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README.md

Structlog4J

Structured logging Java, on top of the SLF4J API. Designed to generate easily parsable log messages for consumption in services such as LogStash, Splunk, ElasticSearch, etc.

Adding to your project

The artifacts for this library are published to the popular Bintray JCenter Maven repository.

Gradle

repositories {
    jcenter()
}

compile 'structlog4j:structlog4j-api:1.0.0'

// Optional JSON formatter
compile 'structlog4j:structlog4j-json:1.0.0'

// Optional YAML formatter
compile 'structlog4j:structlog4j-yaml:1.0.0'

Maven

<repositories>
  <repository>
    <id>jcenter</id>
      <url>http://jcenter.bintray.com</url>
  </repository>
</repositories>

<dependency>
  <groupId>structlog4j</groupId>
  <artifactId>structlog4j-api</artifactId>
  <version>1.0.0</version>
  <type>pom</type>
</dependency>

<!-- Optional JSON formatter -->
<dependency>
  <groupId>structlog4j</groupId>
  <artifactId>structlog4j-json</artifactId>
  <version>1.0.0</version>
  <type>pom</type>
</dependency>

<!-- Optional YAML formatter -->
<dependency>
  <groupId>structlog4j</groupId>
  <artifactId>structlog4j-yaml</artifactId>
  <version>1.0.0</version>
  <type>pom</type>
</dependency>

Overview

Standard Java messages look something like this

Processed 23 flight records for flight UA1234 for airline United

This is human readable, but very difficult to parse by code in a log aggregation serivce, as every developer can enter any free form text they want, in any format.

Instead, we can generate a message like this

Processed flight records recordCount=23 airlineCode=UA flightNumber=1234 airlineName=United

or as JSON (if using our JSON formatter):

{
    "message": "Processed flight records",
    "recordCount": 23,
    "airlineCode": "UA",
    "flightNumber": "1234",
    "airlineName": "United"
}

or in YAML (if using our YAML formatter):

message: Processed flight records
recordCount: 23
airlineCode: UA
flightNumber: 1234
airlineName: United

This is very easy to parse, the message itself is just a plain description and all the context information is passed as separate key/value pairs.

When this type of log entry is forwarded to a log aggregation service (such as Splunk, Logstash, etc) it is trivial to parse it and extract context information from it. Thus, it is very easy to perform log analytics, which are criticial to many open applications (especially multi-tenant cloud applications).

Usage

StructLog4J is implemented itself on top of the SLF4J API. Therefore any application that already uses SLF4J can start using it immediately as it requires no other changes to existing logging configuration.

Instead of the standard SLF4J Logger, you must instantiate the StructLog4J Logger:

private ILogger log = SLoggerFactory.getLogger(MyClass.class);

The ILogger interface is very simple and offers just these basic methods:

public interface ILogger {
    public void error(String message, Object...params);
    public void warn(String message, Object...params);
    public void info(String message, Object...params);
    public void debug(String message, Object...params);
    public void trace(String message, Object...params);
}

Logging key value pairs

Just pass in key/value pairs as parameters (all keys must be String, values can be anything), e.g.

log.info("Starting processing",
            "user", securityContext.getPrincipal().getName(),
            "tenanId",securityContext.getTenantId());

which would generate a log message like:

Starting processing user=johndoe@gmail.com tenantId=SOME_TENANT_ID

Logging exceptions

There is no separate API for Throwable (like in SLF4j), just pass in the exception as one of the parameters (order is not important) and we will log its root cause message and the entire exception stack trace:

} catch (Exception e) {
    log.error("Error occcurred during batch processing",
        "user",securityContext.getPrincipal().getName(),
        "tenanId",securityContext.getTenantId(),
        e);
}

which would generate a log message like:

Error occurred during batch processing user=johndoe@gmail.com tenantId=SOME_TENANT_ID errorMessage="ORA-14094: Oracle Hates You"
...followed by regular full stack trace of the exception...

Enforcing custom logging format per object

If you wish, any POJO in your app can implement the IToLog interface, e.g.

public class TenantSecurityContext implements IToLog {

    private String userName;
    private String tenantId;

    @Override
    public Object[] toLog() {
        return new Object[]{"userName",getUserName(),"tenantId",getTenantId()};
    }
}

Then you can just pass in the object instance directly, without the need to specify any key/value pairs:

log.info("Starting processing",securityContext);

and that will generate a log entry like:

Starting processing user=johndoe@gmail.com tenantId=SOME_TENANT_ID

All together now

You can mix and match all of these together without any issues:

    } catch (Exception e) {
        log.error("Error occcurred during batch processing",
            securityContext,
            e,
            "hostname", InetAddress.getLocalHost().getHostName());
    }

and you would get:

Error occurred during batch processing user=johndoe@gmail.com tenantId=SOME_TENANT_ID errorMessage="ORA-14094: Oracle Hates You" hostname=DEV_SERVER1
...followed by regular full stack trace of the exception...

Specifying mandatory context key/value pairs

If you have specific key/value pairs that you would like logged automatically with every log entry (host name and service name are a good example), then you just have to specify a mandatory context lambda:

StructLog4J.setMandatoryContextSupplier(() -> new Object[]{
    "hostname", InetAddress.getLocalHost().getHostName(),
    "serviceName","MyService"});

Now these mandatory key/value pairs will be logged automatically on every log entry, without the need to specify them manually.

Logging Formats

Key/Value Pairs

By default we log in the standard key/value pair format, e.g.:

Starting processing user=johndoe@gmail.com tenantId=SOME_TENANT_ID

No extra configuration is necesary.

JSON

If you want all messages to be logged in JSON instead, e.g.

    {
        "message": "Started processing",
        "user": johndoe@gmail.com,
        "tenantId": "SOME_TENANT_ID"
    }

then you need to add the JSON formatter library as a dependency (where $version is the current library version):

compile 'structlog4j:structlog4j-json:$version'

and then just execute the following code in the startup main() of your application:

import com.github.structlog4j.json.JsonFormatter;

StructLog4J.setFormatter(JsonFormatter.getInstance());

That's it.

YAML

If you want all messages to be logged in YAML instead, e.g.

message: Started processing
user: johndoe@gmail.com
tenantId: SOME_TENANT_ID

then you need to add the YAML formatter library as a dependency (where $version is the current library version):

compile 'structlog4j:structlog4j-yaml:$version'

and then just execute the following code in the startup main() of your application:

import com.github.structlog4j.yaml.YamlFormatter;

StructLog4J.setFormatter(YamlFormatter.getInstance());

That's it.

License

MIT License.

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