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TrueLog Tree Filter

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Silk Performer 17.5 comes with a number of new features and enhancements for TrueLog Explorer (TLE). The most significant one is the new TrueLog tree filter, which we introduce in this blog post. However, towards the end of the post we'll show you two more new features: the smart rendering and the binary view. In the graphic below we've visualized how the TrueLog tree filter works. At first glance, it is a simple tool that filters and therefore simplifies an otherwise complex structure of nodes. However, the TrueLog tree filter provides a range of filtering options and a number of advanced features. So let's explore those features step-by-step.

Recording Citrix

As always, we'll guide you through the new features based on an example. This time, we're creating a Citrix Web Interface project to record a quick Citrix XenApp session. We're recording Citrix as this will give us a TrueLog with two function types: Web and Citrix. So, we click New Project on the Silk Performer start page, select the project type Citrix Web Interface, give the project a name and click Next. We enter the URL of our Citrix XenApp application on the Model Script dialog and click Start recording.

On the Citrix XenApp login site, we're providing our credentials and log in. This short logging in process will be reflected by Web functions in the TrueLog. Once the Citrix XenApp screen shows up, the Recorder scripts Citrix functions. We open the calculator and perform a number of tasks with it, just to have some functions to work with. Then we close the browser and stop the recording. The script displays in the Silk Performer Workbench.

Generating a TrueLog

Let's execute a trial run to let Silk Performer generate a TrueLog. We click Try Script in the workflow bar, enable Animated run with TrueLog Explorer (1), disabe Visible client (2), and click Run (3). Once the run is complete, we can take a look at the TrueLog and its tree. It is not too complex as our recording was pretty short, but it could also be a lot simpler. Here comes the TrueLog tree filter into play.

Configuring the filter

Take a look at the tree filter toolbar. It provides three buttons: An on/off switch, a configure button, and a synchronize button. Let's click the configure button first. On the filter dialog that opens, you can see general filters on the left (1) and type-specific filters on the right (2). We first select Citrix from the Select TrueLog type list (3), enable Show only nodes of selected TrueLog type (4) and click Apply filter (5).

The tree now only shows nodes of type Citrix, which means that the login process is hidden and only the Citrix part of the recording displays. This is especially useful if you want to concentrate just on the main part of a recording, which in our case definitely contains the interactions within Citrix. It can also be very helpful if your recording contains a rather long setting up and preparation phase, which you want to get rid of when analyzing the recording in TrueLog Explorer.

The filtered tree

Now, take a closer look at the tree. The root node contains the tag filtered (1) and beside the other nodes a little filter icon displays (2). This way it's easy to quickly spot if a certain tree is in a filtered state, which is especially important when you have opened a couple of TrueLogs. To demonstrate that the filter always applies to a specific TrueLog, we open an additional TrueLog. You can see that the newly added TrueLog does not contain the tag filtered (3). We can now configure a separate filter for this TrueLog.

You can also test the on/off switch of the filter to enable and disable it a couple of times. We will now configure the filter so it shows only the Web functions of the recording, so click the configure button, set the TrueLog type to Web, and click Apply filter. The tree now only reflects the logging in process.

Advanced filter settings

We will now also try out the type-specific filters for Web. We can, for example, hide cache hits, images, audio and video content, javascript, or stylesheets (1). It's even possible to enter custom patterns to hide very specific content types (2). In the general filter settings you can enter custom strings to show or hide nodes that contain the respective strings (3). Also note that the filter dialog provides a range of other type-specific filter options for other TrueLog types and that the filter automatically detects the type of the currently selected TrueLog (reflected by the Select TrueLog type list) (4). So the TrueLog tree filter really is a powerful and advanced tool. You will most likely come to appreciate it once you work with huge and complex TrueLogs.

Keep filters synchronized

There's one more button in the tree filter toolbar we need to discuss: the synchronize button. It allows you to synchronize the filter settings in the two trees when you're in compare mode. When you start the compare mode, TrueLog Explorer splits the screen and shows two trees and two content panes, which allows you to compare TrueLogs side-by-side. You can configure the filter for one tree as desired and then click the synchronize button to apply these filter settings to the other tree as well. As long as the synchronize button is enabled, TrueLog Explorer keeps the trees synchronized.

The smart rendering feature

Now let's explore two more new features in TrueLog Explorer 17.5. First, there's the smart rendering feature. Although it seems to be a little plain and unimpressive at first glance, it is very useful for your day-to-day work. So what is it? TrueLog Explorer now automatically renders the content of the selected node in the appropriate format. The current format displays in the Response tab in brackets (1), for example (HTML) or (XML Text). When you right-click the Response tab, a context-menu displays (2). It shows all available rendering options and you can manually change the format here. When you click Reset (3), TrueLog Explorer switches back to the default for the selected node. Also note the new option Binary (4).

The binary view

This new option in the context-menu is the other new TLE feature we'd like to introduce here. The Binary view allows you to display data that could not be displayed otherwise like a video or a font file. Also, the binary view contains the link Save to disk (1), which allows you to save the content to your disk and then open it with some appropriate software. For example: TrueLog Explorer cannot play videos, but with the binary view you can save the video file to your disk and watch it with your preferred media player.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we introduced you to the new TrueLog tree filter as well as to the smart rendering feature and the binary view. These and other minor improvements will help and support you in your day-to-day work with TrueLog Explorer and Silk Performer.

Watch the TrueLog Tree Filter video

In the following video, you can watch how we performed the above described steps:

More information

To learn more about all new features and enhancements Silk Performer 17.5 provides, take a look at the following blog posts:

The Silk Performer Help is another comprehensive source of information:

If this article was useful for you, leave us a comment or like it. We appreciate your feedback.

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