Microsoft Message Analyzer – the successor to Microsoft Network Monitor

Microsoft Message Analyzer is a new tool for capturing, displaying, and analyzing protocol messaging traffic. It is the successor to Microsoft Network Monitor 3.x and is a key component in the Protocol Engineering Framework (PEF) that was created by Microsoft for the improvement of protocol design, development, documentation, testing, and support. With Message Analyzer, you can capture live data or retrieve archived message collections from saved files such as traces and logs. Message Analyzer also enables you to display data in a default tree grid view and in selectable graphical views that employ grids, charts, and timeline visualizer components that provide high-level data summaries and other statistics.
Read more about it is at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj649776.aspx. Lots of good information there, and then you can take the next step if you’d like to test run it by looking at Beta1 below:

For you that are really interested in this, just released on the Microsoft Connect site: https://connect.microsoft.com/site216/Downloads

This release adds a range of new functionality and resolves a number of bugs:

  • IntelliSense UI for filter creation–As one of the most requested features, Filter IntelliSense is now available for exploring protocol message hierarchies to find the fields you need to build filter expressions. The capabilities are vastly improved compared to Network Monitor, now displaying protocols, messages, fields, structures, properties, annotations and more!

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  • Quick filter-Quickfiltering makes it easy to create a time window in which to view trace results! Unlike BSV, it filters messages in memory after loading them instead of during import. Just select the traces you want, adjust the time slider as needed, and you are done. It’s that easy.

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  • Capture firewall discard events– This feature allows you to discover how the firewall is affecting network traffic. New messages tell you when traffic is blocked and associated IDs point to the specific firewall rule responsible for dropping the message.
  • OPN Viewer–You can right click on any field and selectGo to Definition to view the field’s OPN definition. This feature provides the equivalent functionality of the NPL Viewer in Network Monitor 3.4.
  • Parsing REST Protocols–This feature enablesyou to diagnose and analyze RESTful web services. RESTful web services are one of the fastest growing network areas.
  • Performance improvements:
    • Message Analyzer startup time has improved by over 50%.
    • Sorting on selected column has improved by 60%.
    • Grouping has improved by 30%
    • Parsing after the initial load has improved by up to 15%, depending upon the protocol type.

Message Analyzer also presents exciting graphic viewer features that are still under development, but we would like to share them with you now toget your initial feedback:

  • Gantt viewer–Do you need to see a bird’s eye view of your message traffic? Message Analyzer now includes a highly customizable Gantt Viewer that provides easy-to-use navigation, zooming, and the ability to drill down into further details, as necessary.

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  • Console viewer–provides an interactive command-line interface for filtering, sorting, grouping, and viewing messages collections.

Microsoft is providing the Beta 2 release to give you the opportunity to provide feedback so we can continue to make improvements on the new features as we drive towards our upcoming RTM.
Keep up to date on this beta and this promising tool.

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