Because Message Analyzer enables you to see multiple views of the same data in a session and message selection is globally shared across all data viewers that are common to a particular session, you can use the Selection Tool Window to track messages that you select in any session data viewer. For example, if you have two Analysis Grid viewers open on the same message data, selecting a message in one viewer will select the same message in the other viewer. Global selection becomes even more valuable when you are working with data visualizers such as the Grouping, Pattern Match, or Gantt viewer to view and select messages, where you can see how the selections you make relate to other messages in the Analysis Grid viewer. In addition, the Selection window provides even more control over the in-focus message, which in turn drives the display of associated data in the Details and Message Stack Tool Windows.
Accessing the Selection Tool Window
You can access the Selection window, from the Windows sub-menu in the global Message Analyzer Tools menu, as shown in the figure below. Note that you can reposition the Selection window or any other tool window by dragging the window by its tab and hovering over the docking navigation control arrows that appear in various locations, to redock the tool window in a different sector of the Message Analyzer user interface by dropping it on a chosen arrow.
Displaying Selected Messages
The Selection window displays all messages that you select. For instance, you can select a single message or you can select multiple messages in a viewer such as the Analysis Grid—for example MessageNumber 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, as shown in the figure below.
When you press the Ctrl key while selecting messages in the Analysis Grid viewer, each selected message is highlighted in the grid and also appears in the Selection window in the order in which you selected them. You can also select messages in the Analysis Grid viewer without pressing the Ctrl key and the Selection window will still keep track of your selections in the order of selection. However, only the last message that you select in the Analysis Grid or other viewer drives display of corresponding data in the Message Stack and Details windows. This is called the “in-focus” message, which is indicated by a green arrow () in the left-hand margin of the Analysis Grid viewer and Selection window when you select a message there.
Changing the In-focus Message
The first trick the Selection window can perform is the ability to change the message you want to focus on, without unselecting a group of selected messages. This is really useful when you are using the Pattern Match viewer to highlight multiple messages, for example in a 3-way handshake, where you need to move between the 3 messages without losing the overall selection of handshake messages.
You can also use other data visualizers such as the Grouping viewer (when in Selection mode) or the Gantt viewer to select a group of related messages. For instance, you can configure the Grouping viewer to group messages by process name. You can then select all the messages related to a single process and use the Selection tool to navigate the group of selected messages to understand the relevancy of adjacent messages, which can often be revealing.
Changing the Column Layout
You have the option to modify the Selection Tool Window column layout to present other data fields that contain information you want to examine for the selected messages. When you right click a message in the Selection window, you are provided with a list of alternate column layouts that includes the built-in layouts shown in the figure below, along with any custom column layouts that you create and save.
Remembering Previous Selections
The Selection window also remembers previous selections. So if you accidently change your selection, or have a previous selection you want to restore, you can click the green arrows (,), to back- or forward-navigate respectively, through your selection collection.
Saving Selections with Bookmarks
Bookmarks is another tool window that you can access from the Windows sub-menu in the global Message Analyzer Tools menu. If there is a group of selected messages you want to keep for later analysis, select Add->Message Bookmark on the Bookmarks window toolbar and then specify a friendly name by clicking the Name field in the window, as shown in the figure below. You can then save the Bookmarks with your loaded trace by clicking the Save icon on the global Message Analyzer toolbar.
Thereafter, when you reload the data, you can select the bookmark to restore the message selection collection, and again you can navigate through the Selection window messages and focus on individual messages as required. Note that Bookmarks are saved only when you save a session in the Message Analyzer .matp file format (Message Analyzer Trace Parsed).
Correlating by Selection
Correlation by message selection is another powerful way to understand your data across different views. By keeping track of message selection globally, you can understand how a group of associated messages relate to other close-by messages in the Analysis Grid viewer. Also remember, if you want two views of the same data with different selection contexts, then you must open them as two different sessions.
To learn more about some of the features and concepts described in this article, see the following topics in the Message Analyzer Operating Guide: