Why And How To Set Up Error Logging?

A brief explanation of error monitoring tools and their various capabilities.

I remember well when a product I had built was used for the first time by a customer. This was, of course, a fantastic feeling, but also somewhat frightening. What if my product suddenly crashed? If a bug caused me to lose data? Or if there was a problem with payments?

All of these things ended up actually happening. And that's fine, that's part of new products. You make mistakes and learn from them. But it is then important to be aware of your mistakes if you want to fix them.

How do you know if a process had an error, if you yourself were not the user of the functionality at the time of the bug? Or if a process is running in the background? Then there is absolutely no way to know if something went wrong, and if so, what it was.

Error monitoring tools

To solve this problem, error monitoring tools were created. These catch errors from your application, and map them out. This is actually always done in an external application.

Get more context about your bugs

Usually, you will not only see an overview of all errors here, but you can also find relevant context here. For example:

  • In which environment does an issue occur?
  • Since which version of your code does it exist?
  • In which file does the issue occur?
  • Which user encountered the issue?

Stay up to date

Of course, you want to avoid having to log in every morning to see what issues occurred the previous day. You would like to know immediately if something goes wrong somewhere. Most tools can help you do that with dozens of integrations. For example:

Manage your bugs automatically

In addition to integrations to keep you informed, other integrations are available. For example, to automatically add issues to project management tools. For example, there are integrations for:

So in addition to all these integrations, there are dozens more. If you have an idea, there is probably an integration available for it. And if not, you can set it up with a tool like Zapier or Make.

Different available tools

There are a lot of different error monitoring tools available on the market. Exactly how many are of use to you, depends on what exactly you are attempting to monitor. The main ones are:

However, that doesn't mean you should only look at these options when searching for a solution. If you are specifically searching for a solution for cron job monitoring, you probably need a more specialized solution. For example, I work on Cronly, but there are also alternatives, such as Healthchecks.io or Cronitor.

Do you work with specific stacks? Then more specialized tools may be better for you. For example, if you work with Laravel, Flare might be of interest.