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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Log4View – Getting the most out of your log4net/log4j log files

If you are using log4net or log4j for writing log files, do yourself a favour and get the whole team and production support a copy of Log4View as soon as possible.  It really is a wonderful tool that sits on top of your log4net or log4j files to give you a birds-eye view on what’s happening in your application.  Need to monitor your servers remotely as they are running?  No problem, just add a reference to their TCP log appender that allows you to configure log4net to log all statements to a TCP port.  This gives you the flexibility of remotely monitoring the server as the application is running in production (providing you open the port on the firewall of course). 

One of the most powerful features IMO is the grouping feature in the message view.  Look at the following screenshot that shows how easy it is to group messages according to session id/thread id or any other custom log information added to your log files.  Simply drag the columns you want to group by into the Group By area above the grid:

log4view grouping

This specific grouping allows us to easily inspect the separate requests associated with a certain user in the system. Highly recommended!

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