ServiceInsight

ServiceInsight is a desktop application with features tailored to developers' needs. It allows for advanced debugging, tracking the flow of an individual message in the system, observing sagas, and more.

It is much easier to quickly spot anomalies and incorrect behavior in the system when presented with information in visual form, such as message flow diagrams or sequence diagrams. At the same time, access more detailed information such as message headers and all message metadata.

Visualizing the System

The ServiceInsight user interface provides multiple views of a distributed system. Using information collected in ServiceControl, ServiceInsight enumerates the endpoints and provides detailed message and relationship data, with formatted views of XML, JSON, and binary messages.

The flow diagram provides a detailed visual overview of the messages, collated by conversation. Using this view the flow in the system and which endpoints raised specific events and sent or handled messages can be seen. The Saga view illustrates the start of a saga, the timeouts, and interactions. The sequence diagram shows the order in which messages have been sent and handled by endpoints in the system.

As endpoints are selected, the other views within ServiceInsight respond and filter the information to show only messages pertaining to that endpoint.

Endpoint lists, message information, and message flows will not be populated until messages have been successfully processed by ServiceControl.

The Message Window

The Messages window is a detailed grid view indicating the message status, type, time stamp, and service level information. Filter the list based on specific message content, searching for all message data, not just commonly displayed fields.

Message List View

The ServicePulse monitoring tool also supports opening ServiceInsight to a specific message to allow drill down for more detail.

Refresh and Auto-refresh

The Refresh and Auto-Refresh toolbar buttons enable allow updating the displayed information with the latest updates from the ServiceControl database.

Auto-refresh keeps the information in ServiceInsight automatically refreshed, delivering near real-time information to the views.

The auto-refresh rate can be specified in the View -> Options -> Auto-Refresh Timer setting (default is auto-refresh every 15 seconds; lowest value is 1 second), or specify the auto-refresh rate using the ServiceInsight invocation parameter (see ServiceInsight Invocation)

Timing and Performance

Use the performance-related information in the message header to sort the messages in an endpoint based on the time the messages were sent, critical time, processing time, delivery time, Message Type and ID.

The message timing measurements include the following:

  • Processing Time: the amount of time it took to actually process the message, within the processing endpoint, by the message processing handler method

Using the messages window column headers the messages can be sorted in ascending or descending order (the sorting operation applies on all the relevant messages in the underlying ServiceControl instance, and is not limited to the currently displayed messages).

Select specific messages, the related properties window and flow diagram change to illustrate details of the selected message.

Endpoint Explorer

The Endpoint Explorer indicates the connection to the ServiceControl instance providing data to ServiceInsight. The list enumerates the endpoints and the machine where they are deployed.

Endpoint Explorer

Select endpoints to filter the message list. Select the root ServiceControl connection and the tree view to make the list expand to include all messages.

Flow Diagram

The flow diagram provides extensive message and system information. When messages are selected in the message list, the flow diagram illustrates the message and all related messages from the same conversation, along with the nature of the messages and the endpoints involved.

The Flow Diagram

Each message is represented by a box indicating the message type and illustrating details including the endpoints and time information. Published events and sent commands have different icons and illustrations. Dropdowns provide more message details and links to search based on this message, copy message details, and retry messages.

Message Properties

Each message in NServiceBus contains extensive detail. As messages are selected in the flow diagram or in the list, an additional Message Properties window lists the properties for the message.

The Message Properties Window

The Saga View

Sagas play a critical role in NServiceBus systems. As coordinators of processes they are started by certain messages and interact with a variety of messages and services. To open a graphical view of Sagas, click a message in the flow diagram that is handled by a saga.

The Saga View

The saga illustrates how the saga was initiated and other messages that were sent or handled, with detailed message data, time information, and details on saga data changes.

Sequence Diagram

While the Flow Diagram is very good at showing why each message in a conversation was sent, the Sequence Diagram is better for understanding when messages were sent and handled.

The Sequence Diagram

Read more about the Sequence Diagram

Body View

ServiceInsight can show the body of a message in either XML or JSON format, and in raw HEX.

Body Tab

Log View

ServiceInsight leverages the ServiceControl API to retrieve information. The Log tab of the Flow Diagram window displays details of the interactions as ServiceInsight polls ServiceControl for more data.

Log View Tab

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