Monday, 10 August 2015

Introducing... Splunk4Net!


One of the cool parts of working for Chillisoft is that we have time set aside by the company for learning and experimenting. We call those times "Intentional Learning" and "Deliberate Practice". Think "Google 20% time", but with a little more focus.

The last round has been focused on tinkering on projects of interest to people working at the company. One of my colleagues is working on using Unity to build a virtual world interface to a part of an existing product. Some others have worked on a Neo4J .NET connector. There are some cool things which emerge from these processes!

I had recently dealt with Splunk, a remote hosting for logging which not only provides a rich query language to deal with the collected data, but also provides graphing mechanisms for making your data come alive visually. They have many different pricing structures, starting at a free version which is probably enough to cover the needs of quite a few projects and teams, right up to enterprise editions which cope with high volumes of data and provide rich security features.

A lot of the .net world has already dealt with the great log4net library: an open-source logging framework which supports writing to a diverse plethora of targets, such as log files (with rotation even!), Windows Event Log and many, many more.

So log4net is cool, Splunk is cool -- how about making it easy to log to Splunk using known log4net skills?

Well, now you can, with Splunk4Net, which is available via nuget. Thanks to the community-oriented thinking at Chillisoft, this library is not only free as in beer, but you have full access to the source -- you can build it, you can change it, you can redistribute it.

I hope this provides some value to people looking to log to an external service, especially to be able to harvest valuable information from that logging. You could use this to keep on top of error conditions in your client code or websites. You could use this to gather metrics about application usage to guide further development. You could just use this as a diagnostic tool to figure out why client apps are falling over. How you use it is up to you -- feel free (:

What's new in PeanutButter?

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