Chart Reports

You can create Chart Reports in one of two ways with dsClient Desktop. You can either create a standalone report with the menu selection File>New>OM Report>Chart Report or you can include a Chart Report in your Workspace and configure it on the Report tab. If the report is in your workspace you can configure it to start automatically after you load your test configuration, but a report that is configured in the Workspace can only be used while the test is running, not after the test is complete. To have the best of both worlds, link to a standalone report from your Workspace and you will still be able to use the report to view the results of a completed test from its OM database.

You can save standalone reports to your XML library and open them with a double-click just as you do a Workspace. Whether you create a new report or open a saved report you will first be prompted to define the report source and then the report screen will appear. When you open a database report, dsClient will inspect all OM values to sum the number of errors counted, and depending on the condition of the database it may perform other operations to prepare the database. In either of these scenarios you'll see a progress bar at the bottom of the application window. If any of these operations must complete before you can interact with the report screen, the wait cursor will be displayed.

In the Chart Report shown above, test results are analyzed to determine the cause of a failing test. The measurements displayed were added to the report by selecting summary OMs from the OM tree and by selecting error OMs from the Active Error Measurements dialog. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with those options, this would be a good time to review the Reporting Overview topic for information about the measurement tree, adding and removing measurements from a report, and viewing error measurements.

The set of colors and line patterns used to plot measurement values are defined in your report preferences, and you can modify those used for particular OMs in the report's configuration if desired. The final values for all OMs in a database report, or the latest values in a live report, are displayed to the right of the graph, with each value outlined by the same line used to plot the values. When you roll your mouse over the graph portion of the chart the values for the report interval nearest the mouse pointer are displayed, along with the interval's time stamp, as shown above.

You can save standalone Chart Reports to your library using the Save As... and Save buttons, and you can export some or all of the report content using the To CSV... button.

In the remainder of the topic we'll explore the various options in the report toolbar and the chart controls and how they can be useful in analyzing your test results.

The Report Toolbar

The report toolbar contains report-level configuration actions.

Add Chart: Click the new icon () to append a chart to the report.

Manage...: Opens the Report Configuration dialog.

Time Zone: This setting defaults to your PC's time zone. You can shift the report to a different time zone in order to align chart time lines with the time stamps in a log or packet capture.

Chart Layout: By default charts will be vertically stacked (). You can choose a tiled layout () or a horizontal flow (). When multiple charts are present in either the vertical or horizontal option, each chart is placed within a collapsible container. When you collapse one container the remaining visible charts will enlarge to fill the available space.

Synchronize Y Axes: This option will cause all charts in the report to use matching Y axis values, enabling side-by-side volume comparisons.

Database Information: When a report is generated from OM database(s) the name(s) of the file(s) are displayed along with the total number of report intervals.

Error Counter: Displays the total number of errors counted in a database report or the number of errors reported by dsTest in a live report. If errors are present you can click the View... button to open the Active Error Measurements dialog. Refer to Reporting Overview to learn more about adding those measurements to your report.

Chart Controls

Each chart has its own set of controls that enable you to manipulate OM values and the time line as well as manage the OMs on the chart.

Report Mode: This option, which defaults to Native Values, allows you to choose how measurement values are calculated for that chart. You can learn more about the available Report Modes here. In the example above Interval Values is selected in order to expose the timing of the errors encountered in the test. You can set the default report mode in your Preferences.

Zooming In and Out: You can "zoom in" to a particular time frame by clicking and dragging to the right within the graph portion of the chart to outline the time frame you're interested in. While you're dragging the mouse a marquee outline indicates the new time line, and when you release the mouse that time line will become the X axis of the graph. This can be very useful when analyzing error conditions as shown in the chart above as the error events all occurred within a span of 30 seconds. Clicking the Zoom Out button returns the graph to its original time frame. If your report contains multiple charts, changes to the time frame in one chart will be replicated in the others, keeping all X axes in sync.

Interval Compression: When a database report covers more than 5,000 intervals dsClient compresses the intervals as needed so as not to exceed 5,000 plotted points for each OM. If interval compression has been performed the compression ratio is displayed in red as shown in the controls above, 6:1 indicating that six intervals are compressed into one plotted point which represents the average value across those intervals.

Adding and Removing OMs: Refer to Reporting Overview for an explanation of the different ways to add and remove OMs as well as how the measurement tree is structured. If you choose to manage OMs through tree node selections, the new OM icon () will appear in the chart controls as shown above, and clicking this button will open the OM tree screen. In drag-n-drop mode the OM tree is located in a sliding panel on the left side of the screen.

Snapshot: You can create an image of a particular chart by clicking the  icon and then specifying a location and name for the resulting PNG or GIF file. The image will depict the chart as it was displayed, including size and background image, but will not include the chart controls.

Chart Legend

Every chart displays a legend of the measurements included in the graph that includes the OM path and a line segment in the style used to plot the measurement values in the graph.

In addition to listing the OMs in a chart, you can also use the legend to highlight a particular measurement. When you click on an OM's legend the plots of the other OMs fade, allowing you to clearly see the entire plot of the selected measurement. When interval compression is in effect, highlighting an OM also provides more information in the rollover values as shown to the right - the average value is displayed along with the minimum and maximum values across the intervals represented. Ctrl-click to remove the selection and restore the other measurements.

Report Configuration

In the Manage Chart Configurations dialog you can customize the appearance of the charts in your report and define custom measurements that can be used in any report. The settings for each chart will be found on tabs labeled with the chart titles. You can modify the defaults used in these settings for future reports in your application Preferences. Refer to the Custom Measurements topic for more information on that subject.

OM Colors and Styles: In this section you can change the line colors and styles that the application assigned to each measurement. Click on the legend, select a different color and/or line style, and then click the Set OM Style.

Chart Title: The text in this field is displayed above the chart's graph and is included in snapshot images.

Keep Zero Visible: When this checkbox is not selected the application will choose a minimum Y axis value based on the measurement values. When it is checked the minimum Y value will always be zero if all values in the graph are positive.

Legend Position: You can choose to place the chart legend Below the graph (default) or to the Left of the graph. If your OM paths are particularly long or the chart is plotting many OMs the left position may be preferable.

Include Background Image: To brand your charts with a logo or other watermark image, select the checkbox and then click Select Image and browse to the PNG, GIF, or JPEG file. Choose the desired Maximum Image Size - Enlarge to Fit will fill the graph background while File Size will not. The image will be reduced if necessary to fit within the inner graph boundaries. The image you supply will have translucency applied to it to simulate a watermark.