E2N Gastro is a small startup in Germany, who provide a SaaS platform for restaurant management, staff management, timekeeping, and work schedules (among other services). We spoke with their CEO/CTO, Bjorn Raupach, who shared the history behind their use of log data.
Before using a log management tool, E2N had log files, but they were difficult to locate.
To access them, you had to
ssh into the production server and
awk to search for problem and actually see what is going on at the moment.
“Not everyone here is a developer or a system administrator, Our Help Desk staff does not know much about SSH and Unix in general. It was cumbersome to work with log files”
E2N’s main challenge was:
- Log files were not easy to access
- Time to locate (and respond to) errors
Bjorn knew that log files were an essential part of their business. They have different log files for different services. For example, their platform sends and receives messages from several independent devices: Time-punch machines, Smartphones, Ajax requests and web browsers.
“Before logging, I was worried all the time”.
The platform has to run 24/7, and if you don’t know what’s happening, you don’t sleep well.
E2N is a Java shop, and runs their web apps on Apache Tomcat. They’re using the java.util.logging framework (JUL) for their logs. Unfortunately, JUL doesn’t have an “out of the box” integration with Logentries.
To make it easier to find (and use) the log files, E2N wrote a custom LogentriesHandler that runs in production with Tomcat.
The main reason for writing a custom LogentriesHandler, was its use with Apache Tomcat. The integration now gives them dramatically more control over their logging. You can find the code on GitHub.
Now, E2N can route warnings and errors to Logentries, and keep debugging logs on their server.
“Log files are now visible to everyone, not just to command line ninjas. Our product managers’ favorite hobby has become reading logs on his iPhone. Now, the Help Desk team just launch their Browser and are ready to go.”