Trace Scenario you used.

  • The provider/s and/or provider configuration you used for the trace.

  • The filter or filters you applied when capturing or importing data.

  • The name you gave the session.

  • The type of data being displayed or aggregated, such as trace data or logs, respectively.

  • The way in which you processed or analyzed the data, for example, the filtering you applied and the data set that resulted from it.

  • The data viewers you employed.

  • The problem you solved.

Considering the variability of these factors, the content of each saved message file is almost certain to be unique. Therefore, the name of any message file that you save should be representative of its unique content, to facilitate ease of recognition when you revisit the data at a future time, or when reviewers, decision makers, and other colleagues view it for the first time. You can also apply the same principles when naming new sessions.

If you have a well thought-out file naming strategy, it can simplify your work and save time. For example, if you are importing a large number of files that display in the Import files list of your Browse Session, you can quickly locate and select specific files that you want to import by specifying characters in the Import files search box that are unique to the file names or the directory in which the files are located. For instance, you could search for all files or directories containing the characters “SMB2 Query Info”. The search then highlights all files and directories containing those characters and you can then select only those files for the import process. This feature enables you to select any single file or group of files, in any combination, that contain the data you want to analyze following the import process.

Note that a Browse Session might contain data from multiple imported files, so the file name under which you save the data should not necessarily reflect the name of any one file. Also, the file name under which you save data and the default session name of a Browse Session or Trace Session can be different. The exception to this is when saving Network Monitor Capture (.cap) files or non-native files and logs. In these cases, the session name and the file save name are always identical.

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