What is a log file?

LogViewPlus defines log files as any data store which contains a series of log entries.  Each log entry must contain a timestamp.  Files which do not conform to this broad definition cannot be processed by LogViewPlus.  If you are having trouble reading data from a log file you should consider if the timestamps are being parsed correctly.

Log "files" as defined in this documentation may not be file based.  For example, a database or network stream may be used. 

We like to think of log entries as containing two parts: a message and an envelope. 

A log entry message is optional.  If provided LogViewPlus will consider the message as the core information that the application was trying to convey to the reader at that moment in time.  Often this information is in a human readable format such as a sentence containing information. 

The envelope contains metadata describing the log entry.  For example, the timestamp, thread, or log level.  Metadata is often bite sized chunks of information which is consistently provided in all log entries produced by the application.

The goal when parsing log files is normally to isolate the metadata from the message.  If necessary, messages can be parsed automatically as a post parsing step.

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