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Browse Prior Art Database

Built In Monitor Facility for Communications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000087019D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Leikam, GE: AUTHOR

Abstract

In troubleshooting data communications problems, it is frequently required to analyze the actual line traffic appearing on the data link. Typically, specialized external test equipment is used to monitor the data at the modem/business machine interface. This approach has several major drawbacks, namely: 1. The test equipment is usually very expensive. 2. It is generally not readily available when the need is determined. 3. Specialized training is usually required for use. 4. Time must be spent recreating the problem after the equipment is obtained, and intermittent problems may not be easily reproduced. 5. Often times, the data is recorded on a medium (e.g., tape cassette) which must be sent to a remote location for interpretation. 6. The equipment cannot be used with an internal (i.e.

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Built In Monitor Facility for Communications

In troubleshooting data communications problems, it is frequently required to analyze the actual line traffic appearing on the data link. Typically, specialized external test equipment is used to monitor the data at the modem/business machine interface. This approach has several major drawbacks, namely:
1. The test equipment is usually very expensive.
2. It is generally not readily available when the need is

determined.
3. Specialized training is usually required for use.
4. Time must be spent recreating the problem after the

equipment is obtained, and intermittent problems may

not be easily reproduced.
5. Often times, the data is recorded on a medium (e.g., tape

cassette) which must be sent to a remote location for

interpretation.
6. The equipment cannot be used with an internal (i.e.,

"under-the-covers") modem.

This article describes a technique which provides a "built-in" line trace facility for communications. This function requires no external test equipment. Since it is resident in the machine, it is always available, and can therefore provide a "baby-sitting" function to monitor customer data in unattended mode. The line trace is immediately available without the need to obtain test equipment and recreate the problem. It requires no specialized training. The technique is transparent to line discipline, code sets and data formats. It can be used with internal as well as external modems. Loadable routines may be used to obtain an immediate playout of the data, which provides flexibility for outputting the data to different devices and in a variety of formats. Alternatively, a resident capability in the machine could be provided to automatically "dump" the data in the event of an abnormal ending situation, or to output the data on command.

The line trace function stores two bytes of informatio...