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Showing posts from June, 2012

AOP is for tracing not logging

Every now and then I go and have a bit of search around for the recommended patterns and practices around incorporating logging in your application code.

It seems that this particular subject is one of those ones where someone said something a long time ago which has then been propagated to every nook and cranny of the internet until there is no room for argument or any contrarian views to be expressed. I am of course talking about the canonical answers given for .NET logging questions which are -

Just use log4net and Use Aspect Oriented Programming for logging
Well, I must offer a contrarian view on both of these points. I'll start with log4net and simply say that I agree wholeheartedly with this Stack Overflow post which effectively says that from .NET 2.0, TraceSource is built in and is a very effective mechanism to log whatever you need logged. It is also extremely extensible and you would really need some unique edge case to require something else. I have used the TraceSource …

Writing to the event log in .NET - the right way

As a DevOper, I spend a lot of time instrumenting code. This involves adding stuff like performance counters, tracing and logging.

One thing that constantly irks me when I go looking for ways or means to improve how I do my logging, is the complete and utter misinformation and misuse of the Windows Event Log. The problem relates to the canonical implementation of logging in .NET, log4net. Look at this method signature:

void Info(object message);
Note the lack of structure, the lack of context. Note the ability for a developer to put absolutely anything into the message object (which will be outputted as a string). When these types of messages are hooked up to an Event Log sink, the result is a generic message, usually in the Application log with a bit of free form text. Fairly useless for anyone to be able to filter and report on. The above style of logging is really more suited towards tracing and debug logging than actual operational logging,

Why you should write operational logs…