10 Application Insights Logging Best Practices

Logging is an important part of any application, and Application Insights is a great tool to help with that. Here are 10 best practices to follow when using it.

Application Insights is a powerful tool for monitoring and diagnosing applications. It provides insights into the performance and usage of applications, and can be used to detect and diagnose issues.

However, in order to get the most out of Application Insights, it is important to ensure that the right data is being logged. This article will discuss 10 best practices for logging data in Application Insights, so that you can get the most out of the tool.

1. Use a single instance of TelemetryClient

When you create multiple instances of TelemetryClient, each instance will have its own configuration settings. This means that if you’re using different configurations for different parts of your application, they won’t be applied consistently across the board. Additionally, creating multiple instances can lead to performance issues as well as an increase in data storage costs.

To ensure consistent logging and optimal performance, it’s best practice to use a single instance of TelemetryClient throughout your application. You can then configure this instance with all the necessary settings, such as sampling rate, instrumentation key, etc., so that all logs are sent with the same configuration.

2. Avoid using the static Logger class

The static Logger class is a singleton, meaning that it can be accessed from anywhere in the application. This makes it difficult to track down where log messages are coming from and can lead to issues with logging performance.

Instead of using the static Logger class, use dependency injection to inject an instance of the logger into each class or component that needs to log information. This will make it easier to trace back log messages to their source and ensure that your application’s logging performance remains optimal.

3. Make sure your log messages are useful and actionable

Logging is a great way to track and monitor the performance of your application, but if you’re not logging useful information, then it’s all for naught.

When writing log messages, make sure they are descriptive enough that someone can quickly understand what happened without having to dig into the code or other resources. Additionally, make sure the message contains enough detail so that an action can be taken based on the log entry. For example, instead of just logging “Error occurred,” include details such as the type of error, where it occurred, and any relevant data associated with the error. This will help ensure that your logs are actually useful and actionable.

4. Don’t use exceptions for flow control

Exceptions are expensive and can slow down your application. They should only be used to indicate an unexpected error or condition that needs to be handled.

Using exceptions for flow control, such as checking if a user is authorized to access a certain page, will cause unnecessary overhead in the form of logging and performance degradation. Instead, use other methods like authorization checks or custom logging messages to track user activity. This will help keep your application running smoothly while still providing you with the insights you need.

5. Capture unhandled exceptions

Unhandled exceptions are the most common type of errors that occur in applications, and they can be difficult to track down. By capturing unhandled exceptions with Application Insights, you can quickly identify where the problem is occurring and take steps to fix it.

Application Insights also allows you to set up alerts for when certain types of exceptions occur, so you can be notified as soon as an issue arises. This helps ensure that any problems are addressed quickly and efficiently, minimizing downtime and ensuring a better user experience.

6. Track dependencies

Dependencies are the external services that your application relies on, such as databases, web APIs, and other applications.

By tracking dependencies, you can get a better understanding of how they affect your application’s performance. For example, if you notice that one of your database queries is taking longer than usual, you can use Application Insights to pinpoint the exact query and investigate further. This helps you identify potential issues before they become major problems.

You should also track any errors or exceptions that occur when making requests to these external services. This will help you quickly identify and fix any issues with your code or the service itself.

7. Track custom events and metrics

Custom events and metrics allow you to track user behavior, performance, and other data points that are specific to your application. This helps you gain a better understanding of how users interact with your app, what features they use the most, and where there may be areas for improvement.

By tracking custom events and metrics, you can also identify trends in usage over time, which can help inform decisions about product development and marketing strategies. Additionally, these insights can help you optimize your application’s performance by pinpointing bottlenecks or areas of slow response times.

8. Use Application Insights with Docker containers

Using Application Insights with Docker containers allows you to monitor the performance of your applications in real-time. This means that you can quickly identify and address any issues before they become a problem. Additionally, it provides detailed insights into how your application is performing, which helps you optimize its performance over time. Finally, using Application Insights with Docker containers makes it easier to deploy and manage your applications across multiple environments.

9. Monitor performance in production

When you monitor performance in production, you can identify and address any issues that arise before they become a problem. This helps ensure your application is running smoothly and efficiently, which leads to better user experience and customer satisfaction.

Application Insights provides powerful tools for monitoring performance in production, such as real-time analytics, custom dashboards, and alerting capabilities. With these features, you can quickly detect and diagnose problems, allowing you to take corrective action before it affects your users.

10. Use Application Insights with Azure Functions

Azure Functions are serverless compute services that allow you to run code on-demand without having to manage any infrastructure. This makes it easy to quickly deploy and scale applications, but it also means that there is no traditional logging system in place. Application Insights provides a powerful solution for monitoring Azure Functions by providing detailed insights into the performance of your functions. It can track errors, latency, and other metrics so you can identify issues quickly and take corrective action. Additionally, Application Insights integrates with other Azure services such as Event Hubs and Service Bus, allowing you to easily monitor distributed systems.


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