Strategically logging and monitoring applications

If monitoring is your fly by instruments suite, logging is the emergency checklist. Both complement one another. Logged data can be used to fine-tune monitoring alerts. Once an alert is received, a root cause is identified by exploring logged data.

Log just the right amount of data.

Each logging setup environment should be unique whether development, staging/QA, UAT, or production. There is no benefit to the oversaturation of production logs with diagnostics messages. However, in a development environment, it may be perfectly acceptable.

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Select the ideal diagnostic level for each environment.

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Focus on the events and information being logged.

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Be cautious of exposing sensitive information.

Going beyond text-file logging

People in tech have been logging to plain-text files for some time. Tools like Log4j, Apache, or IIS logs are well known. However, modern applications benefit from centralized logging platforms that are provisioned on cloud.

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Classic back-end applications

Forwarding logs to a centralized platform can be as easy as setting up an additional Log4j appender.

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Open-source and commercial platforms

Offer built-in log parsers and a unified approach to data shipping for many application frameworks via Fluentd, Elastic Beats, or Splunk.

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Dockerized applications

Modern dockerized apps on Kubernetes rely on logs being routed to stdout and collected by independent containers or pods to then stream to the back-end independently.

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Book

The Secret Source: The culture, skills, and process to make great digital products

This book was written to help our team and clients build mission-critical applications faster. The book offers a transparent look at the full product lifecycle at Devbridge. It details our methodology, tools, and best practices that enable our teams to ship product fast.

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