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Understanding and Managing Viewpoints

In Message Analyzer, the default Analysis Grid viewer focuses on top-level messages to provide a compact display of data summaries, so that you can very quickly understand issues at a high level. As a result, other important details can be hidden in this view, such as the underlying origins messages that support operations or other top-level messages. However, because awareness of the activities of specific protocols at the lower layers can be crucial to data analysis, it is often necessary to achieve a focused analytical perspective at these levels. Moreover, it can also be advantageous to be able to view only the traffic of a particular higher-layer protocol, for example, HTTP. In Message Analyzer, this is made possible through the application of Viewpoints.

Protocol Viewpoints  To make your troubleshooting efforts easier, Message Analyzer enables you to examine network traffic from the perspective of a protocol, where you can display the specific protocol messages at top-level in the Analysis Grid with no layers above them. For this reason, Viewpoints could be considered layer filters because they temporarily remove the display of all messages above the applied protocol Viewpoint, such that only those protocol messages appear at top-level in the Analysis Grid viewer.

For example, when viewing trace results in the Analysis Grid viewer, you may have higher-layer traffic that obscures the underlying messages that you want to troubleshoot. By default, the Analysis Grid viewer displays top-level messages and operations in single rows with expandable nodes, where the message origins or underlying message stack is concealed under multiple lower-level expansion nodes. As a result, you can only examine the details of messages in the underlying layers by expanding the message nodes one by one to expose the protocol or module layer that you want to troubleshoot. Repeating this process across an entire trace, particularly a large trace with many messages, can become very labor intensive.

To alleviate this difficulty, Message Analyzer provides preconfigured Viewpoints that enable you to expose the data for specific message types in top-level rows of the Analysis Grid viewer, with all the upper-layer messages above the Viewpoint level removed. However, even though the upper-layer messages are removed by a Viewpoint, you still have the option to view the message stack in its entirety for any viewpoint message by opening the Message Stack tool window. Thereafter, when you select any viewpoint message in the Analysis Grid viewer, the selected viewpoint message and the layers above and below it display in the Message Stack Tool Window to give you some layering context, along with a quick view of Summary statistics for messages at each layer.

Accessing Viewpoint Items
The predefined Viewpoints that Message Analyzer exposes are provided in a user library that exists on the toobar of the Viewpoint Tool Window. To learn how to display the Viewpoints window if it is not already displayed, or to learn about the UI controls and features for Viewpoints, see the Viewpoint Tool Window topic.

Managing Viewpoints as Shared Items
The predefined Viewpoints that Message Analyzer provides are included in a user asset library that is accessible from the Viewpoint drop-down list on the toolbar of the Viewpoints Tool Window. The Viewpoint items in this list are shareable assets. Message Analyzer provides a simple way to expose these Viewpoint items to others for sharing purposes, or to retrieve Viewpoint items that others have shared.

Note  The ability to create new Viewpoints or edit existing ones may be available in the near future.

You can share Viewpoint items directly with others by using the Export feature in the Manage Viewpoint dialog to save one or more Viewpoint items to a designated file share. You can also use the Import feature in the same dialog to access Viewpoint items that have been shared by others in a similar manner. The Manage Viewpoint dialog is accessible by selecting the Manage Viewpoints item from the Viewpoint drop-down list on the toolbar of the Viewpoint window.

In addition, you can share your Viewpoint items through a user feed that you configure in the Message Analyzer Sharing Infrastructure from the Settings tab on the Start Page. Thereafter, you can use the Export feature of the Manage Viewpoint dialog to post your Viewpoint items to the feed so that others can access them. If you updated your existing Viewpoint items or added others to your collection, you can make them available to team members or other users through the configured feed, where they can view, synchronize with, and download your collection items. However, to enable users to download item collection updates, there is some manual configuration required at this time, as described in Manual Item Update Synchronization.

Microsoft also provides a default Message Analyzer feed on the Downloads tab of the Start Page that enables you to download Viewpoint item collections from a Microsoft web service and to synchronize with item collection updates that are periodically pushed out by the service. To receive these updates that will appear in the top-level Message Analyzer category of the Viewpoints drop-down list, you must set the Message Analyzer Viewpoints collection to the auto-sync state on the Message Analyzer Start Page. At any time, you can perform a download of an auto-synced collection from the Settings tab on the Start Page.

More Information
To learn more about how to use the Viewpoint Tool Window features and controls, see the Viewpoint Tool Window topic.
To learn more about the Sharing Infrastructure and managing user Library items, downloading item collections, and auto-syncing item collection updates, see the Sharing Infrastructure and Managing Item Collection Downloads and Updates topics.
To learn more about using the common Manage <Items> dialog to share your Viewpoint assets, see Managing User Libraries.

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