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Overview of Tracing

Management & Control Services (MCS) allows you to record and maintain trace data for tasks that are performed by MCS-managed products, such as Attachmate Presentation Builder and Smart Connectors. You can create custom trace configurations as needed to help track and troubleshoot any problems that might occur in those products.

The type of information that can be traced for a product is specified by that product. Each MCS-managed product logs its own trace entries locally, and reports that data to MCS only when requested. Using the MCS Tracing function, you can view and save trace data from individual products from one central location.

Note Trace logging is not enabled by default for MCS-managed products. To enable tracing, you must configure a trace for a particular product, and then start the configured trace. For instructions, see Configuring a New Trace and Starting or Stopping a Trace, respectively.

Using MCS, you can create trace configurations that trace product (component) tasks on a single computer, or across a series of servers (referred to as a server cluster). You can specify the maximum buffer size for configured traces, you can start, stop, and clear configured traces as needed, and you can save trace data to file. Additionally, you can view trace information that is stored in either a configured trace buffer or a trace log file that has been saved.

When you are finished with a particular trace, you can stop or even delete a trace configuration, preventing the tracing service from consuming unnecessary resources and disk space.

Understanding Correlation IDs

MCS provides two styles (or types) of tracing: Component and End-to-End. The trace style is specified when a new trace is configured, and can be updated later for an existing trace.

Component tracing is fairly straightforward, as it applies to one component of an MCS-managed product only, for example, the Presentation Builder's Presentation Runtime Service component. All activity for the specified component is traced and recorded for that component only, on a single computer or cluster.

End-to-End tracing, on the other hand, provides a method for tracing a particular transaction across several components, which may be installed on one or more computers or clusters. For example, a transaction may begin at Presentation Builder, and then move to one or more Smart Connectors, to one or more mainframes, and then back to Presentation Builder. All of these components may be installed on a single server or cluster, or they may be spread across multiple servers or clusters.

In order to record an End-to-End trace, MCS creates and assigns a unique Correlation ID to each transaction. The Correlation ID is passed along with the transaction from one component to the next, and is used by MCS to correlate and display all of the related trace entries at the MCS console when requested. Each Correlation ID also includes an Index number, which is incremented by one at each stage of the transaction's progress.

Note Correlation IDs are also assigned to Component-style traces, to uniquely identify each trace. The Index number for a Component trace, however, is always 1.
Related Topics
Bullet Viewing Traces
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