19.5 Event Logs

Useful as the Debug and Trace classes are, the Win32 platform already provides a logging mechanism in the form of the event log. Classes are provided in the System.Diagnostics namespace that allow applications to enumerate the existing event sources and logs, read from and write to an event log manually, use an event log as a backing store for Trace or Debug output, create and install new event sources, and monitor an event log for changes.

19.5.1 Reading the Event Log

To read an event log, create an instance of the EventLog class with the name of the log you wish to access, and optionally the name of the machine on which the log resides and the event source with which to filter the log entries. Once you have a valid EventLog instance, it provides a wealth of properties and methods that let you examine and manipulate the log as a whole. To read the individual entries in the log, use the EventLog.Entries property to retrieve a collection of EventLogEntry instances. The following sample displays information on any log on your system:

// DumpLog.cs - use DumpLog <logname>
using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
  
class DumpLog {
  static void Main(string[ ] args) {
    // Present the alternatives
    if (args.Length <= 0) {
      EventLog[ ] ela = EventLog.GetEventLogs( );
      Console.WriteLine("Usage:  DumpLog <logname>");
      Console.WriteLine("\n\tWhere <logname> is one of:\n");
      foreach (EventLog el in ela) {
        Console.WriteLine("\t{0}", el.LogDisplayName);
      }
      return;
    } 
    // Extract the parameters
    string logName = args[0];
    // Check the log actually exists
    if (!EventLog.Exists(logName)) {
      Console.WriteLine("Unknown log name {0}", logName);
      return;
    }
    // Iterate over the entire log, dumping the events
    EventLog el = new EventLog(logName);
    Console.WriteLine("{0} on {1}", el.LogDisplayName, el.MachineName);
    EventLogEntryCollection elec = el.Entries;
    foreach (EventLogEntry ele in elec) {
      Console.WriteLine("Event ID {0} ({1}):{2}", 
          ele.EventID, ele.EntryType, ele.Message);
      Console.WriteLine("  generated by {0} on {1} for {2}@{3}",
          ele.Source, ele.TimeGenerated, ele.UserName, ele.MachineName);
    }
  }
}

19.5.2 Writing to the Event Log

Similarly, one can write to the event log using the same EventLog class used in the previous example. The only complexity arises because log entries need a sourceif the event source doesn't already exist, you need to create it. As the following sample demonstrates, creating a command-line utility to add events to an event log on the local machine is trivial:

// WriteLog.cs - use WriteLog <logname> <message>
using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
class WriteLog {
  const string SOURCE = "CSiaN";
  static void Main(string[ ] args) {
    // Extract the parameters
    string logName = args[0], message = args[1];
    // Verify the log actually exists
    if (!EventLog.Exists(logName)) {
      Console.WriteLine("Unknown log name '{0}'", logName);
      return;
    }
    // Create the CSiaN event source if necessary
    if (!EventLog.SourceExists(SOURCE) ) {
      EventLog.CreateEventSource(SOURCE, logName);
    }
    // Write the event to the log on the local machine
    EventLog el = new EventLog(logName, ".", SOURCE);
    el.WriteEntry(message)
  }
}

19.5.3 Monitoring the Event Log

In some cases it can be useful to monitor the event log, examining new entries as they are written and taking appropriate action. To do this, register a listener for the EventLog.EntryWritten event on a log we are interested in monitoring. As new event log entries are added to the log, you receive callbacks, and can access the details of the new event log entry and take appropriate action. The following sample demonstrates registering a listener to display new events in a log as they are written. (To generate new events in the log, use the preceding WriteLog sample.)

// WatchLog.cs - use WatchLog <logname>
using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
class WatchLog {
  static void NewEntryCallback(object o, EntryWrittenEventArgs ewea) {
    // The new entry is included in the event arguments
    EventLogEntry ele = ewea.Entry;
    Console.WriteLine("New event in log: {0}", ele.Message);
  }
  static void Main(string[ ] args) {
    // Check the arguments and provide help
    if (args.Length != 1) {
      Console.WriteLine("Usage: WatchLog <logname>");
      return;
    }
    // Verify the log actually exists
    string logName = args[0];
    if (!EventLog.Exists(logName)) {
      Console.WriteLine("Unknown log name '{0}'", logName);
      return;
    }
    // Register handler and wait for keypress
    EventLog el = new EventLog(logName);
    el.EntryWritten += new EntryWrittenEventHandler(NewEntryCallback);
    el.EnableRaisingEvents = true;
    Console.WriteLine("Listening for events - press <enter> to end");
    Console.ReadLine( );
  }
}


    Part II: Programming with the .NET Framework
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