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Using the Column Chooser

The Message Analyzer Analysis Grid viewer has a default column layout that contains several columns in which basic message data is displayed, however, the default column layout displays only a limited cross-section of the available data. Additional information is also available for many other message fields that you can access by using the Column Chooser tool window. By adding specific columns, you can expose hidden but important field information that you can examine for greater troubleshooting capabilities with Message Analyzer.

Note  The default column layout configuration is described in the Analysis Grid topic. Also, you can find all the columns that are used in the Analysis Grid viewer default column layout in the Column Chooser tool window by using its search facility.

Accessing the Column Chooser
Although the default column layout provides some basic information for any message that you view, there are many more data columns that you can add to the Analysis Grid viewer that enable you to focus on specific data fields that contain values for the message types, properties, structures, methods, flags, events, metadata, and so on, of your captured messages. Each of the nodes in the message hierarchies of the Column Chooser tool window uses common icons to represent fields, methods, properties, and so on. You can access the Column Chooser in the following ways:

  • By clicking the Choose Columns icon in the View Options group on the Message Analyzer Ribbon, which in turn opens and docks the Column Chooser window.

  • By right-clicking the column bar for any Analysis Grid viewer column and selecting the Choose Columns… command from the menu that appears.

  • By selecting the Column Chooser menu item from the Tool Windows drop-down in the Windows group on the Ribbon.

Adding Data Columns with Column Chooser
The Column Chooser window contains a top-level tree view of all the message modules and protocols for which Message Analyzer provides parsing based on OPN descriptions. If you expand the nodes of any particular module, you will see the message hierarchy containing the message types, properties, structures, methods, flags, events, or other data fields that are defined for that protocol. If you want to view the data for specific fields that are relevant to the trace data you captured, you can add a data column for particular fields to the Analysis Grid viewer default column layout by locating the appropriate module or protocol and the required field names in Column Chooser tool window, and then doing any of the following:

  • Double-click the field name.

  • Click the Add icon in the upper-left corner of the Column Chooser dialog.

  • Right-click a field name and select the Add as Column item in the context menu.

    Note  You can also select the Go to Definition item in this context menu to open the OPN viewer and highlight the definition of the field you chose.

If you want to search for a particular field by name, you can type the name, or a portion thereof, in the search text box at the top of the Column Chooser window and search results will display with yellow highlighting, similar to the way Windows Explorer displays search results. After you locate the correct field, you can then add it as a data column in the manner specified immediately above. If there is data associated with any field you chose, it will automatically display after you add the field as a new column. You can also remove any column by right-clicking the column and selecting the Remove command in the menu that displays.

For example, if you wanted to view the ID of processes for which Message Analyzer captured events, you could add the ProcessId column under the Etw node in the Column Chooser window to the Analysis Grid viewer. In the near future, you will have the capability to display process names as well.

Tip  Because the Column Chooser tool window provides a tree-level view of the message hierarchy for each module type that is parsed by the PEF Runtime, it can help you understand how to traverse the message hierarchy to some extent. However, Message Analyzer also provides the Filter IntelliSense service that helps you to discover how to traverse the message hierarchy in a more interactive way; this feature streamlines the task of writing Filter Expressions. Filter IntelliSense is an interactive and intelligent statement completion service that responds to text that you enter in any Filter Expression text box by displaying various elements of the message hierarchies, such as message types, structures, properties, flags, and other fields. The message hierarchies that you traverse with Filter IntelliSense are the same that display in Column Chooser. You can invoke Filter IntelliSense when configuring Filter Expressions in a Selection Filter, Trace Filter, or View Filter text box.

Adding Summary Columns from the Details Window
In addition to using the Column Chooser window to add more data columns to the Analysis Grid viewer default column layout, you can also quickly add a new data column to the Analysis Grid viewer based on field names in the Details tool window that displays beneath the Analysis Grid viewer by default. You can do so by right-clicking any row of field data in the Details tool window and selecting the Add ‘<entityName>’ as Summary Column menu item, where entityName is a placeholder for the actual field name in the Name column of the Details tool window. Message Analyzer then automatically populates the new named column with values, based on data from the currently displayed message collection.


More Information
To learn more about the Column Chooser tool window, see Column Chooser.
To learn more about Filter IntelliSense, see the Filter IntelliSense Service.
To learn more about Filter Expressions, see Writing Filter Expressions.

See Also

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