The Best Log Viewer for Developers in the Universe

Matt Watson Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

It is hard for developers to imagine troubleshooting applications problems without debug logging. When all else fails and you can’t figure out what your code is doing, our answer is to always add more logging. But unfortunately, log files can a spaghetti style mess thanks to lots of web requests happening at a single time. Prefix can organize your logging by web request while at the same time showing you SQL queries, HTTP calls, errors, and a whole lot of other things in one amazing log viewer.

Prefix is free for .NET and Java developers! Learn more about Prefix

Tell the Whole Story with Integrated Logs + Errors

Organizing your spaghetti style logs

Using our own application as example, one of our dashboard type pages does a lot of AJAX calls to load different parts of the page. With Prefix, we can see all of the 21 web requests.

Snippet from Prefix for just part of the 21 requests

log viewer by web request

My log file contains dozens of log messages from loading 1 web page. It is hard to even know which log message was from which request. Luckily, Prefix can show me the log messages for the single web request that I actually care about.

I wanted to see my logging so I could verify what elasticsearch query was being used. But Prefix also shows me that this web request does a couple database queries as well. So not only can I see my logging, but I can see how long it took to run my elasticsearch query, and those database queries. Pretty amazing for no code changes!

log viewer with sql queries

Configuring Prefix to view your log messages

For Java, Prefix will automatically show you any logs being logged to log4j or logback.

For .NET, Prefix will automatically show you Debug.WriteLine and Trace.WriteLine statements. log4net, NLog, & Serilog are also supported but require configuring the proper Stackify log appender so they can be picked up. BTW, We are hoping to change this in the future so you don’t have to add the log appender.

Prefix is much more than a log viewer for developers

Viewing your logs with Prefix is awesome. But what really makes it a big deal is being able to see it in context with the SQL queries, HTTP calls, queuing, caching, and other operations that your code is doing. Odds are, many of the other details it automatically shows will save you time from adding more logging!

Once you have used Prefix, it is hard to imagine troubleshooting application problems without Prefix.


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About Matt Watson

Matt is the Founder & CEO of Stackify. He has been a developer/hacker for over 15 years and loves solving hard problems with code. While working in IT management he realized how much of his time was wasted trying to put out production fires without the right tools. He founded Stackify in 2012 to create an easy to use set of tools for developers.