Error Log in MVC

Implement Elmah in MVC Application for error log

In Every application capture and maintain error log is very important part of the any application. That is help full to development support team as well client to make application running a smooth in live environment

So implementing different error log for every application we need to add few efforts so elmah has good common solution for that. Elmah can be fit in any .net application with below error log mechanism.

  1. Log in XML file
  2. Log in SQL database
  3. Log in Mail (sent an email to provided email address)
  4. Log in Oracle database
  5. Log in Access database

Elmah is Open source code so you also download a code also for any modification. Below is the URL for Elmah code and download.

http://code.google.com/p/elmah/

Along with this kind of feature they are providing good UI also to view all log with details along with download functionality.

In this article I am targeting to how to configure Elmah in MVC 3.0 Application

That is very simple to add Elmah in MVC application, just need to add elmah in project from package library reference.

Select Project > Click on Right Click > Select “Add Library Package Reference”  and search elmah and install that in your application.

Now you have to add below xml tag in your web.config file.

Add below ConfigSection (if tag exist then add tag in that existing tag)

 

Now Add Elmah tag in below this configSection. Where you can uncomment what ever you want and add your setting.(like database name, log file path etc…)

<elmah>
    <!--
            Use to log errors to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or 2005
            using ASP.NET 2.0. Set value of connectionStringName attribute
            to the name of the connection string settings to use from
            the <connectionStrings> section.
        
        <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" 
            connectionStringName="..." />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or 2005
            using ASP.NET 1.x and adjust the value of connectionString 
            attribute to your settings.

        <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlErrorLog, Elmah" 
            connectionString="Data Source=.;Initial Catalog=ELMAH;Trusted_Connection=True" />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to MySQL 5.0+  Set value of connectionStringName attribute
            to the name of the connection string settings to use from the <connectionStrings>
            section.

        <errorLog type="Elmah.MySqlErrorLog, Elmah" 
            connectionString="..." />
        -->
    <!--
             Use to log errors to a SQL Server Compact 4 database file (requires .NET 3.5 SP1) 
             Set value of connectionStringName attribute to 
             the name of the connection string settings to 
             use from the <connectionStrings> section.
    
          <errorLog type="Elmah.SqlServerCompactErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="..." />

             The format of the connection string should be as follows:
    
          <connectionStrings>
            <add name="..." connectionString="data source=[path to the database file]" />
          </connectionStrings>
    
            Replace the content of the brackets with a file name, for example:
    
          data source=C:\Elmah.sdf
    
             If the database file doesn't exist it is created automatically.
             You can also place the file in the App_Data folder, by using the |DataDirectory| macro:
    
          <connectionStrings>
             <add name="..." connectionString="data source=|DataDirectory|\Elmah.sdf" />
          </connectionStrings>

      -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to SQLite using ASP.NET 2.0. 
            Set value of connectionStringName attribute to 
            the name of the connection string settings to 
            use from the <connectionStrings> section.
            
        <errorLog type="Elmah.SQLiteErrorLog, Elmah" connectionStringName="..." />
        
            The format of the connection string should be as follows:
            
        <connectionStrings>
          <add name="..." connectionString="data source=[path to the database file]" />
        </connectionStrings>
            
            Replace the content of the brackets with a file name, for example:
            
        data source=C:\Elmah.db
            
            If the database file doesn't exist it is created automatically.
            To specify a path relative to and below the application root, 
            start with the root operator (~) followed by a forward slash (/), 
            as it is common in ASP.NET applications. For example:
            
        data source=~/App_Data/Error.db
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors into separate XML files that are stored on 
            disk at the path specified in the logPath attribute.
-->
    <errorLog type="Elmah.XmlFileErrorLog, Elmah" logPath="~/ErrorLog" />
    <!--
            Use to log errors to Oracle
            using ASP.NET 2.0. Set value of connectionStringName attribute
            to the name of the connection string settings to use from
            the <connectionStrings> section.
        
            The schemaOwner parameter is *optional*. Use this if the owner of the
            ELMAH package (pkg_elmah$error) is not the same user that you are 
            using to connect to the database.
            
        <errorLog type="Elmah.OracleErrorLog, Elmah" 
            schemaOwner="xxx" />
            connectionStringName="..." />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to Oracle
            using ASP.NET 1.1 and adjust the value of connectionString 
            attribute to your settings.

            The schemaOwner parameter is *optional*. Use this if the owner of the
            ELMAH package (pkg_elmah$error) is not the same user that you are 
            using to connect to the database.

        <errorLog type="Elmah.OracleErrorLog, Elmah" 
            schemaOwner="xxx" />
            connectionString="Data Source=xxxx;User ID=username;Password=password" />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to Microsoft Access
            using ASP.NET 1.x and adjust the value of connectionString 
            attribute to your settings.
            Use Elmah.mdb as your database.

        <errorLog type="Elmah.AccessErrorLog, Elmah" 
            connectionString="Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=|DataDirectory|Elmah.mdb" />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to Microsoft Access
            using ASP.NET 2.0. Set value of connectionStringName attribute
            to the name of the connection string settings to use from
            the <connectionStrings> section.
            Use Elmah.mdb as your database.
        
        <errorLog type="Elmah.AccessErrorLog, Elmah" 
            connectionStringName="..." />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to log errors to PostgresSQL 
            using ASP.NET 2.0. Set value of connectionString to a 
			valid Npgsql connection string.
        
		<errorLog type="Elmah.PgsqlErrorLog, Elmah" 
            connectionString="Server=...;Port=...;Database=...;User Id=...;Password=...;" />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to send error reports by e-mail and adjust the attributes
            according to settings desired. Note that only the from and
            to attributes are required. The rest are optional and may
            be removed. If the SMTP server does not require authentication,
            you MUST remove the userName and password attributes or
            set them to empty values (resulting in zero-length strings).
            If you are using ELMAH compiled for .NET Framework 1.x, then
            the to attribute may contain multiple recipient addresses,
            each of which must be delimited by a semi-colon(;). If you are 
            using ELMAH compiled for .NET Framework 2.0 or later, then the
            to attribute may contain multiple recipient addresses,
            each of which must be delimited by a comma (,).

        <errorMail 
            from="elmah@example.com" 
            to="admin@example.com" 
            subject="..."
            priority="Low|Normal|High"
            async="true|false"
            smtpPort="25"
            smtpServer="smtp.example.com" 
            useSsl="true|false"
            userName="johndoe"
            password="secret" 
            noYsod="true|false" />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to send short error messages to a twitter account.
        <errorTweet 
            userName="johndoe" 
            password="secret" />
        -->
    <!--
            Use to prevent errors from being mailed or logged based on
            assertions. An assertion evaluates the current context, resulting
            in a Boolean outcome. An error is filtered if the assertion results
            in true. For a more detailed explanation, see:

http://code.google.com/p/elmah/wiki/ErrorFiltering

            The example below will filter errors when any of the
            following conditions occur:
            
            - The status code is set to 404 
            - The root/base cause is System.IO.FileNotFoundException
            - The root/base cause is System.Web.HttpRequestValidationException
            - The user agent making the request identifies itself as "crawler"
            - The request is from the local machine
            
            The assertion below is expressed as a JScript expression and is the
            most generic and simplest of the assertions to use if you are
            familiar with the JavaScript language. It can work in Medium and
            Full trust environments.

        <errorFilter>
            <test>
                <jscript>
                    <expression>
                    <![CDATA[
                    // @assembly mscorlib
                    // @assembly System.Web, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a
                    // @import System.IO
                    // @import System.Web

                    HttpStatusCode == 404
                    || BaseException instanceof FileNotFoundException 
                    || BaseException instanceof HttpRequestValidationException
                    /* Using RegExp below (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/h6e2eb7w.aspx) */
                    || Context.Request.UserAgent.match(/crawler/i)                      
                    || Context.Request.ServerVariables['REMOTE_ADDR'] == '127.0.0.1' // IPv4 only
                    ]]>
                    </expression>
                </jscript>
            </test>
        </errorFilter>
        -->
  </elmah>

If you are using IIS 7 then add this tag in your tag.

Now you when error occurs log file will be automatically generated. And that you can access by just calling elmah.axd from your root path. That will display all logs with details description.

One more thing need to consider in MVC application, when error mode is On that error log in not captured by default because in MVC that will not execute application_error event so log is not generated in xml file.
Hence, you have to comments handler related filter in global.aspx file

public static void RegisterGlobalFilters(GlobalFilterCollection filters)
{
//filters.Add(new HandleErrorAttribute());
}

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestion on this post.

Thanks,
Amit Patel
“Enjoy Programming”

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