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What's new in ServiceInsight 2.4

In this release of ServiceInsight, we’ve focused on productivity enhancements that will make ServiceInsight an even more valuable member of your distributed systems toolkit.

ServiceInsight 2.4 adds the ability to have multiple ServiceControl connections active at one time, introduces a plug-in architecture for custom message viewers so that you can view the message body even if that message is compressed or encrypted, includes better controls for paging data, and better support for roaming profiles, among other minor feaures and bugfixes.

You can download the latest version of ServiceInsight now, and then read on to find out about the various productivity improvements in this release.

Multiple ServiceControl connections

It’s becoming more and more common for our customers to deploy multiple instances of ServiceControl. Production, QA, Test, and any other pre-production environment might have its own instance, including even your own development environment. Some organizations are big enough that separate logical systems (or perhaps departments) have independent ServiceControl instances.

ServiceInsight can now connect to more than one ServiceControl instance at a time. Each connected ServiceControl instance will be displayed in the Endpoint Explorer and endpoints belonging to each instance will be grouped under the instance node. Selecting an instance gives the option to disconnect ServiceInsight from that ServiceControl instance.

Multiple ServiceControl instance connected

With the ability to connect to multiple ServiceControl instances, you can keep track of what’s going on in multiple environments without needing to constantly change the connection.

Custom message viewers

One of the main uses for ServiceInsight is to inspect a message body. By default, ServiceInsights can show you messages serialized as XML, JSON, or Hexadecimal. But what if you use a custom serializer or have added custom middleware that compress or encrypt the message body?

ServiceInsight 2.4.0 supports plugging in custom message body viewers. A custom message viewer is useful to display message bodies that are not supported by default by ServiceInsight. If the message stored in ServiceControl is, for example encrypted, the message body cannot be displayed as clear text by ServiceInsight. Custom message body viewers can be deployed to ServiceInsight to provide custom visual formatting for message bodies.

Custom Viewer

Check out the custom message viewer plugin sample to see how you can create your own custom viewer plugin.

Paging

Have you ever needed to find a message from a specific time range, but because there were 10,793 pages you had to click Next 384 times to find the one you needed?

The paging controls now support jumping directly to a given page. This makes it more practical for large datasets where you want to ‘fast forward’ to find specific data, like yesterday’s list of OrderApproved messages.

New Paging Controls

This is a temporary fix implemented directly in ServiceInsight. The data itself comes from ServiceControl, which limits what can be done…for now. Expect to see more improvements in this area when we tackle our Search and Filtering set of improvements.

Roaming profiles

We’ve changed the location of ServiceInsight’s per-user configuration to better support Roaming profiles.

ServiceInsight writes some data to disk when you exit. This includes small things like window size/position, visible/hidden columns on the Messages window, and the AutoRefresh timer setting, but also very important things like the last-used ServiceControl API address.

We’ve moved these setting files to the current user’s roaming profile at %AppData%\Particular Software\ServiceInsight. This way, you only need to set it up once per user login. The files are also clearly named so you can easily share a settings file with another user on your team.

Summary

ServiceInsight 2.4 introduces a number of new features and bug fixes, including those mentioned above and a few more mentioned in the full release notes.

If you like what we’ve done, or want to suggest other improvements, we’d love to hear from you. Just click the Feedback button in ServiceInsight and drop us a line:

Feedback button

You can install the latest version of ServiceInsight from our downloads page.

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About the authors

Hadi Eskandari

Hadi Eskandari is a developer at Particular Software who loves creating tools that provide insights to fellow developers.

Mauro Servienti

Mauro Servienti is a Solution Architect at Particular Software. He helps developers build better .NET systems leveraging Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles and message-based architectures.

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