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Introduction

A while back I worked quite heavily with J2EE performance issues and found myself stuck in the default trace files most of the day. As much as I like using the default stand-alone logviewer I quickly ran into limitations in regard to getting a nice overview of the most important log entries, sorting mechanisms and other convenient search options.

At the same time I got my Adobe Flex Builder license renewed and what better way to try out the Flex Builder than by creating an alternative logviewer. Well, of cause,  it got out of control and I ended up spending most of my evenings and nights on this but eventually it got ready for a first release.  It still has some bugs especially for newer J2EE releases but it seems to work nicely for most cases. I use it on a weekly basis on different release without to much trouble.

This is not an official SAP tool, this is just a handy standalone application that can cut down the time you spend analyzing your log files.

 

Functionalities

·         Upload of default trace files (default*.trc) taken from your J2EE engine.

·         Overview and drilldown options on log entires. This is really useful.

·         Browse the log like you can with the stand-alone logviewer

·         Extended search options for the trace file.

·         Look though the entire raw log file.

·         Search in SAP Database for potential solutions ( Only available for SAP employees)

·         Direct links to SDN and Service Market Place.

·         Search in internal online database. This is very limited until we have it filled up :o)

·         A server monitor option. This is not really related to the core functions of the logviewer but it is nice to have as a consultant or J2EE responsible. It can send you an email as soon as one of your systems does not response. All http sites can be monitored.

 

Getting started guide

To get started you will have to first download and install the FlexibleLogviewer which I developed as an Adobe AIR application. This is what you should do:

  1. Install Adobe AIR from http://get.adobe.com/air/thankyou/?installer=Adobe_AIR_1.5.2_for_Win32
  2. Download the FlexibleLogviewer from  http://www.4shared.com/file/vgI2fFrT/FlexibleLogviewer_102.html
     . (You have to wait a few sec for this… But it works)
  3. Double click the FlexibleLogviewer.air file
  4. Ignore the warrings about unknown publisher ( I didn’t want to pay 300$ a year for my name to be printed there )
  5. Follow the screen guide. Really nothing that you can do wrong here.
  6. Run the program and follow the getting started guide on the welcome screen.

Screenshots

Welcome 

Drilldown

 

 

Notes

I recommend only to analyze one log file at the time due to performance. So load in one file, do your analysis and remove it from upload tray before loading a new trace file.

 

The application has some bugs mainly due to bad data quality and my own poor error handling. Only log file versions  of 1.5.x and 2.0.x are working but this should cover all 640 to at least 711 systems. It might extend this if necessary. Let me know if this is something you could use.

 

I have seen a few cases where the log files do not follow the standard syntax. Those files can not be used in the FlexibleLogviewer.

Finally I hope that you will enjoy this tool!

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19 Comments

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  1. Sumanta Chatterjee
    Hello Kris,

    Your blog is very interesting. While I was trying the FlexiableLogviewer tool (downloaded from the given link) DrillDown tab is not coming.

    Could you please provide the latest version this FlexiableLogviewer..

    Regards.
    Sumanta

    (0) 
    1. Hi Sumata,

      Happy to see that you are trying it out!

      If you find your message in the overview tab, you will be able to click on the drilldown button in the lower part of the screen.

      Hope it sorts out the problem!

      The best regards
      Kris

      (0) 
      1. Hussain Sehorewala
        Well that really great to see that we have something going on for the administrators… Its always the developers who gets all attention for latest improved tools…

        We should work for it… Thanks for the tool. I am really glad..

        (0) 
        1. You are most welcome. Just let me know if you have any questions about the logviewer.

          The best regards
          Kris

          (0) 
    1. Hi Sumanta.

      Thanks, I am glad you like it!

      Good point about the axis. I will add in a legend in the next release.

      In the meanwhile, the first drilldown, that you see on the screenshot, represents the number of occurrences spread across the calendar days. This will help you estimate how widely spread this log issue is. In the top of the same drilldown tab you can see the first time the bug was encountered. This might help you determine if the bug is related to a specific change in the system such as a patch or an upgrade.

      In the second drilldown. The one you get from clicking on a column in the first drilldown. You get a graph that shows how the issue is spread across the hours of the day. This will help you determine if this log issue is occurring only during peak hours or something that happens more randomly.

      I hope this explains the axies. Just let me know if you need some more info.

      The best regards
      Kris

      (0) 
  2. Hi all,

    I have created a new release of the logviewer so that it now includes axis titles, scrollable folder browsing and it is now possible to remove the monitored systems from the monitor tab.

    Thanks for all the feedback.
    Kris

    (0) 
  3. David Cortes
    Hi Kris,

    Nice…. Finally a visual tool for tracing errors quicker and faster!!!…. Just a comment regarding with monitor tab… It seems “remove system” button is not working.

    Regards….

    (0) 
    1. Hi David,

      Glad you liked it. Could you try the new version that I uploaded earlier today? The bug you mention should be fixed there.

      You will have to do an uninstall before installing the new version. Yeah I know… Not very fancy.

      Let me know if this does not solve the issue.

      The best regards
      Kris

      (0) 
    1. Thanks! Glad you like it.

      I have a gotten a few request on also to include ABAP trace files. This will take a bit to much of my time at the moment.
      ADC and KM traces should be more doable. I will take a look at the trace file structures when I get a little time. 

      The best regards
      Kris

      (0) 
  4. Ondrej Hugan
    Hi Kris.
    Nice try – I really appreciate that someone wants to do something useful on the “Log field area”.
    But – your application is very amateur. Application looks nice, but has some weak points.
    The biggest problem is:
    FlexiableLogviewer cannot work with bigger amount of logs – f.i. i have added 6 defaultTraces (each 10 mb) into the application – then application was extremely slow. Actually adding 4th defaultTrace took 5 min, 5th defaultTrace 7,5 min, 6th defaultTrace > 12 min …
    This app should be good for small amounts of logs, but for bigger traffic is not usable.
    But thanks and keep developing and improving.
    Ondrej Hugan
    (0) 
    1. Hi Ondrej,
      I am sorry to hear that it doesn’t work good for you. Like I wrote in the note section of my blog you should only include one log file at the time to avoid performance trouble.
      There is a good reason for this. Each log file is about 10 MB of data. When you put this into sortable arrays the data volume gets very large. Flex has its limitations when it comes to handling large amounts of data and only supports single threading. I do not use a database to store and sort the log files. This would be much faster but would require more from the client.
      In most cases it will be sufficient to analyze one or two log files.
      The best regards
      Kris  

      (0) 
      1. Ondrej Hugan
        Hi Kris.
        Ok I understand. Anyway your app is quite good while using one log at one time – when you add some graphs it would be even better.
        Thanks for the initiative.
        Ondrej
        (0) 
  5. Hi all,

    I have created a new link for the new version of the logviewer. It should work now.

    The best regards
    Kris

    (0) 
  6. Hi all,

    I have put up a new version that handles some of the many requests I have had on the logviewer. This release have sorted out a few more of the load bugs and a new feature has been added to the overview tab. When you right click in the table you now get an option to chose to highligt issues depending on severity. This might help people when low priority log settings.

    The best regards
    Kris

    (0) 
  7. Vijith Kumar
    Hi Kris,

    I used the log viewer tool and it is quite cool.

    Just couple of comments
    1)I could not get search working when I was pretty sure the data was there so either I am doing something dumb or you might want to have a look at the functionality and see that it works.

    2) The monitor functionality, how does this work? Does this poll the URL? If so at what frequency?

    Well done.

    Regards,
    Vijith

    (0) 
    1. Hi Vijith,

      Thanks for the feedback! I am glad you like it!

      I am not sure why the search is not working for you. It appears to be working nicely for me. If you like, you can send me a zipped version of your logfile and let me know what you search for. There might be something wrong with my loading procedure.

      The monitor is just a simple url request to check if the return code is 200. It refreshes every time you enter the monitor tab. If you set it up to sent you an e-mail if there is an error, you can set your own refresh rate. Deafault is 2 minutes. When you close down the logviewer the email service is stopped.

      Hope this helps.
      Kris

      (0) 

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