Using the Field Chooser
Updated: May 20, 2016
The Message Analyzer Analysis Grid viewer has a default view Layout that contains several columns in which basic message data is displayed; however, the default 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 Field 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.
The column configuration for the default Analysis Grid view Layout is described in the Analysis Grid Viewer topic. Also, you can find all the individual columns that are contained in the default layout of the Analysis Grid viewer in the Field Chooser by using its search facility.
Although the column configuration of the default Analysis Grid view 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 Field Chooser window use common icons to represent fields, methods, properties, and so on. You can access the Field Chooser from the Analysis Grid viewer in any of the following ways:
Click the Add Columns icon on the Analysis Grid viewer toolbar. This action opens and docks the Field Chooser window in its default location. If the Field Chooser is already displayed when you click the Add Columns icon, then Field Chooser simply becomes the active window.
Click the Add Columns command from the Analysis Grid submenu in the Message Analyzer global Session menu, when the Analysis Grid has focus.
Right-click any Analysis Grid column label and then select the Add Columns… command in the context menu that appears, which likewise opens and docks the Field Chooser, if it is not already open. If Field Chooser is already open, the previously indicated action occurs.
You can also access the Field Chooser from other locations, by doing any of the following:
Click the Add Groupings icon on the Grouping viewer toolbar.
Select the Field Chooser item from the Windows submenu, which is accessible from the Message Analyzer global Tools menu.
Click the Field ellipsis (…) in the Series Fields pane of the Edit Chart Layout dialog or click the Value ellipsis in the Values pane of the Edit Chart Layout dialog, which is accessible by clicking the Edit command from the Chart drop-down list in the global Message Analyzer Session menu whenever a Chart has focus.
Click the Add button in the Edit Union dialog when you are creating a new Union (click the New Union button on the Message Analyzer global toolbar; this command is also accessible from the Message Analyzer global Tools menu).
Click the Insert Message button on the Quick tab of the Pattern Editor dialog, which displays when you click the Create Pattern button in the Pattern Match viewer. You can also display Field Chooser by clicking any ellipsis in the Criteria section of the Quick tab (click Insert Criteria), after you launch the Pattern Editor by selecting the Create Pattern command from the context menu that displays when you right-click any message in the Analysis Grid viewer.
The Field 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 module or protocol. If you want to view the data for other fields that are relevant to the trace data you captured, you can add a data column for specified fields to the Analysis Grid viewer column layout by locating the appropriate module or protocol and the required field names in the Field Chooser window, and then doing any of the following while the Analysis Grid viewer is in focus:
Double-click the field name.
Select the field or other entity that you want to add as a column and then click the Add icon in the upper-left corner of the Field Chooser window.
Right-click a field name and select the Add as Column item in the context menu.
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.
For example, if you wanted to view the ID of processes for which Message Analyzer captured events, you could add ProcessId as a column — found under the Etw node or under the Global Properties node in the Field Chooser — to the Analysis Grid viewer. Note that you also have the capability to display a ProcessName column from Global Properties as well. You are advised that viewing process ID and process names works best when you are displaying data from a *.etl file.
You can also use the Field Chooser window to add one or more new Groups to one of the default Grouping Layouts, or you can do this when you are creating your own Grouping Layout. To add a new Group, you will need to locate one or more fields for a particular message type that you want to add to your Layout as a Group. When you locate a field, right-click it and then select the Add as Grouping command from the context menu that appears. Note that to add the selected field as a Group, the Grouping viewer must be in focus. Otherwise, if the Analysis Grid viewer is in focus, selecting the Add as Grouping command reorganizes the Analysis Grid message display into groups that each contain a set of identical values, where such values are aggregated from all messages that contain those particular values for the field that you added with the Add as Grouping command.
To learn more about adding new Groups to the Grouping viewer, see the Grouping Viewer topic.
To learn more about creating groups to enhance your analysis perspectives with the Analysis Grid viewer, see Using the Analysis Grid Group Feature.
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 Field 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 to the Analysis Grid viewer or as a Group in the Grouping viewer, in the previously specified manner. If there is data associated with any field you chose, it will automatically display after you add the field as a new column in the Analysis Grid viewer, or as a Group in the Grouping viewer.
You can remove any Analysis Grid column by right-clicking the column label and selecting the Remove command in the context menu that displays. You can remove a Group in the Grouping viewer by clicking the x in the Group label below the Grouping viewer toolbar.
Because the Field Chooser 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 Field Chooser window.
Note that you can invoke Filter IntelliSense when configuring Filter Expressions in the Session Filter text box in the New Session dialog, or in the Filter and Viewpoint Filter text boxes on the Filtering toolbar that is located just below any session viewer tab.
In addition to using the Field Chooser window to add more data columns to the current column configuration of the Analysis Grid viewer, you can also quickly add a new data column to the Analysis Grid viewer based on field names in the Details Tool Window, which displays beneath the Analysis Grid viewer by default. To do this, right-click any row of field data in the Details window and select the Add 'fieldName' as Column menu item, where fieldName is a placeholder for the actual field, property, or other name in the Name column of the Details window. Message Analyzer then automatically populates the new named column with values based on parsed data from the currently displayed message collection.
To learn more about the Field Chooser, see the Field Chooser Tool Window topic.
To learn more about Filter IntelliSense, see the Filter IntelliSense Service.
To learn more about Filter Expressions, see Writing Filter Expressions.
To learn more about the Grouping viewer, see the Grouping Viewer topic.