sgjklseghlesg February 2016

Is it good or bad to store log messages in a database table, rather than a file?

I'm talking about human-readable text logging, like error messages from a web application.

Do people commonly store these in a database? Are there any advantages to using a database table instead of a file? Or if not, why is it specifically a bad idea?

Answers


Mukesh Keshu February 2016

I hope this link gives you a better idea - What's more efficient - storing logs in sql database or files?

Log to db instead if you need other people needs to read logs in a web interface or if you need the ability to search through logs


Arve Systad February 2016

Database

Advantages:

  • Way easier to search through the logs
    • Clever queries, grouping and limiting by for example dates
    • Retrieving log messages of a specific kind, log level or containing certain patterns
    • Filtering away unwanted noise when looking for specific things
  • Easier to manage in a good way if you're creating some kind of user interface

Some disadvantages:

  • Pollutes your database with stuff that might not be very useful, depending on your application
  • Can aid in far quicker database growth, which might be annoying in certain scenarios
  • You need access to the database (which might require paper work or simply takes time), or write a UI on top

Text files

Major advantages

  • Very easy, light weight, simple to implement
  • Easy to clean away when not needed anymore; no longer wasting disk space

Disadvantages

  • Hard to browse and query (depends on your logging statements, file structures etc)

There's nothing inherently right or wrong with logging to a database versus logging to a file; it all depends on your needs. Think through your needs, then decide. Logging to a database is very convenient when debugging, but it might require more of you, your team or your application in the long run.

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Asked in February 2016
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