Ever since we processed our first log event, our vision at Logentries has always been to make log data accessible to the masses through an easy to use and intuitive technology.
Well mainly because we saw that log data was being totally underutilized – it’s produced by almost every piece of software from your mobile apps to large enterprise systems – and it contains so much useful data for a whole range of use cases. It was no longer simply a developer’s debug tool of last resort. Instead we felt that log data could be better and more efficiently used by developers, operations, QA, and devops teams, and available to groups that were unaware of the value it could provide such as support teams, product managers, marketing teams and business analysts. Today all of the above use Logentries on a daily basis, and are part of our community of over 25k users.
What we’ve also realized over the past few years is that people are constantly using log data to connect things together, whether that’s connecting people with systems, connecting teams to each other or connecting systems with other systems. Logs have become an intermediate language (or lingua franca if you want to be fancy) that flow between different systems and which can be analyzed and acted on in real-time by other systems within your environment, third party APIs or by individuals on your team.
Today we are enhancing that connectivity through a number of new capabilities, namely, annotations, shared dashboards and team based alerting – with a real focus on helping teams to connect.
You could always connect your systems to Logentries; our mantra when it comes to platform support has always been, “any log format, any operating system, any device, any language.” And you could always connect Logentries to your systems or to third party services via our open API (think pager duty, campfire, hip chat, twilio etc.). We’ve even connected you to our community of over 25k users through our community insights program which analyzes anonymized data from across our community and shares the insights with everyone. From today however, we are also helping to connect you with your team via:
- Team Based Alerting: Dont just assign notifications when something important happens, assign them to the appropriate people within your organization! With team based alerting you can now create teams within your Logentries account, add relevant team members and then configure alerts to notify the given team. This makes it easier when you want to send a notification re an exception to your devops team, or a notification in relation to a spike in signups to your marketing team for example.
- Shared Dashboards: One of our most common feature requests has consistently been for the ability to share the analytics that Logentries provides through a centralized operations dashboard. The request usually comes in the form of ‘wow I’m loving the analysis Logentries provides…. now how do I show this data alongside all my other key performance indicators on the big screen in our office’. Well now you can – we’ve just released our first shared dashboard integration with Geckoboard – check it out and tell us what you think!
- Annotations: Wouldn’t it be cool if you could annotate, comment or add notes to given log events. For example, ‘hey if you see this error again you should restart server X’. Annotations give you that ability and allow you to add context to your log data. Annotations allow you to easily share knowledge you build up across your team as your systems evolve. They can be linked in real time to a given pattern or keyword in your logs so that they are available every time you see a particular log event.
While our team based alerting and shared dashboards are super useful and come off the back of a ton of feature requests, for me the most exciting part of this announcement is our new annotations capabilities. Annotations are something we always felt would be useful ever since building our first log management solution with the team at IBM. We regularly saw situations there, in particular within development and test teams (especially when they were distributed geographically), where the ability to add comments or context to a given log event could have regularly saved a ton of time. Consider this scenario:
- John, a developer, on Monday morning sees some strange activity in his system. He checks the logs and see’s that there are expections being thrown. He spends 6 hours investigating the issue and identifies a resolution, puts a temporary fix in place (i.e. restarts the server) and writes a ticket for the bug to be fixed. Job done!
- Dave, a developer on John’s team, arrives into the office on Tuesday morning, and sees the same issue as John saw. He spends another 6 hours investigating the issue and also comes to the same conclusion as John and puts a fix in place, writes a ticket. Job done again…
Now if John had simply been able to leave a comment for Dave, that appeared alongside the exception he saw, Dave would not have had to re-solve the same issue and re-invent the wheel. Instead, with annotations, learnings about your system can be layered on top of your log data so that any knowledge that your team builds up is not lost. Annotations are a great way to share knowledge across your team allowing your team to become much more efficient. Furthermore you can even assign annotations to team members so that they are proactively made aware of these and they can be marked as in-progress, open or closed to align with your bug tracking process.
We’ve been making to easy for you to access the valuable info in your logs and we’ll continue to do so, but we’ll also be making it easy for you guys to connect, to your systems, your teams and our community! Stay tuned…