MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser Professional Edition

Product history


This page provides information about the major new features introduced in the latest as well as in the past releases of MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser Professional Edition.

What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser, Version 7.x Release

Find facility built into the Raw Output and Log window panels.
The software now incorporates the built-in Find tool that lets you quickly search for any sequence of characters in the Raw Output panel in the main window, containing the retrieved data in XML or JSON format. The tool can highlight results in a different color and lets you quickly navigate back and forth between the matches. Furthermore, besides the normal text search mode, the tool supports also regular expressions that can be used to find complex text patterns. The same Find tool is now available also in the Log tab in the main window and lets you search the application log, e.g., to determine if there were any error or warning messages generated, etc. This feature lets you quickly find and view the data you are interested in, without having to scroll through and examine the entire (potentially large) output.
Perform NETCONF and RESTCONF operations on entire module.
NetConf Browser now lets you select a "module" node in the YANG tree and choose an operation on it (e.g., Get, Get- Config, Edit-Config etc.) in order to retrieve or modify data of the entire YANG module. The filter for the selected NETCONF RPC is automatically generated from YANG, based on the module top-level data nodes (if available). The generated filter can be either standard subtree filter or XPath filter (configurable in program preferences). This feature represents another improvement in usability and productivity of the software, as it now lets you perform a single operation to achieve the goal that previously required two or more actions.
Improved overview of server capabilities.
The Capabilities tab in the main window has been improved to provide a clearer overview of server capabilities and make individual entries easier to find. The capabilities list is now color coded to make a clear distinction between the standard protocol capabilities, IETF and IANA module capabilities and proprietary capabilities advertised by the server. Furthermore, the Capabilities tab now incorporates also the quick filter feature that lets you find and display only those capabilities that contain the user-specified filter phrase.
Complete support for RESTCONF protocol.
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser now implements full support for the RESTCONF protocol (RFC 8040) with both, XML and JSON data encoding. The application user interface, data validation procedures and message payload composition feature have all been extended to transparently support also RESTCONF in addition to the NETCONF protocol. NetConf Browser lets you use all standard RESTCONF HTTP methods, like GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE, etc., invoke proprietary operations and actions, and enable receiving event notifications via RESTCONF. The software incorporates YANG-based auto-complete mechanism for composing the RESTCONF URIs, as well as fully fledged auto-completion feature when creating RESTCONF message payloads in XML and JSON format.
Support for RESTCONF and RESTCONF Call Home connections over HTTPS.
The NetConf Browser connecting capabilities have been extended to enable connecting to RESTCONF devices via the HTTP over TLS (HTTPS), using the TLS public key infrastructure (X.509 certificates) for authenticating both server and client. In addition to TLS authentication, the HTTP client authentication is also available, featuring the basic and digest authentication methods. Besides the regular RESTCONF connections, RESTCONF Call Home connections that are initiated by servers are also supported. All device connection details (inc. user credentials) and data model can be saved to user- configured device profiles for later use and effortless management of RESTCONF (and NETCONF) devices. After establishing a RESTCONF session with a server, NetConf Browser automatically discovers the server RESTCONF root resource, server capabilities, data-model-specific RPC operations, event streams, and yang-library data. The software can automatically download YANG files from the RESTCONF server and load them so one can immediately start managing the given device.
Extended NETCONF Content Editor supporting RESTCONF.
The RFC 6110-based DSDL schema generation and validation in the NETCONF Content Editor has been extended by MG-SOFT to support also RESTCONF protocol. It now allows you to easily compose any type of NETCONF XML or RESTCONF XML or JSON document and validate it using the DSDL schemas, which are automatically generated from the selected YANG modules. The integrated RESTCONF toolbar provides an easy way to select the desired method (GET, POST, PATCH, etc.) and to create a target resource URI using the resource auto-completion feature. All this lets you create an arbitrary RESTCONF message and send it to the server to manipulate or retrieve the desired resource in no time.
Generating configuration from YANG model (NETCONF and RESTCONF).
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser now lets you select, e.g., a subtree node in the YANG tree and generate a NETCONF XML instance document or RESTCONF XML or JSON document for an <edit-config> or PUT/PATCH request, respectively. The generated configuration content contains at least one instance of all config=true data nodes (leaf, leaf-list, list, container, anyxml, etc.) from the given subtree. The generated leaf and leaf-list elements have valid, yet dummy values that can be easily edited before sending the content to the server. This powerful feature allows you to quickly and easily create a (part of) configuration that does not exist on the server yet.
Generating content for custom RPC/actions to invoke proprietary operations.
The software lets you select an arbitrary "rpc" or "action" type of node in the YANG tree and generate the corresponding NETCONF RPC or RESTCONF POST request containing all required input elements as defined in YANG. After reviewing or editing the auto-generated RPC or action content, you can send it to a server to invoke the respective operation or action.
Support for Java version 9-13 and HiDPI.
NetConf Browser has been tested to successfully run on Oracle Java version 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 on all supported platforms: Windows, Linux and Mac. Starting with Java version 11, both Oracle JDK (commercial version) and OpenJDK (open source build) are preliminary supported. Using Java 9 or later also adds proper support for HiDPI displays (e.g., UHD/4K). The latter means that the application windows, graphics, and text are scaled automatically according to the system settings, which makes NetConf Browser perfectly usable also with modern high pixel density displays.
Enhanced documentation.
Significantly updated and enhanced user manual and product documentation with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT NetConf Browser Pro.
Besides the above listed features, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser, Version 6.x

Greatly enhanced and memory optimized handling of large data models.
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser data model loading and validating procedures have been redesigned and optimized to enable working with large data models significantly faster, while consuming up to 60% less memory than before.
NETCONF Content Editor optimization.
The RFC 6110-based DSDL schema generation and validation in the NETCONF Content Editor has been optimized for speed and improved usability and now allows editing NETCONF instance documents with XML syntax coloring and code-completion even before the schema generation is completed.
Support for NETCONF Call Home over SSH and TLS.
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser now supports NETCONF Call Home over SSH and TLS (RFC 8071), where a NETCONF server is the peer that initiates a secure connection to a NETCONF client (i.e., NetConf Browser). The NETCONF Call Home method is useful in many scenarios, for example, when NETCONF servers are deployed behind a firewall and/or NAT that does not allow management access to the internal network, when NETCONF devices are powered on for the first time and automatically connect and register themselves with the management system, etc.
Complete YANG 1.1 Support.
In addition to the original YANG data modeling language version 1 (RFC 6020), MG-SOFT NetConf Browser now fully supports also the new YANG version 1.1 (RFC 7950). The software's GUI has been extended and the built-in YANG validation engine has been rewritten to fully support all YANG 1.1 syntax and semantics, including the new statements ('action', 'anydata'), new 'XPath' functions, modified rules for 'notifications', changed lexical rules and the new submodule scoping rules, to name some of the more important changes in YANG 1.1. The software now lets you load any set of valid YANG 1.1 and YANG 1 modules (as well as YIN 1.1. and YIN 1 modules).
Device profiles enable straightforward management of different NETCONF devices.
The software now lets you configure and use profiles for managing different NETCONF-enabled devices (servers). A device profile contains parameters that describe a particular NETCONF device, i.e., the device address, description, device data model (e.g., supported YANG modules) and NETCONF connection details, optionally including user credentials. This principle lets you configure device settings only once for each device and then re-use these settings by simply switching to the relevant device profile when you wish to manage a particular device. By default, when you switch to a device profile in NetConf Browser, the software automatically connects to the respective device and loads the relevant YANG modules, so you can quickly start managing that device using the data model, capabilities and features it supports.
Support for YANG Library mechanism (RFC 7895).
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser now supports the standard YANG library mechanism that lets it identify and retrieve all YANG modules implemented by a NETCONF server supporting this capability. The software can automatically download YANG modules and submodules from a NETCONF server by using the NETCONF <get-schema> operation or by downloading the modules from specified URLs. Retrieved modules are automatically loaded and cached as a part of the device profile used for managing a particular NETCONF device. NetConf Browser compares the local cache with the YANG library data on the device and lets you retrieve a newer set of YANG modules when available.
Extended NETCONF Content Editor with complete support for YANG 1.1.
The built-in DSDL schema generator and the NETCONF validation engine have been extended and re-written to provide full support for YANG 1.1 (in addition to YANG 1). NETCONF Content Editor and Validator lets you easily compose or load any type of NETCONF XML instance document (e.g., edit-config, get-config, rpc, rpc-reply, etc.) and validate it using the DSDL schemas, which are automatically generated from selected YANG 1.1 and YANG 1 modules. This enables you to validate if the actual content (payload) of NETCONF requests, responses and notifications comply with definitions in the selected YANG modules.
Session keep-alive and auto-reconnect after connection loss.
NetConf Browser can send periodic queries (which have minimal impact on server performance) to the server when a NETCONF session is idle. This feature aims to keep a session persistently 'alive' and detect if a connection gets broken for whatever reason. In the latter case, NetConf Browser can automatically attempt to re-establish a broken connection. Both options are configurable on a per-connection basis.
GUI enhancements and improvements and initial HiDPI support.
A number of GUI enhancements and improvements have been implemented in order to make the application even more intuitive and user-friendly. Furthermore, the entire GUI has been revised to properly support large font sizes in order to make the application text easily readable also on modern high pixel density displays (e.g., 4K/UHD). The application text scales properly with the system scaling setting on Windows and one can further tweak the appearance of the text and tables by using several startup parameters.
Enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manual and help files with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT's NETCONF Browser Pro.
Besides the above listed features, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser, Version 5

Special handling of malformed Reply messages.
NetConf Browser now incorporates a special processing of malformed rpc-reply messages sent by NetConf servers under development. By default, NetConf Browser no longer terminates the session when receiving a malformed Reply from the server, but parses the malformed message manually, attempting to recognize and display as much information as possible even from non-XML messages. For any received malformed message, an error is logged and the message content is displayed in the Session History View. This feature facilitates the troubleshooting and debugging of NETCONF servers under development by providing you as much information as possible to understand and solve the erroneous server behavior.
Complete XPath Validation.
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser goes beyond the 'standard' YANG validation offered by other products on the market and performs full validation of XPath expression syntax and semantics in YANG 'must' and 'when' statements. It constructs accessible trees for XPath expressions as described in RFC 6020 (in absence of instance data), which allows their partial evaluation, therefore enabling: following of location paths to ensure they reference existing nodes, detecting expressions that always evaluate to the same value, ensuring correctness of function usage, checking compliance with XPath recommendations in RFC 6087, and more. Due to the nature of XPath expressions in YANG, all detected semantic inconsistencies are reported as warnings.
Optimized YANG tree presentation and lower memory consumption.
YANG tree construction and graphical presentation has been significantly improved and optimized. As a consequence, NetConf Browser now consumes about 30% less memory when loading large YANG models.
Improved module loading process.
The YANG and YIN module loading process has been enhanced and simplified. It will now automatically select the explicitly specified or the newest revision of a module if there are incompatible modules in the load list (for example, two revisions of the same module, which augments another module, are incompatible). Furthermore, it is now possible to quickly load the entire module by loading any of its submodules. The output in the Log tab in the main window has also been enhanced and now shows exactly how module dependencies are found and resolved.
Session History View.
The Session History view contains a chronologically sorted list of all NETCONF sessions and RPC messages exchanged within these sessions. This feature allows you to quickly navigate though messages that were sent and received by NetConf Browser. NETCONF RPC messages are presented as formatted XML documents with syntax coloring. Depending on its type, a message may be reused, edited or copied to clipboard. You are now able to resend RPC messages or edit/check them in NETCONF Content Editor by simply choosing the corresponding command from the context menu.
Enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manual and help files with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT's NETCONF Browser Pro.
Besides the above listed features, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser, Version 4

Support for NETCONF protocol over TLS.
MG-SOFT NetConf Browser supports NETCONF protocol over TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol version 1.2 (RFC 5539). NetConf Browser incorporates the Certificate Manager tool that enables straightforward management of digital certificates used for NETCONF over TLS communication. It allows you to view X.509 certificate information, generate new public and private key pairs wrapped in X.509 certificates, import key pairs from PKCS#12 keystore files, generate Certificate Signing Requests, etc.

As TLS 1.2 support was introduced in Java 1.7, using this feature requires Java 1.7 or newer.

Support for NETCONF protocol over SSH2 with Public Key Authentication.
NetConf Browser now supports the public key authentication mechanism with SSH2 transport protocol. The private key required for such authentication can be imported form of an external file in PEM format or generated in the built-in Certificate Manager tool. The latter options means that you can use the same digital certificate for both, NETCONF over SSH2 with public key authentication and NETCONF over TLS.
Significantly Enhanced NETCONF Content Editor.
In addition to the built-in full-fledged XML Editor, NETCONF Content Editor now supports also visual editing of XML documents. Simply right-click a node in the tree view and add/remove elements and set their values by choosing commands from the context menu. This feature is DSDL schema aware and will allow adding only constructs that are defined in enabled YANG modules.

Furthermore, the new quick options panel for <edit-config> now lets you specify the most common options (target configuration, default operations, test options, error options) by simply choosing the desired entries from drop-down menus and checkboxes.

The new NETCONF message history log contains RPC messages sent from the Editor and responses received from the connected device. This makes interaction with a NETCONF device much simpler and easier, as you obtain immediate feedback on how device responded to the sent payload.

Input modules and features in the NETCONF Content Editor now automatically adapt to the capabilities of the connected NETCONF server. Simply connect to a NETCONF device and load YANG modules supported by the device and the matching DSDL schemas for producing valid NETCONF content for this device will be generated automatically.

Enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manuals and help files with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT's NETCONF Browser Pro.
Besides the above listed features, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.


What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser, Version 3

RFC 6110-compliant NETCONF Content Editor and Validator.
The new XML document editor with syntax coloring and autocomplete feature lets you easily compose any type of NETCONF XML document and validate it using the DSDL schemas, which are automatically generated from the selected YANG modules. The tool contains templates for composing typical NETCONF document types, such as RPC requests (<get>, <get-config>, <edit-config>,...), entire configuration datastores, RPC replies, etc. By default, the XML documents you are editing are being automatically validated in real-time. The NETCONF Content Editor window displays easy-to-understand error and warning messages if any inconsistencies are detected in the validated document. This way, one can quickly fix all syntax and semantic inconsistencies and send valid XML document to the connected NETCONF server, e.g., to apply a new configuration or perform any other NETCONF operation.
Support for receiving NETCONF Notifications.
The software receives and logs NETCONF notifications (RFC 5277) after the user manually sends a valid create-subscription request to the NETCONF server. Received notifications may be reviewed in the Log panel of the main window.
Support for receiving proprietary rpc-reply responses.
NetConf Browser accepts responses to manually sent proprietary RPC operations, which makes it suitable also for managing configurations of proprietary or non-standard NETCONF devices.
Enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manuals and help files with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT's NETCONF Browser Pro.
Besides the above listed features, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.

What's New in MG-SOFT NETCONF Browser, Version 2

YANG Validation.
NetConf Browser checks the validity of all YANG and YIN modules it loads. In addition to the syntax checking, the new functionality checks also the semantics of YANG and YIN modules.
Support for <commit> and <discard-changes> operations.
Users can quickly perform the NETCONF <commit> and <discard-changes> operations by clicking the respective buttons in the application's toolbar.
Support for <confirmed-commit> and <cancel-commit> operations.
The software lets you easily perform the NETCONF <confirmed-commit> and <cancel-commit> operations by using the dedicate dialog boxes. The application allows you to quickly start a new <confirmed-commit> operation and prolong or commit an existing one.
Resolve YANG module dependencies.
NetConf Browser automatically scans all new YANG and YIN modules for dependencies (imported and included modules) and lets you scan user-specified locations for the matching modules. The entire information about the "registered" modules and submodules is stored in a single place and can be viewed in the Known Modules window. The latter also enables loading modules that have many dependencies with a single click of a button, as well as keeping and loading different revisions of the same modules.
Browse NETCONF datastores based on YANG modules.
The software lets you send the NETCONF <get> and <get-config> requests based on the selection in the YANG schema tree. This principle allows retrieving the value of leaf, leaf-list, list and container statements or entire subtrees by simply selecting the desired node in the YANG tree and selecting the corresponding <get> and <get-config> command from the menu.
Enhanced documentation.
Updated and enhanced user manuals and help files with numerous hints and usage examples will help you get the most from MG-SOFT's NETCONF Browser Pro.
Besides the above listed features, a number of minor improvements have been implemented and all known problems occurring in older versions have been fixed for this release.