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Please Santa, Can I Have an Error Log in a SQL Table for Christmas.

Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

At the time of this writing, the M2M error log is still being kept in a text file, not surprisingly called error.log. I understand that this is probably the most expedient way for M2M to capture it. I suspect it’s a lot easier code-wise to simply append to a text file rather than create a database structure and use SQL to insert error records into it.

Additionally, if your SQL Server goes offline then SQL error logging would of course do the same. However, I also suspect that if your SQL Server goes down, the error.log file won’t have much in the way of relevant data anyway.

Why do I care which format this file is in? For the most part, I want this change for the reporting possibilities. I can theoretically write reports on the text file using Crystal, but if the format was an SQL table, the reporting possibilities are limitless. Off the top of my head, the following are some of the reports I’d like to create.

  1. Wouldn’t you like to know how many errors you are logging each week and to be notified if they sharply increased?
  2. Wouldn’t you like to be immediately notified of certain errors? We all know that M2M throws many superfluous errors, but I would like to be notified via e-mail of those which are critical.
  3. I would like to see which users are generating the most errors and of what kind, so I can suggest better ways for them to use M2M or to suggest they pursue online training.
  4. I would like to use T-SQL to remove the cascading errors from the log before looking at it. Cascading errors are those errors which are simply a result of the first error and they can most often be ignored. In my opinion, they needlessly clutter the log.

These are just a few of the things I’d like to do with this information. There is a change request for this issue, number 11346, which covers this issue but it has been in “Awaiting Approval” status for over 4 years.

I urge my readers, both of you :), to add your companies to this change request to motivate M2M to implement this change.

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3 comments to Please Santa, Can I Have an Error Log in a SQL Table for Christmas.

  • Andrew

    You’ll shoot your eye out kid.

  • Scott

    I agree wit you completly. I already had my company on the CR. Did you notice the priority the issue has? It makes you wonder when a low priority issue will be addressed. In all fairness though, there are not very many companies linked to it.

  • Jason Griffith

    I went ahead and linked it as well. We do a whole lot of Re-active problem solving here, and we could really use all the tools we can find to become Pro-active instead. If we can get some trend analysis going, then we might have an opportunity to run some root-cause analysis also. Then maybe we can get away from the world of band-aids and actually fix some things.

    I doubt that M2M will put much priority on the issue since they likely view it as unnecessary. They’ve provided us with the information, it’s just not in the format that we would prefer. “They have gotten by with what we have for the last four years, they can do without this for the next four too.”

    With the new versions on their way too, I think they would probably rather put the functionality into them rather than the current versions, assuming they do it at all.

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