Reading and Cutomizing IIS Log Files: A Complete Guide

Reading and Cutomizing IIS Log Files: A Complete Guide

IIS or Internet Information Services uses a logging architecture to log any event. When it does, it also uses the relevant logging module. If something goes wrong, you can inspect the logging architecture and analyze the issue. Besides the issue and the origin, you can also check the demographics and how the IIS was used. So suffice to say it’s a really flexible tool. To start using it, you must know how to read and customize the log files that are logged into the IIS logging architecture. That’s what the article is all about. Continue reading to learn more.

Locating the IIS Log Files

The first thing you should learn is how to locate the IIS Log Files. Here are the steps to follow:
  • Go to Start >> Control Panel >> Administrative Tools
  • Run the IIS
  • Find your website on the tree menu on the left-hand panel. Copy the site ID into the clipboard
  • Click on the website and then double-click on the logging icon. Doing so will open the settings menu screen
  • Scroll down till the bottom where you’ll come across the ‘Directory’ box that lists the path to the logging files
That’s where the IIS log files exist.

Reading IIS Log Files

Next, you need to know how to read IIS log files. There are various software packages available that make it possible like the Log Parser and Log Parser Studio. Many people prefer the latter because Log Parser doesn’t have an UI to work with. But Log Parser Studio isn’t all easy either. There are some issues, but the UI make things a bit easier. Here are the steps to take after downloading for reading IIS Log Files with Log Parser Studio:
  • Download and start the Log Parser Studio
  • Open File >> New Query
  • Find and tap on the ‘Open’ icon
  • Select the log files you wish to view
  • Select log types as ‘IISW3CLOG
  • Now you can start querying the log files. Here’s a basic example of how to do it:
Code:
SELECT TOP 500 *
FROM'[LOGFILEPATH]'
ORDERBYtime-taken
If you wish, you can export the files in CSV format.

Customizing IIS Log Files

In the last part, you’ll learn how to customize the IIS Log Files. There are many options available within the IIS Manager Console. You can tweak the settings to get the desired configuration. For example, you can change the way of log file rollover. Thus, you can set whether the files are logged on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis.

Besides that, you can customize the logged fields in the file. You can edit the existing ones, remove them, or enter your own separate fields as per the needs. Everything is available in the W3C logging fields. Look for ‘Format’ selection option and then click on ‘Select Fields’. Once done, save the changes and exit.

So that’s how read and customize IIS Log Files. When the need arises, look into the log files for errors. For further assistance, get in touch with the hosting customer support team.
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