We hinted that more details on the upcoming Exceptionless 2.0 release would get announced soon, and here we are! Lets dive in a bit further, shall we?
Many users have asked for ways to use Exceptionless to report additional types of events, rather than just errors. With version 2.0, we are moving to an event based system that will accommodate such requests.
What's an Event Based Real-Time Reporting Tool Look Like? #
The new system allows us to receive literally any data people want to send us instead of only allowing errors.
Event posts can be as simple as this:
You can send log messages or even entire log files.
Log messages can contain extended data objects just like errors can now.
You can post random JSON objects and the data within them will be treated as extended data.
You can post batches of events instead of only being able to send one at a time.
You can send feature usage events that let you see how often features of your application are being used. Think about how useful that will be!
You can send session start and end events that will enable you to know what percentage of users are affected by errors and enable you to better know what your priorities should be.
We will be gathering enough data to make it easy for us to begin putting together some very useful analytic reports.
We're pretty excited about the switch from error-only to send-us-any-event-you-can-think-of real-time reporting, logging, and notifications. We think it's going to be awesome, and it's almost scary how much of a playground Exceptionless is going to turn into for some of our customers. We're not pushing the limits, we're pushing for no limits!
Ideas? Concerns? Let us know. We're working hard to wrap up Exceptionless 2.0, but there's still a lot more bells and whistles we're polishing before launch! Keep an eye out for still more sneak peek material in the coming weeks!
It may seem quiet in Exceptionless land, but the truth is we've been writing, and re-writing, more code than you can point a cursor at. If it weren't a labor of love, our fingers would have mutinied long ago, but luckily they are in it for the long haul and are churning out some seriously sweet new features and rewrites.
Exceptionless 2.0 will include many of the feature requests that have come in since we launched, and will drastically expand on the current functionality. We know you'll love it, so continue reading for a high level view of what's coming in the near future.
All we're trying to point out is that when you start tracking and organizing the errors in your code, inevitably you'll start to realize that a small percentage of bugs are causing the majority of your total errors.
We realized this ourselves, so we built the "Most Frequent Errors" report right into the Exceptionless dashboard.
When you log into your account, you immediately see which errors are causing the largest number of exceptions, how many instances of each there is, when the first occurrence was, and when the last occurrence was.
From there, you can click in, view there error's details, and hopefully find a quick resolution to the problem.
While it's great to chip away at the most frequent errors, it's worth pointing out that most frequent doesn't always mean most important, so be sure to focus on bottom line, customer facing, and major functionality issues first!
In your coding adventures, have you found the 80-20 rule to apply to your exceptions? Was it something you found quickly, or did you track down numerous instances of the same error before realizing it?
We like to know how Exceptionless is helping its users, and we love it when we get feedback! Every once in a while, we like to share a story or two so we can drive home the benefits of having a real-time exception logging service tied into code projects.
Surveys are sometimes sent out to users, and we wanted to share a few recent responses.
What is the number one customer-facing bug that Exceptionless has helped you track down? Can you give us a brief description of the bug and how you solved it?
User 1: "Missing DLLs in the client environment, due to required 3rd party apps not being installed (eg: Crystal Reports runtime). [Exceptionless] enabled me to create a list of missing DLLs and computers for relay to the client."
User 2: They were previously handling their own exception logging well and don't have any serious customer-facing errors coming in.
When you first started using Exceptionless, were you surprised by the number of errors that were being reported? Approximately how many were you seeing per day?
User 1: "Not really, but just because I had written a similar tool that logged these before, they just were not as accessible (database table on web service)." The user reported that the above bug was appearing 10-15 times each day.
User 2: They were already handling their error logging and already had errors down to a minimum, around 50 per month. "The primary reasons that we switched to Exceptionless from our own code is that Exceptionless captures additional detail (including code line numbers), Exceptionless has a better interface and design for reviewing and managing errors and bugs (including summary views that we didn’t previously have), and we no longer need to maintain our own error-logging code."
What is the number one internal bug that Exceptionless has helped you track down? Can you give us a brief description of the bug and how you solved it?
User 1: N/A
User 2: "...a small number of situations where our code doesn’t correctly handle empty record sets (that is, where, based on the specific query string parameters in the URL, no corresponding records are found in the database and the page is expecting that there will always be records to display)."
What is the number one feature request or change that you would like to see the Exceptionless Team tackle?
User 1: "More options to filter dashboard by tags/versions/environment variables. Custom reporting, exporting to CSV file etc or other way to import them into TFS or similar."
User 2: "...my number one request is probably for additional information in daily summary emails and for a combined daily summary. Notification defaults and moving notification settings out of the project setup is probably a close second; or perhaps the ability to add comments when marking an issue as fixed would be my second highest feature request."
If you have any other other examples of Exceptionless helping you squash bugs, please share them below - we would love to hear them!
User 1: N/A
User 2: "...in our small team, the additional information from Exceptionless (as well as the process of converting to Exceptionless) has prompted us to review and solve a few ongoing bugs that we were aware of..."
If you use Exceptionless to log, report, organize, and squash errors in your code, we want to hear how it helps, what kind of crazy errors you are eliminating, and your general thoughts on the project! Don't be shy, we won't bite.
Having a handle on your code's errors is important. Thousands, if not millions, of exceptions are thrown every day in production code without anyone knowing. These errors might be affecting the bottom line, or they could be negligible - either way, it's important to know that they exist, how often they are occurring, and what parts of the app are affected.
Are you looking for a comprehensive tool that handles logging, reporting, grouping, and notifications for exceptions in your ASP.NET, Web API, WebForms, WPF, Console, MVC, or NancyFX app? Exceptionless does all that, and more. Lets take a look.
Exceptionless is for developers and dev teams that want to have enhanced visibility of errors, track down bugs faster, tighten up code, and produce a better overall product for the end user.
Back in February, we went open source, allowing developers that have the resources and infrastructure to host Exceptionless for free. Since then, we've had several contributors to the project and more than 50 forks. Pretty exciting stuff!
We offer extremely reasonable hosting services for those that would prefer we handle that side of things. The single user, single project hosting account is free, then the small team account starts at $15 per month. Pricing scales from there. Check out the Pricing Plans page for full pricing details and frequently asked questions.
Having a tool like Exceptionless to report and log your software's errors is great, but many of our clients experience thousands of instances of each error over various lengths of time, which can become overwhelming quickly.
We couldn't just leave them with a huge list of individual error occurrences to drudge through, so we went through several different potential options until we devised the best way to group them.
Since we use Exceptionless to report and track down our own bugs, it was easy to put ourselves in our own shoes and think about what would allow us to drill down and fix errors quickly.
With that mindset, we decided that there were two important error details that should be used for grouping.
Where the error occurred
We felt that, first and foremost, we wanted to know where the error was occurring. Even though there is a possibility it might be occurring in multiple locations, we felt that each location represented its own importance in our grouping scheme.
Type of error
The type of error is also very important, and we felt that when you combine type with location, you get a set of errors that holds enough significant explicit data to be recognized as a group.
When we group app errors by location and type, it allows us to report error instance counts, first occurrences, frequency of occurrence, and most recent occurrence on the dashboard.
Error Group Details
This seemingly basic grouping forms the basis for the different Exceptionless dashboard tabs and pages, thus becoming a major cornerstone for the platform. Click into a group, and you see the title, exception type, and location, along with a graph of occurrences and the most recent occurrences.
From there, you can drill down into each occurrence and scrutinize all of the error's details.
As our user base continues to expand, the first priority is to continue providing the best service possible. Azure allows us to guarantee scalability, and has already proven to be much faster and more responsive. We're ready for whatever you can throw at us.
Developing infrastructure takes time, and we would rather be developing the code behind Exceptionless. The move to Azure allows us to do just that, taking a lot off our plate in terms of hosting. It's pretty awesome.
In the future, we would like to become an Azure partner and be listed as one of the approved store add-ons. We're not there yet, because we've got to go through the application process, etc, etc, but it's in the works!
"Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment." - Microsoft Azure
We are happy with the move and think it means great things for the future of Exceptionless. We hope our users appreciate the speed and responsiveness, and can see the improvements in service.
When an error occurs in your app, you need to know the critical details, fast, so you can drill down and fix it. We get it - we're developers too - that's why we built Exceptionless.
The trick was organizing the data so it didn't overwhelm our users, while still providing all the important stuff so developers wouldn't have to spend extra time tracking down versions, requesting stack traces, or pulling teeth to get environment information.
Lets take a look at the default information included with every error. We say default because you can easily add your own information with custom objects.
We have done our best to include all the important information in an organized, easy to read, intuitive interface. Think we're missing something? Think we can organize it differently? Let us know! We love feedback.
Exceptionless 1.4 brings with it both server and client changes, a new client integration, some minor updates, and lots of bug fixes. Check out the changelog items below, and let us know if you have any questions.
We want to extend our thanks again to the developers that have worked on the project since we went open source a few weeks ago. See their contributions below, along with links to their GitHub profiles.
Just over six months ago, we launched Exceptionless with a mission to impact the coding community in a positive way. The goal was, and still is, to help developers find, track, and squash errors, ultimately creating better code for users.
A few days ago we officially hit 1000 accounts, and as of today Exceptionless has reported 8,562,499 errors! We couldn't be more excited!
Sure, we're busier than ever now, answering emails, conversing with open source contributors on new features, and working on new features ourselves, but seeing something grow this quickly, that we've put so much work into, leaves us with little room to complain. The only real thing we can do is say thank you.