Compare Policies

The policy compare tool in the Policy Manager lets you compare any two policies. The summary appears in a separate dual-pane window that shows which assertions were added/removed or changed between the policies. Use this feature to compare any two policy versions or two completely different policies. The comparison results are shown in different colors, allowing you to see differences at a glance.
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The policy compare tool in the Policy Manager lets you compare any two policies. The summary appears in a separate dual-pane window that shows which assertions were added/removed or changed between the policies. Use this feature to compare any two policy versions or two completely different policies. The comparison results are shown in different colors, allowing you to see differences at a glance.
You can view assertion differences two ways: a high level summary listing the property changes, or a low level view showing the raw XML differences.
To compare policies:
  1. Choose the first policy to be compared, using any of the following methods. This will be added to the left pane of the results windows:
    • If the policy is already open in the editor:
       Right-click the policy name in the tab title and then select 
      Compare Policy: Left
      .
    • If the policy is not yet open:
       Right-click the policy in the services and policies list and then select 
      Compare Policy: Left
      . Desktop client users can also select 
      File > Compare Policy: Left
      .
    • If you are currently browsing policy revisions:
       Select the revision in the Policy Revision dialog and then click 
      Compare Policy: Left
      .
  2. Repeat this to choose the second policy (label now reads 
    Compare Policy: Right
    ). Allow a moment for the policy comparison to complete. Note that complex, dissimilar policies will take longer to complete. The Policy Comparison window is displayed when the comparison is complete.
If you decide not to proceed with a comparison or if you decide you want a different left pane policy, simply choose the same policy and then close the resulting comparison window.
Using the Policy Comparison Window
The Policy Comparison window displays your left and right policies and uses color coding to illustrate the differences. 
image2014-9-15 10:11:44.png
The following color coding scheme is used:
  • Red:
     Assertions in the left policy that are not present in the right policy. This may indicate assertions added to the left or deleted from the right.
  • Green:
     Assertions in the right policy that are not present in the left policy. This may indicated assertions added to the right or deleted from the left.
  • Gray:
     Shows where the assertions are missing as compared to the other pane.
  • Blue:
     Matching assertions; assertions with the same names but their properties differ.
Assertions with no color highlighting are the same in both panes.
Tips and Hints
The following are some tips for using the Policy Comparison window:
Use the image2014-9-15 10:15:5.pngand image2014-9-15 10:16:35.pngbuttons to jump to the next/previous difference.
  • For matching assertions that differ (highlighted in blue), you can view the differences in greater detail (see Viewing Assertion Differences).
  • Maximize the window to see your policies more easily.
  • Scrolling is synchronized between the two panes.
  • Use the line numbers to help you reference assertions.
  • The policy name, revision number, and active status is displayed above each pane.
    If the policy name is too long to display (more than half the width of the result window), it is truncated. However the full name will be visible in the tooltip that appears when you point at the policy name.
  • Copy selected assertions from either pane into any open policy by using the standard Copy and Paste commands.
Viewing Assertion Differences
 For assertions that are highlighted in blue (meaning assertions with the same name which exist in both policies, but their configurations differ), you can view the differences using any of these methods:
  • Select the assertion (from either pane) and then click [
    Show Assertion Differences
    ]. This opens another two-tab pane at the bottom of the window.
  • Double-click the assertion (from either pane). This displays the same information as above, but in a separate Assertion Comparison window.
  • Right-click the assertion and then select 
    Compare Assertions
    . As above, this opens a separate Assertion Comparison window.
Assertion Properties
The [Properties] tab displays a high level summary of the differences between the two assertions: 
image2014-9-15 10:20:41.png
The middle column lists the properties of the assertion, while the left and right columns show the values of the properties in each assertion. Note: The properties listed use internal system nomenclature, which may differ from the labels found in the interface.
The [Properties] tab is useful to see the differences "at a glance", however it is not possible to display all differences due to the complexity of certain object types. The [Raw XML] tab will show complete assertion differences.
Raw XML Properties
The [Raw XML] tab shows the low level XML code for each assertion, allowing you to see precisely where the differences occur.
The Raw XML view is designed for advanced users familiar with interpreting XML code. For a more easily interpreted high level summary of the differences, use the [Properties] tab instead.
image2014-9-15 10:23:3.png
The [Raw XML] tab has its own and buttons at the bottom to jump to the next/previous difference.