Monday, July 30, 2012

WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Cross Component Trace

Have you ever tried to piece together the log entries from a request that spanned multiple application servers?  When you've got lots of concurrent activity on your server it gets hard to figure out which entries are from each request using timestamps alone.  Clock skew between systems doesn't help, and coarse timestamp granularity in log and trace files can make you long for simpler days.

In WebSphere Application Server V8.5, we introduced a capability called Cross Component Trace (XCT) that augments your log files so it's easy to tell which threads and server processes were involved in processing each request.

Check out this video showing how to use XCT to mark log and trace entries with a request ID, and how to use High Performance Extensible Logging (HPEL) to find all log and trace entries that share a common request ID.

Once you see what XCT is all about, you may also want to investigate a new tool we've released for the IBM Support Assistant called the IBM WebSphere Cross Component Trace Logviewer.  As the name suggests, it takes advantage of XCT content in log and trace files.  This video shows how to use it to group log content into request hierarchies.