IISLogs 2.1 updates and a few misc thoughts.

I’m in the process of updating IISLogs (http://www.iislogs.com) with some additional features. I’ve had a few requests and it’s been a few months since the last release. Now I remember why development is quite the process. Code, validate, test, Code some more, validate. Then release candidate. I’m pretty much a one-man band, so I get to experience many hats. One thing I wanted to pass along it’s exciting to use features of a product you personally develop. IISLogs has three levels of internal logging (detailed, error and summary). The detailed logging is separated by a delimiter so you can evaluate the outcome. I designed IISLogs to delimit the logs by default using the “!” character. This can be anything, I personally like the “!” A person who wants to use Excel or Access to do further reporting can. The internal log files are also controlled and rollover periodically. Using the output, I realized Windows Server 2008 has over 1300 different file extensions in %windir% and sub-folders. Windows Server 2008 has over 170. I recursed the entire folder structure. After the process completed, I imported the files into Access and ran some random queries.

One of the features being added was manage files / folders left over from Shavlik’s HFNetcheck. I’ve used HFNetcheck in the past and it’s a great product for keeping systems patched. By default, the product appears to create a folder called ‘propatches’ in %windir% (usually c:windows). This was a bit tricky because IISLogs processes files based on file extension, HFNetcheck puts DLL, EXE, CFG, which are normally system files. Up until this release, we’ve not processed DLL, EXE, CFG, INI. We’ve reworked the Per Directory option to allow for these additional extensions and still not process other folders under %windir%.  I’ve taken great strides to have a flexible and tool that doesn’t require administrative access.  IISLogs is really more a tool to help keep logs in-check using a single product vs. many scripts. I’m not recommending people stop developing scripts, I like scripting. 🙂 IISLogs is targeted for a person looking to have a consistent tool handling logs. I originally coded to handle IISLogs (hence the name), but it’s grew into having the ability to do pretty much any log file type, including (unknown extensions). We have a series of checks to ensure system file type extensions aren’t processed; however products that creates a unique name (usually a date/time stamp). IISLogs can handle this type of scenario. I just checked our site and there isn’t a in-depth article discussing how IISLogs handles unknown extensions. I have that marked as a to-do.

My goal is to share more in-depth information about IISLogs.  Maybe I can get one of the big magazines to review IISLogs. (One can dream).  I developed the tool in July of 2004 and there have been a few releases (version 1.0, version 2.0). More and more people are trying it (hint, we have a 30 day trial) There is a console application (IISLogsEXE) and a service version (IISLogsSVC). We even have a tool called IISLogsGUI (you guessed it, the UI) to manage the configuration files.

Let me know if you have any questions, we can be contacted at info@iislogs.com

Take care,

Steve Schofield
Microsoft MVP – IIS

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