HTTP - FTP
Version 4.12 (zipped)
v4.12 - 12 Apr 2013
HTTP - FTP
Version 4.12 (exe)
v4.12 - 12 Apr 2013
ComCap User Manual
HTTP - FTP
Acrobat File, 134 pages
12 Apr 2013
ComCap Online Help
No beta at present
ComCap PAD XML
Old Versions are
available for those
upgraded to the latest
ComCap v4.11 (old version)
v4.11 - 20 Jan 2012
view and save
numbers and cost
data capture utility
broadband and dial-up
PassDir ISAPI Filter
Links to Other
Links to Other
Magenta Home Page
Email Magenta Systems
Data Capture Utility
12th April 2013 - new ComCap v4.12 released today,
various minor new features.
If you upgrade to Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and capture to a
database with ComCap, you must upgrade to ComCap v4.9 or later.
ComCap is a Windows application designed to capture data received on PC RS232 serial
communications ports or using network TCP/IP and UDP streams and save it. Captured data is shown in scrolling windows
and is written to text files, and may also be printed, written to SQL database tables or echoed to other PCs using
network protocols or serial ports. Captured data can have
text added such as date and time, a serial number and remote IP address. Data from up to
999 serial ports and network streams can
be captured simultaneously, in separate files, with various file rotation schemes to start new files periodically. ComCap will
capture to files on two separate disk drives for redundancy and will send email and SMS alerts if problems occur. ComCap is both
a system tray and background service application that can be set to start automatically when windows starts, and remain
unobtrusive. When using the background service, captured data may be still be viewed as it arrives.
- Capture from up to 999 serial RS232 COM ports, TCP/IP Server, TCP/IP Client and UDP/IP network protocols simultaneously, with
suitable hardware. Many network appliances output log information, typically using the UDP/IP 'syslog' protocol, and as
telephone switches become network aware they are offering network logging instead of the serial port.
- Capture from serial device servers that ‘convert’ serial port data to network protocols,
RE Smith and
and eNet for instance, easing data capture distances,
Audon in the UK sells
eCov and eNet converters.
- Captured data is optionally shown in scrolling windows as it arrives, and earlier data can be viewed as well. Coloured
tabs indicate which channels have started capturing data and which are stopped.
- Data from multiple serial or network capture channels may be merged
or consolidating, allowing all data to be displayed in a single window,
written to a single log file, and added to a database using a single
- Capture files may be in separate directories for each capture port and
new files may be created daily or multiple per day (at specified times),
weekly (Monday), monthly, hourly, every few minutes, after an inactivity
period, when a new page character is received, each new record, or a fixed
file name may be used. Multiple channels may optionally capture data into
a common file, to reduce the number of separate log files.
- When a capture file is closed and rotated for a new file, it may be moved to another directory for further processing or
emailed to multiple recipients.
- Capture file names (and optionally paths) are automatically generated, with a file name format customised with date and
time in various ways, numeric or alphabetic.
- Capture data may be written to a database, such as Microsoft SQL Server,
IBM DB2 or Sun MySQL. Data formats may be created to identify
fields within each line of data, as fixed width columns, character separated columns (CSV) or variable named columns. ComCap
examines the SQL tables or stored procedures for column names and types, and allows mapping of which field of data is written
to which SQL column. ComCap protects data that can not be immediately written to the database due to network problems, and
will write it once the database becomes available again.
- ComCap can echo captured data directly to serial communications ports or parallel ports
to drive printers, or echo to the network using UDP/IP (syslog), TCP/IP Server or TCP/IP Client protocols. Network echo can
be used to allow capture of the same data to a maximum of five PCs simultaneously for redundancy or for remote capture with
one PC near the data source echoing data to a centralised location.
- ComCap displays the status of the serial port CTS, DSR and DCD lines, and if a TCP/IP connection is established is
connected, and flashes when data is received.
- ComCap has options to safeguard captured data, closing the log after each line to force it to write to disk, or after an
inactivity period or periodically every few seconds or minutes.
- A separate information log file is maintained showing when capture starts and stops and other ComCap events, it will log
capture status hourly with the number of lines received from each port or stream and to which logs it is being written. The
information log may be sent to a remote PC using network protocols, perhaps to another copy of ComCap, to ease central
monitoring of remote capture.
- A sound file may be played when each new line of data is captured (with a minimum gap between sounds, in case of frequent
- Raw data may be captured unchanged from the COM port or network stream, or the data may be cleaned up with non-printing
characters removed and trailing spaces removed.
- When capture is started or stopped, command strings may be optionally transmitted and
periodically repeated, perhaps to trigger a remote appliance to start or stop.
- Captured lines may have text added at the start or end, that can include escape sequences to add a serial number (of
specified length), date and time in various formats, PC name, local or remote IP address.
- A comment may be added manually to any capture channel, using a pop-up dialog, this is intended to assist in documenting
batch captures, perhaps from laboratory instruments.
- Continuous data streams may be selectively captured to reduce the amount of data saved, for instance from GPS
locators or environmental sensors.
- Alerts for problems are presented in a pop-up window and may be sent by email and by SMS to mobile telephones, using
either a GSM modem or SMS internet gateway. Alerts may also be triggered by for phrases in captured data.
- Data loss checking, to detect if other windows applications caused ComCap to possibly lose data. An alert may be triggered
if new data is not captured after a period, configurable by time and day of week, or if the PC appears to hang for a short
- For redundancy, ComCap will capture logs on two different disk drives at the same time, and continue logging if one of the
disk drives is lost, the drives may be across a network with remote logon details specified. ComCap makes multiple attempts to
open files, in case of conflict problems such as backup and protects data until it can be written to the capture file. If disk
space runs low, ComCap will send an alert.
- Captured data may be filtered, so lines containing unwanted content are ignored.
Alerts may be sent according to filtered data.
- ComCap is usually run as a Windows service that starts immediately the PC starts without needing a user to log-on. There
is also a system tray application which can configure, monitor and control the service displaying data currently being
captured, but which will also capture data if the service is not used.
- ComCap is supported on Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8, 2008 and 2012, both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The minimum recommended PC is a Pentium III with 128 Mbytes of
memory. ComCap is normally run with a higher priority than other windows applications, to ensure stable data capture, although
a dedicated PC is recommended for valuable information. ComCap v3 is recommended for those still using Windows 98, ME, NT4
but Microsoft has ceased all support for them.
- There are two editions of ComCap version 4:
- ComCap v4 Standard edition is limited to three simultaneous serial or network channels and does NOT support database
or data filtering
- ComCap v4 Unlimited edition has no channel restriction and adds database and data filtering support
ComCap licenses are
ordered using a web form on our secure server,
once payment is processed a license key is provided by email. Until licensed, ComCap will only function for one hour
before stopping, but it may be restarted for further testing. A Temporary Demo License for ComCap v4 Unlimited may be ordered valid for
one week, if one hour at a time is insufficient time for testing.
||ComCap v4 Standard
||ComCap v4 Unlimited
||Upgrade v3 to v4 Standard
||Upgrade v3 to v4 Unlimited
||Upgrade v4 Standard to v4 Unlimited
|Single License VAT extra
|Single License with VAT
|2 copies VAT extra
|3 to 5 copies VAT extra
|6 to 10 copies VAT extra
|11 to 25 copies VAT extra
|Over 25 copies VAT extra
VAT is added to the above 'VAT extra'' prices at 20% for UK and personal European orders.
No VAT is payable for
orders outside Europe or by businesses in Europe where a VAT number is supplied.
In April 2013, £50 is about US$75, and £75 is about US$113, depending on the daily conversion rate used by your
credit/debit card company from UK sterling to dollars. For Europe, £50 is about
58 euros and £75 is about 87
The main benefits of upgrading from ComCap v3 to v4 are as follows:
- Capture of TCP/IP Client, TCP/IP Server and UDP/IP network protocols
- Increase from 30 to 999 maximum capture channels
- Transmit commands on start and stop capture
- Improved line ending and restart capture
- Redundancy writing to two different log disk drives
- Better error handling for log file errors
- Higher program priority to avoid data loss
- New multiple logs per day capture interval
- More flexible text addition to capture data
- Capture direct to a SQL database
- Better printing options, bypassing Windows print queue
- Echo captured data, using serial or network protocols
- View data captured by the service version
- Control service version from tray version
- Configuration data in files rather than the registry
- Alerts by email and SMS to mobile telephones
- Main window does not show unused serial ports
- View full and old logs in new larger window
ComCap was originally designed to capture telephone call logging data from the serial port
provided on most telephone switching systems (PABXs), typically called Call Data Records (CDR). The saved data may then be used
as input to telephone call management applications that will cost calls and produce reports on telephone usage or for security
ComCap is application non-specific and will capture any data that arrives on a serial port
or using network protocols. It has been used for a wide variety of purposes, such as logging output from test, alarm and
monitoring equipment and serial printer data (but it can not process printer control characters).
Please note that ComCap is not designed to monitor data between modems and PC
applications, it requires exclusive access to the serial port so no other application can use the port at the same time.
The ComCap distribution includes the 'ComGen Data Stream Generator' application which is
designed to generate various types of test streams using any or all of the PC serial COM ports and potentially dozens of network
streams, UDP Client, TCP Client or TCP Server, and has been used extensively for testing ComCap capturing multiple channels.
There is also a small ‘Test RS232 Signals’ utility that may be useful in testing communication port and cabling problems. If
the requirement is to capture serial data from another application on the same PC, ComCap includes a Null Modem Emulator
(com0com) from http://com0com.sourceforge.net/
that installs a linked pair of virtual serial ports, instead of needing to use a physical pair of COM ports and a null modem
Magenta Systems Ltd, 9 Vincent Road,
Croydon CR0 6ED, United Kingdom
Phone 020 8656 3636, International Phone +44 20 8656 3636
Fax 020 8656 8127, International Fax +44 20 8656 8127
Copyright © 2013 Magenta Systems Ltd, England. All Rights Reserved.