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Using the Field Chooser

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.

Note  The column configuration for the default Analysis Grid View Layout is described in the Analysis Grid Viewer topic. Also, you can find all the columns that are contained in the default layout of the Analysis Grid by using the search facility of the Field Chooser window.

Accessing the Field Chooser
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 uses common icons to represent fields, methods, properties, and so on. You can access the Field Chooser in the following ways:

  • By clicking the Add Columns icon in the Analysis Grid group on the Ribbon of the Message Analyzer Home tab when the Analysis Grid viewer is in focus, which in turn opens and docks the Field Chooser window.

  • By clicking the Add Grouping icon in the Grouping group on the Ribbon of the Message Analyzer Home tab when the Grouping viewer is in focus, which likewise opens and docks the Field Chooser.

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

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

Adding Data Columns or Groups with the Field Chooser
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 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 Field Chooser window, and then doing any of the following while the Analysis Grid viewer is in focus:

  • Double-click the field name.

  • 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.

    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 the Grouping viewer is in focus, performing any of the actions described in the previous list will add a new nested Group to the currently displayed Grouping View Layout. Although in this case, you would select the Add as Grouping context menu item when right-clicking a message field in the Field Chooser.

Searching for Fields
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 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. You can also remove any Analysis Grid column by right-clicking the column title 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—found under the Etw node in the Field Chooser—to the Analysis Grid viewer. In the near future, you will have the capability to display process names as well.

Tip  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. You can invoke Filter IntelliSense when configuring Filter Expressions in the Session Filter and View Filter text boxes.

Adding Analysis Grid Columns from the Details Tool Window
In addition to using the Field Chooser window to add more data columns to the default column configuration of the Analysis Grid, 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. You can do this by right-clicking any row of field data in the Details window and selecting the Add ‘<entityName>’ as Analysis Grid Column menu item, where entityName is a placeholder for the actual field 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.

More Information
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.

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