log4j - Logging in Database


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The log4j API provides the org.apache.log4j.jdbc.JDBCAppender object, which can put logging information in a specified database.

JDBCAppender Configuration

Property Description
bufferSize Sets the buffer size. Default size is 1.
driver Sets the driver class to the specified string. If no driver class is specified, it defaults to sun.jdbc.odbc.JdbcOdbcDriver.
layout Sets the layout to be used. Default layout is org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout.
password Sets the database password.
sql Specifies the SQL statement to be executed every time a logging event occurs. This could be INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE.
URL Sets the JDBC URL.
user Sets the database user name.

Log Table Configuration

Before you start using JDBC based logging, you should create a table to maintain all the log information. Following is the SQL Statement for creating the LOGS table −

CREATE TABLE LOGS
   (USER_ID VARCHAR(20)    NOT NULL,
    DATED   DATE           NOT NULL,
    LOGGER  VARCHAR(50)    NOT NULL,
    LEVEL   VARCHAR(10)    NOT NULL,
    MESSAGE VARCHAR(1000)  NOT NULL
   );

Sample Configuration File

Following is a sample configuration file log4j.properties for JDBCAppender which will is be used to log messages to a LOGS table.

# Define the root logger with appender file
log4j.rootLogger = DEBUG, DB

# Define the DB appender
log4j.appender.DB=org.apache.log4j.jdbc.JDBCAppender

# Set JDBC URL
log4j.appender.DB.URL=jdbc:mysql://localhost/DBNAME

# Set Database Driver
log4j.appender.DB.driver=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver

# Set database user name and password
log4j.appender.DB.user=user_name
log4j.appender.DB.password=password

# Set the SQL statement to be executed.
log4j.appender.DB.sql=INSERT INTO LOGS VALUES('%x','%d','%C','%p','%m')

# Define the layout for file appender
log4j.appender.DB.layout=org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout

For MySQL database, you would have to use the actual DBNAME, user ID and password, where you have created LOGS table. The SQL statement is to execute an INSERT statement with the table name LOGS and the values to be entered into the table.

JDBCAppender does not need a layout to be defined explicitly. Instead, the SQL statement passed to it uses a PatternLayout.

If you wish to have an XML configuration file equivalent to the above log4j.properties file, then here is the content −

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<!DOCTYPE log4j:configuration SYSTEM "log4j.dtd">
<log4j:configuration>

<appender name="DB" class="org.apache.log4j.jdbc.JDBCAppender">
   <param name="url" value="jdbc:mysql://localhost/DBNAME"/>
   <param name="driver" value="com.mysql.jdbc.Driver"/>
   <param name="user" value="user_id"/>
   <param name="password" value="password"/>
   <param name="sql" value="INSERT INTO LOGS VALUES('%x','%d','%C','%p','%m')"/>
   
   <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout">
   </layout>
</appender>

<logger name="log4j.rootLogger" additivity="false">
   <level value="DEBUG"/>
   <appender-ref ref="DB"/>
</logger>

</log4j:configuration>

Sample Program

The following Java class is a very simple example that initializes and then uses the Log4J logging library for Java applications.

import org.apache.log4j.Logger;
import java.sql.*;
import java.io.*;
import java.util.*;

public class log4jExample{
   /* Get actual class name to be printed on */
   static Logger log = Logger.getLogger(log4jExample.class.getName());
   
   public static void main(String[] args)throws IOException,SQLException{
      log.debug("Debug");
      log.info("Info");
   }
}

Compile and Execute

Here are the steps to compile and run the above-mentioned program. Make sure you have set PATH and CLASSPATH appropriately before proceeding for compilation and execution.

All the libraries should be available in CLASSPATH and your log4j.properties file should be available in PATH. Follow the given steps −

  • Create log4j.properties as shown above.
  • Create log4jExample.java as shown above and compile it.
  • Execute log4jExample binary to run the program.

Now check your LOGS table inside DBNAME database and you would find the following entries −

mysql >  select * from LOGS;
+---------+------------+--------------+-------+---------+
| USER_ID | DATED      | LOGGER       | LEVEL | MESSAGE |
+---------+------------+--------------+-------+---------+
|         | 2010-05-13 | log4jExample | DEBUG | Debug   |
|         | 2010-05-13 | log4jExample | INFO  | Info    |
+---------+------------+--------------+-------+---------+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Note − Here x is used to output the Nested diagnostic Context (NDC) associated with the thread that generated the logging event. We use NDC to distinguish clients in server-side components handling multiple clients. Check Log4J Manual for more information on this.