Julian Samaroo · Mar 27, 2017

Feedback Request: Problems and Difficulties with Searching for Messages in the Message Viewer

Hey all! I'd like to collect some feedback regarding searching for messages using the Message Viewer. I'd like to find out what things regarding the Message Viewer you all in the community have found difficult/confusing/poorly documented. This can of course include things that you don’t know how to do yet, but would like to learn about.

For an example, I’ve had issues searching through messages containing SDA for specific text fragments, because my searches always timeout or don’t return any matching messages. Other people that I work with have similar issues, but haven't found documentation that adequately covers this situation.

Additionally, if you have previously had any problems with using the message viewer but found a solution afterwards, what was the solution and how did you find out about it? Was it easy or difficult to find the solution to your problem?

Hopefully the responses collected from this question can go towards improving the documentation and resources available for Message Viewer searches, especially for the trickier/more complex searches that tend to pop up more often than we'd like. I'll make sure that you all are informed if/when more resources become available due to the responses collected here, or if I discover useful existing (but hard to find) resources in the meantime.


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I thought it would be worthwhile to point out in the context of this question that we have an online course that addresses this topic:

Searching Messages Using the Message Viewer

Here's an outline of the course:

  1. The Message Viewer — describes how to navigate to and around the message viewer.
  2. Searching using Basic Criteria — describes how to search using basic criteria such as target/source, id, and time.
  3. Extended Criteria: Header and Body fields — describes how to search for messages using header and body fields.
  4. Search Tables, Virtual Documents, and SQL — describes how to search for messages using search tables, segment fields, property paths, and SQL


Can documentation be expanded to include information about SQL search. I always forget&rediscover where things are and especially how they are related

Great mention Tani - this is actually a pre-req for what Julian is talking about as the existing course covers the basics. In this next course, we want to cover more best practices and common hiccups that can be either avoided or worked with - directed at more advanced users who have the basics down.

The timeouts for the web front end can be frustrating. Where we had searches that we wanted to do regularly we have ended up creating a Business Service class that does embedded SQL queries on the Ens.MessageHeader table, and puts the results into a simple text message that then gets sent as an attachment to an email. This gives us our daily stats in a CSV format to copy and paste into a spreadsheet. Yes, we could have built an XML spreadsheet file directly, but that is tricky, and not much of an advantage as we want to build on it each day without the query working through many day's of data.

We also had a go creating something using Ens.BusinessMetric for a "recent activity" graph, but the end result was a bit limited in how it could be displayed and analysed (using DeepSee) as we only had the Ensemble license.