Microsoft Message Analyzer Beta 3 is released (Build 6211)!

We’ve hit out third and final Beta which will be followed up by the official release in the fall. Actually, there will be a Beta 3 refresh in a few weeks, but we’ll talk more about that another day. At this point, the product is feature frozen and we are ready to fine tune the experience for release. In fact, you will notice that the preview features have been removed as we want to focus on the quality of some core features first. But we have so much value bottled up that it’s time to light the rocket.  You’ll need to uninstall Beta 2 first before installing the new version.

Beta 3 is available on our Connect site

You have to sign-in and join our site on After creating an account on Connect, you can join our site by looking in the Directory. My connection below shows that I’m already joined.



We have continued to add new features and refine the existing ones. In addition to the new functionality, we improved performance and reduced the memory footprint. Here is a list of the new features highlights.

Centralized Sharing Infrastructure — users can now utilize the new Message Analyzer sharing infrastructure to create Library items as shareable assets that that you can import, export and share with others.  Manageable asset types include Trace Scenarios, Filters, Viewpoints, Color Rules, Column Layouts, and Sequence Expressions.


User Libraries — Above assets are available under centralized User Libraries


Home tab — includes new Ribbon reorganization and enhancements that include the following features:

  • Viewpoints — specify preset viewpoints so you can view data from the perspective of a protocol, in addition to hiding operations in the current view and resetting the default viewpoint.


  • Time Shifts — specify time shifts that adjust for machine skew or time zone changes across traces.


  • Chart tab — enables you to create, edit, save, and share your own Composite Chart viewers that can contain custom-configured pie, bar, timeline, and grid chart components, similar to the built-in Protocol Dashboard.


  • Session Status — includes a new progress bar indicator in Session Explorer for loading, capturing, filtering, sorting, finding, and grouping data, in addition to applying sequence matching.  Also displays the number of messages in a session and the number of messages in a session after Viewpoints or View Filters are applied.


Tool Windows — the following new tools are now available:


  • Diagnostics window — summarizes diagnosis errors in a session and enables you to easily jump to a corresponding diagnosis message in the Analysis Grid. You can also filter Diagnostics window columns to isolate specific column data.


  • Call Stack tool window — displays the message stack for any selected message row in the Analysis Grid.


  • Bookmarks window — an annotation window that enables you to mark one or more messages of interest, which includes adding links, attachments, and different colored flags.


  • Comments window — an annotation window that enables you to quickly add basic comments to one or more messages.


  • Server Response Time — a new Global Annotation entity from Column Chooser that you can add as a data column in the Analysis Grid viewer, to measure the time interval between a request operation to a server and the first server response. Provides a context for assessing server performance.


Hyper-V Switch trace capability — capture traffic from individual VMs on a host by tying into the local Hyper-V switch.

Sequence Expression Editor — develop and save sequence expressions based on message traffic that you have captured. You can also manage sequence expressions as assets that you can share with your colleagues.


Filtering Language enhancements — the Filtering Language has been extended to include support for IP sub-netting and DateTime literal expressions.

OPN behavior scenario extensions — support has been added for using an Xpath-like notation when creating OPN sequence expressions, to enable you to specify constraints on message origins. In addition, support is now included for arbitrary expressions (including annotations) in reference patterns.

Centralized Field Chooser — a new feature that extends the Column Chooser so that it is available to other tools that require you to choose fields, for example, when configuring a Sequence Expression.



We really want your feedback, although we are mainly interested in bugs at this point. Given all of these new features, we will need your help. Please take the time to report bugs on Connect and we encourage open talk on our new Message Analyzer forum. So take it for a ride and tell us what you think!


Update (6/21/2013)

Beta 3 refresh is now available.

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm doing development of a new protocol and was using Network Monitor in the past. I have not found any way to configure a capture NIC to run in promiscuous mode, which was possible with Network Monitor. Am I just missing it, or is there no way to do promiscuous monitoring? My configuration is a dev machine has a dedicated NIC which connects to the Ethernet switch, which is set for monitor mode on the two machines I care about. All the unicast traffic between the two target machines is getting filtered out.

    Some docs on writing protocol parsers would be real nice too. Like a 2 page conceptual overview of the OPN language and how the major object types interact.

    Docs on what's needed to integrate ETW manifests would also be nice. The protocol I'm doing is implemented as a kernel driver, and the plan is to have ETW tracing at various layers.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Jan: Message Analyzer doesn't support promiscuous mode right now.  You can capture in Network Monitor and then load the trace into Message Analyzer though.

    As for docs, we're still working on getting things all together for that side of the tool.  We should have more in the future, but our primary focus has been on tool use as that aligns with our initial release.

    I'm not sure of the best source for ETW manifest info, but a lot of information does exist.  It would be more part of the windows development story as it's a general windows technology.

    Jacob: You'll want to look at the 'Field Data' tool window.  It'll display images or other renderings of data of fields you select in the 'Details' tool window.

    Joshua: Go to our connect site here:  If you see red text, follow its instructions.  You need to be logged in with your Microsoft account and have joined the Message Analyzer connection to see the download.

  3. Paul E Long says:

    To see the download, you have to be logged into Connect and you have to join our connection from the Directory.  There was also an issue where some people weren't in the right security group, which I believe should be addressed now.


  4. Jeff25 says:

    Couldn't fine the Beta 3 build at Message Analyzer, Network Monitor and Protocol Test Suites Home in connect site.  Any suggestion for this?

  5. Sebastian says:

    As Jeff pointed the package is not available. Could you please provide a valid url?

  6. Davey says:

    It is on connect now.  IF you click on the big blue Connect Site link from above and then go to downloads it should be there.

  7. mike b says:

    Still not seeing it out there….

  8. Jacob Moran says:

    I've heard of a MA feature called payload rendering – what is that? I'm using the product but don't see anything called Payload Rendering so I assume I'm missing something obvious here.

  9. Joshua Flory says:

    This sounds like a neat product and I'd love to try it out, but I can't seem to find a download for MA.  I see NetMon parsers and Test Suites, but no MA download.

  10. mywindows says:

    Hi….I could not find a link to download the MS message analyzer…Can you please let me know where to download….

  11. not so anonymouse says:

    Do join or download

    1) go

    2) login with microsoft account

    3) After login from the web page at the top right , click "Directory" link

    4) Then on the join page, look for Program column that mentioned "Message Analyzer…"

    5) Then click on "Join" to join, you’ll go to site

    6) Then go "Download"

  12. Anonymous says:

    ARCHIVED as of May 2015.  Instead look at Tool: Installing the Microsoft Message Analyzer version

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