In a guest post on the Bamboo Solutions team blog titled "How do I troubleshoot SharePoint, So many Logs!" I explored the various logs and what is important for troubleshooting issues on the Front end (Windows, SharePoint, IIS, etc…) and backend (SQL Logs), with a few links to the Index/Search logging aspects such as gatherer logs and change logs (SharePoint ULS logs, Windows (App, Security, System), and even IIS logs may be relevant and apply as well).
Bamboo Solutions pushed a web based solution to address this common challenge of hunting and gathering and keeping track of these various logs with the key purpose of putting the power in the hands of the administrator even if they don’t have access to the physical server. They’ve done this through a central admin interface that intuitively integrates an administrative web based log viewing console for viewing more than the most common logs, and even providing a filtered interface for narrowing down the relevant IIS, SharePoint ULS, SQL logs, and common Windows logs.
In a critical analysis of Bamboo’s SharePoint System Log Manager in a blog titled "SharePoint Troubleshooting: A Critical Analysis of the Bamboo System Log Manager" I break this new solution down bit by bit and tell you what I like and share where I think there’s room for improvement. (As well dispersed across the two blogs you’ll find info where you may want to look beyond the product for certain types of troubleshooting… for example you should consider creating trace logs using IIS 7, or using SQL profiler and looking at perfmon or netmon for a more detailed analysis.)
Essentially the goal here is to help you understand the tool for what it is… face value. This tool was requested by various SharePoint Admins and SharePoint MVPs (I’ve even asked for this!) and is frequently heard when SharePoint Ops find out how many logs are needed for troubleshooting a typical even common issue. I say in my log blog, that there are more logs in SharePoint than any other Microsoft app with the exception of those built on it. The way I look at it, if we want these tools to exist, we need to evaluate them and give our feedback or the tools won’t exist. These tools aren’t for the business directly, they are for IT. A tight feedback loop and broad awareness is a key principal of our community values. Did Bamboo hit the mark? I think they got pretty close, and my evaluation should give you a good idea of how close. Feel free to check out the trial for yourself and give them the feedback to nail it. I want to see tools to make it quicker and help us provide higher availability through systematic tools and interfaces.
After you’ve seen these posts… You should evaluate for yourself (you don’t have to take my word for it) and download the trial of Bamboo’s SharePoint System Log Manager. If you decide to take it, be sure to use my discount code TABJO08 and save yourself 5% (if it looks like the discount didn’t work, it probably didn’t. They are working on making it easier to add the code).
Disclosure: If you weren’t aware I am working with Bamboo as a Technical Advisor to give them product feedback and community exposure, but I’m being honest here and I do see this as good for the community. Give it to me straight if you see it any different.