The second in our series of Outpost 2009-related updates covers the newly-redesigned log display. Interestingly, this is a rare example of reverse development - in Outpost 2009, we are implementing the same logs structure as we had in Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0, though on a new platform and with some significant improvements.
Current users of Outpost 2008, either the firewall or the suite, can track events in text format. This approach has its pluses and minuses – while it enables users to do more with the data, it’s also more complicated for users to do that extra work. You’ve told us in no uncertain terms that you prefer the old approach, displaying events in chart form.
Here’s the events viewer in Outpost 2008:
And here’s what the new viewer looks like:
We hope you agree that we’ve made the right decision!
We have made the new viewer more flexible, too. Whereas Outpost 2008 groups information which might affect usability, the new version shows all parameters separately in columns, with transparent details on, for example, sent and received traffic, IPs or ports. Outpost 2009 will provide more options for filtering and sorting data within the various sections, like Firewall and Anti-Leak Control. A convenient “show” bar helps you to filter events by type and period, for example: “Allowed”, “Allowed during last 10 minutes”, “Allowed today”, “Blocked”, etc.
Outpost 2009 also lets you set up a filter by value for every column and row by right-clicking and selecting Exclude/Include commands; the “Show all” command disables the filter. One additional improvement is the subdivision of the Web Control menu in the Events Viewer to show two parameters: history of downloads and history of blocked connections.
A short summary of what Outpost 2009 will offer in terms of logs:
- Detailed charts
- Easier filtering and sorting
- Better configuration with new menus
Plus we’ve included some neat design tweaks, placed “refresh” and “clear” buttons in the toolbar and some other small improvements.
In summary, the new event viewer offers greater usability for advanced users and, more importantly, more control over the product.
With the new events structure, it’s easier to analyze logs quickly and in detail to draw the right conclusions and customize your protection appropriately for your current conditions (and common sense).
We welcome your thoughts and impressions of this “new old” feature and, if you haven’t already signed up, join our beta test program at http://www.agnitum.com/products/outpost/betatest.php. That way, you can check the changes as they happen and give us instant feedback to improve the product. In the meantime, keep your eye on this tag link to Monday updates: http://agnitumblog.blogspot.com/search/label/monday%20update%202009 and subscribe to the RSS feed. See you next Monday!
Chief Software Architect, Agnitum