error logging services

Why you should use Central Error Logging Services

Charris Herrera Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

Logs are vital for every application that runs in a server environment. Logs provide essential information which points to whether the current system is operating properly. Looking through logs, you will gather data on system issues, errors, and trends. However, it is not feasible to manually look up errors on various servers across thousands of log files. The solution? Central errors logging services.

In this article, you will find out the benefits of using central error logging and the different features of such a service.


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What is Centralized Error Logging

Handling error logs can be cumbersome if you are monitoring different applications across different servers. You might end-up missing various errors or even messing up log files.

Centralized error logging solutions solve this issue. You can access all your application logs from a single place. Even if you are monitoring tens of applications across various servers, you can check every error log in one dashboard.

Why Should You Use Central Error Logging Services

Centralized logging solutions are gaining popularity among developers of diverse programming languages. Take Stackify Retrace as an example.

Retrace offers centralized error logging services that help view logging messages across all apps, on all servers, in all environments.

Centralized logging by Stackify Retrace is a simplified error logging solution with tremendous benefits. Try your free, 14 day Retrace trial!

Time and effort are major investments in building an application. A developer can’t spend most of their time managing error logs manually. With a simplified error logging strategy, developers can oversee errors in a central location. You can reduce time checking error logs and managing them properly.

Application Logging Best Practices

Since logging is a vital part of building an application, you must know and follow application logging best practices to successfully detect and resolve error logs that can greatly damage your application performance.

Logging levels

Identifying the logging level of your entry logs is important to label their severity. Think of it as shelf labels at the grocery store. You can easily find bath essentials, condiments, and canned goods by looking at the shelf placement.

Additionally, logging levels are important when filtering log entries to easily distinguish a fatal error from the rest of the logs.

The most common logging levels are:

  • ALL – all is basically a merge of all other levels. It even includes the custom logging levels that you have assigned.
  • DEBUG – the debug level is true to its name, debug logs. This level includes information that helps developers perform diagnostics on the application.
  • INFO – record messages on routine application operations.
  • WARN – this level pertains to potentially harmful occurrences.
  • ERROR – denotes a serious situation to deal with. It is not overly serious but only enough to be alarmed.
  • FATAL – fatal level is on higher alert than that of error. It ranges from average to high alert warnings.
  • OFF – this level is when nothing is logged.
  • TRACE – this level is an upgraded level from debug. The information logged under this level is very fine-grained.

Developer-friendly log messages

Log messages are important to understanding what is wrong with the system. It would be a nightmare if your log message is too cryptic for developers. If you log too little, there may be too little information to build the whole context of each important event. If you log too much, it may result in performance issues. Just make sure that every log message makes sense and is related to the context.

Errors and failures should provide sufficient context

Make sure the application provides domain experts of the system knowledge and background information, as well as the business and technology context.

Set up alerts when critical incidents occur

Set up a threshold at certain levels so the system automatically alerts you when it hits those levels. This way, you will know the level of the severity of your logs and can take action.

Another thing you can add is pre configured alerts to trigger automated processes like system backup, changeovers, and many more.

Use centralized logging services

A central and accessible location for logs is now a common practice among software developers. This way, you can keep track of your logs, not only application logs but device logs, network logs, database logs, and others.

For industries that are sensitive to privacy, they make it a point to store all log data in a secure, efficient, and organized storage.

Stackify Retrace Centralized Logging

Centralized logging systems offer different features. Here, learn about the features of Stackify Retrace Centralized Logging.

Logging Dashboard Overview

The Log Dashboard presents useful insights about your applications to assist developers in solving any errors. The main feature of the Log Dashboard is that you can view all logging messages in an inline view. What’s more is that you can tail log files in real-time, meaning you can view new logging statements as they occur. You can log within your applications simultaneously in real-time across multiple servers.

Filters and Fields

Even with a central errors and logs dashboard, locating a specific error log can be a challenge, especially when dealing with different servers, apps, and environments.

That is why Retrace provides Filter and Fields so that you can identify a certain error log by applying the right fields and filters to your search. You can filter which log messages you want to appear using the checkboxes.

Logging Sources

Stackify Retrace has other helpful features when it comes to errors and logs. Here are a few more:

  • Collecting apache logs
  • Collecting Nginx logs
  • Advanced IIS Logging
  • Automatic Log Collectors
  • Collecting Syslog with retrace agent
  • Collecting Window Event Logs
  • Using a Standalone Logwatcher
  • Collecting AWS CloudWatch Logs
  • Logstash Integration

Stackify Retrace centralized logging is only the tip of the iceberg. If you dive deeper and get to know this system more and integrate it into your application, you will find out that it has more benefits than you can ever imagine.

Retrace is an Application Performance Management (APM) tool that proactively identifies issues in your application and provides actionable insights to continuously improve the application in production environments.

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