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Managing Microsoft OPN Parser Packages

By default, every Message Analyzer installation is provided with a baseline set of OPN Parsers that enable the PEF Runtime to decode messages that are captured by various Message Analyzer providers. These OPN Parsers are automatically copied to default locations during Message Analyzer installation. Thereafter, they are accessed by the PEF Runtime when parsers are required for decoding captured messages.

Downloading and Updating OPN Parsers
Message Analyzer enables you to download OPN Parser updates from a Microsoft web service that drives the Message Analyzer feed on the Downloads tab of the Message Analyzer Start Page. The OPN Parsers are listed on this tab and the Settings tab, from where you can manage your downloads with interactive status icons. As indicated earlier, the default behavior is to copy OPN Parsers to specific directory locations during Message Analyzer installation, but the default behavior does not automatically synchronize them for updates. In this state, all OPN Parser packages display server download icons that you can click for download options, either from the Downloads or Settings tab. To automatically synchronize for updates, you must set the auto-sync download option, which changes the OPN Parser download status; or you can elect to perform a single download without syncing for future updates.

Note  You might want to perform a download after you install Message Analyzer to ensure that you have the latest parser versions.

You can manage OPN Parser downloads and updates by selecting different options in the Item Download Options dialog, which displays when you click the server download status icon for an OPN Parser package. The options that you can select in this dialog along with the different actions that they invoke are described as follows:

  • Automatically sync item updates when available — by selecting this option for a particular OPN Parser package, the latest version of that package is downloaded from the Message Analyzer feed so that you can use the latest parsers contained in the package for decoding messages that you capture with Message Analyzer. In addition, the OPN Parser package is configured for auto-synced updates, so that you automatically receive the latest parser versions as they become available in the future. Auto-syncing ensures that a selected parser package is always current and that Message Analyzer can parse messages from protocols that have undergone revisions to date. After an OPN Parser package is auto-synced, it is removed from the Downloads tab because it is automatically synchronized for future updates, and its status icon displays on the Settings tab as a grey button that contains circular arrows, to indicate the auto-synced state.

  • Download once and don’t automatically update — by selecting this option for an OPN Parser package, you opt out of the update process for the package. When this occurs, the current version of the package is downloaded from the Message Analyzer feed, but the package is not configured to auto-sync with the latest versions and download updates automatically. The OPN Parser package remains on the Downloads and Settings tabs and continues to display the server download status icon. However, you still have the option to auto-sync the package by clicking the server download status icon for the package on the Downloads tab to display the Item Download Options dialog, from where you can select the auto-sync option, even if you already downloaded the package once.

Other capabilities that you can employ when managing OPN Parser packages include the following:

  • Auto-sync all items — by clicking the Sync All Displayed Items button on the Downloads tab, all OPN Parser packages are removed from the Downloads tab and appear on the Settings tab under the OPN Parsers list in the auto-synced state.

  • Reinstall or uninstall any OPN Parser package — by clicking the appropriate icons on the Settings tab, you can reinstall any OPN Parser package or uninstall one. Even if you temporarily uninstall an OPN Parser package, the feed and update design ensures that you can never lose an OPN Parser package and that you can always have access to the latest parser updates.

  • Work offline — when you toggle the Online button on the Downloads page to the Offline state, you essentially prevent OPN Parser updates from being pushed out to your Message Analyzer installation from the web service. Going into the Offline state has no effect on your current OPN Parser download status, such that any auto-sync configuration that you previously set will automatically resume after you return to the Online state.

OPN Parser Groupings and Dependencies
The OPN Parsers are grouped into packages which contain components that relate to specific areas of functionality, such as applications, devices, communications, support, and so on. For example, the Core Networking package contains parsers for public network protocols and the Microsoft Remote Desktop package contains parsers for remote desktop application communications and management. In addition, some OPN Parser packages have dependencies on other OPN Parser packages, which means, for example, that syncing, downloading, or reinstalling one package will include any dependent packages as well. The dependencies between OPN Parser packages are automatically managed by Message Analyzer, such that the following occurs:

  • When you download an OPN Parser package that depends on another OPN Parser package, it is automatically downloaded with the dependency package included.

  • When you uninstall an OPN Parser package upon which other OPN Parser packages depend, you are prompted to also uninstall the dependent OPN Parser packages.

  • When an OPN Parser package is set for auto-syncing updates, any OPN Parser packages upon which the synced package depends will be included in the updates.

OPN Parser Package Descriptions
The following table identifies and describes the baseline OPN Parser packages that are provided with Message Analyzer:

Table 16. OPN Parser packages

Name Description Dependency

Infrastructure

Contains infrastructure components that provide support functions, enumerations, and types for all other parsers and modules. This group does not contain actual parsers, but rather provides the basic foundation for protocol parsing. Removing this group may cause parsing functionality to fail.

None

Core Networking

The basic foundation for protocol parsing functionality. Contains parsers for public network protocols, upon which many other parsers depend. Removing this group will prevent parsing of other major protocols.

Infrastructure

Device and Log File

Contains device traffic and text log file parsers.

None

Microsoft Common

Contains parsers for common Microsoft and public protocols, upon which many other Microsoft protocols depend.

Core Networking, Infrastructure

Microsoft File Sharing

Contains parsers for Microsoft Windows file sharing and branch cache protocols.

Core Networking, Infrastructure, Microsoft Common

Microsoft Identity and Security

Contains parsers for Microsoft Windows identity, authentication, authorization, and security protocols.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Contains parsers for Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop communication and management protocols.

Microsoft Other

Contains parsers for other, less common Microsoft Windows protocols, to support special requirements.

Public

Contains parsers for public protocols that are not included in the Core Networking or Microsoft Common packages.


More Information
To learn more about the contents of the default OPN Parser packages, see the OPN Parser Package Contents Addendum.

See Also

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