Perform diagnostic search across your logs – Now Improved!


You no longer have to install any agent on your server to use the fast diagnostic log search in Application Insights. You simply add Application Insights to your app project, together with an adapter for your favorite logging platform. Your log events are sent to the portal, where you can query them as you like, and get quickly to the root of any problem.

At Application Insights, we help developers to understand if their live applications are available, performing and succeeding. We understand sometimes things don’t go as expected. Too often you receive a frantic phone call from your operations team or a customer just tweeted about the app being slow. As a DevOps you want to be on top of the issues to get them diagnosed and fixed before your customers find them. Usually the catch is in the ability to quickly diagnose an issue.

Keeping this diagnostics scenario as our top priority, a couple of months back, we shipped our diagnostics search. With it, you perform full text search over diagnostic logs emitted through your logging framework to get to the root cause of your application issues instantly.

Whether your apps uses System.Diagnostics, Log4Net or NLOG as the logging framework for your application, you can configure those apps to enable this feature. You install a small adapter in your project, which sends your log output to the Application Insights portal. We index the logs and make them available for very rapid search.  The query syntax is familiar and easy to use.

Now, if you’ve already used diagnostic logging, you’ll know that you had to install Microsoft Monitoring Agent on your server to make it work. Or maybe you didn’t use diagnostic search, because you didn’t want to install MMA. So the great news is that MMA isn’t required for log search any more. (You still need MMA if you want performance and exception monitoring (for now)).

I’m already using Application Insights. How do I get log search working on servers where I haven’t installed MMA?

[Re]install the appropriate logging adapter into your app project. Here’s how:

a) Open your  project

b) Right click on your solution explorer and click on Manage NuGet package option


c) Search for “ApplicationInsights” in the search bar on the right corner, select the adapter based on the logging framework your application uses. We support three logging frameworks at this point, Trace Listener, Log4Net and NLog so you should be able to select the adapter of your choice.


d) Once the NuGet package is added to your project, rebuild and redeploy.

e) This will activate the feature and even if your server where this application is running does not have MMA installed, the log messages will be shipped successfully so you can search on your logs.

For new users who are yet to start using the diagnostic search feature, here is a 2 minute video and a MSDN help article. You can also log on to Application Insights, follow to Diagnostics->Search and complete the steps listed in the getting started page.

As usual, we are awaiting to hear your feedback here as comments or in the user voice forum.


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