A Log Monitoring SaaS is online software that looks for specific criteria in your log data, and sends out alerts when those criteria are met. The idea is that you configure the service to send out alerts for critical situations, like when a fatal error occurs that ends a user’s session, or causes a larger problem with the software. The appropriate alerts ensure that the DevOps team knows when there is an emergency on production and can respond to it promptly.
Is it not a way to monitor logs in my SaaS?
Well, it can be, but not exclusively. Most log monitoring software shouldn’t be picky about whether you are monitoring a desktop application or a cloud service running on a group of servers. The main factor for compatibility with your application is the coding frameworks it supports. For example, our Log Monitoring SaaS Loupe supports .NET Framework, .NET Core, .NET 5, and Java. As long as you are using a supported framework/language, Loupe can monitor the logs no matter where it’s located (in fact, we use it to monitor both our desktop and cloud software ourselves).
There are good reasons to want a solid Log Monitoring Service if you create a SaaS yourself.
Why is log monitoring helpful for a SaaS?
When a SaaS is running in production, your primary concern for the application is its availability. The items to monitor closely are fatal errors, anything that causes system instability, or in the worst-case scenarios, to go offline. You are probably less concerned about knowing every time a user gets their password wrong and other minor information/warning logs that naturally occur as an application runs. But fatal errors can represent a larger service outage than a fatal error for a desktop application.
When a desktop application crashes, it is likely to affect just one user or a single office. It’s not great, but the scope of the problem may not be considered an emergency. When there’s an error or group of errors that cause a crash on a SaaS though, that could represent a much larger group affected, so it’s important to act on it quickly. That’s why Log Monitoring is vital for SaaS: the worst day for your SaaS will likely impact more users than the worst day for your desktop application (where half the users may not have the affected version of the software anyway).
What to keep in mind when looking at log monitoring services for a SaaS
If you care about getting alerts for the critical errors
but are less concerned with the small stuff, you need to make sure the Log Monitoring system has a way to configure alerts correctly. Without any way to filter out logs, you’re just going to get overloaded, and the Dev-Ops team will learn to ignore alerts instead of reacting to them. With Loupe, we are very aware of the problem, which is why there are nine different specifications possible when creating a new alert (and they are settings I learned very quickly are important after I set up my first alert and received 40 emails in the span of a minute).
You can narrow down the scope of the monitoring system by log severity, application version, computer, and more.
How is log monitoring improved as a SaaS?
Whether your software is a SaaS or traditional desktop software, maintaining it in production is better when using a Log Monitoring SaaS.
Log Monitoring doesn’t necessarily need to be an online service, but its utility is improved quite a bit when it is, specifically when combined with a centralized logging service.
Alerts from log monitoring software are much less convenient when you can’t react to them right away. Or at least get further context. When Log Monitoring is combined with a centralized logging SaaS though, you can get the context you need on an alert no matter where you are. For Loupe, we include a link right to the session or event that caused the alert right in the email so our users can get to managing situations as quickly as possible.
No matter if it’s Wednesday afternoon and they’re in the office, or if it’s Saturday morning and they’re accessing Loupe through their home desktop, they can access the log data they need. If Loupe weren’t a SaaS that handles both Log Monitoring and Centralized Logging, we wouldn’t be able to do that, and our users would have to work to find the offending logs before moving forward with a resolution.
There’s no reason just to take my word on this though, try out a Log Monitoring SaaS for yourself! You can use our Logging SaaS, Loupe Server, absolutely free for 30 days. You can learn more about the service here, or sign up for the trial with the link below.