I read this sentence recently, and it really caught my eye, mostly because I’ve rarely seen hooks being built into the software systems that I’ve written, or that have been deployed to my production systems.
“A quick chat with your Operations team should convince you of the necessity to log every error condition to a single wellknown location, with the appropriate severity, so that they [the Operations team] know exactly what the problem is.”
It seems obvious, but so few people I know have taken advantage of this. Far too many software products build their own logs and display errors on screens rather than alerting operations departments. So few people have taken advantage of RAISERROR to write to Windows logs, or the custom SQL Server performance counters to disclose information to operations systems or personnel.
That’s my experience, but I wanted to ask you this week how you’ve handled things. Do you have software installed that does this? Is it a part of your development process to include hooks?
Do you hook your logging into operations systems to alert others?
As I think about it, I can’t imagine not doing this now. After all, I like to sleep. I don’t need calls at 2am from Production operator trying to find a log and debug a problem. I’d rather ensure that I log information to well known places and ensure exceptions will catch the eye of operations people. I want to give them as much information as I can in order to help them solve the problem. I’d rather sleep and depend on the on-call staff then be woken up because they rely on me to solve problems.
Personally I think that logging to the Event logs, or including configuration switches to send alerts to other software ought to be part of the best practice of developing software. It’s a maturity point where we recognize that we’re building interconnected systems, not individual bits of software that live like hermits.
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