Sunday, 2 January 2022

App Insights Overview for SaaS logging and tracing

Overview:  App Insights provides independent infrastructure for logging and tracing activities.  It is tightly coupled with Azure services including PaaS.  This allows for consistent scalable logging.

On a SaaS solution, I am looking for App Insights to log any errors have the ability to log trace information.  I want a unique correlationId on the front end if there is an error so support can identify the exact issue/transactions.  A unique correlationId in the http header allows for identifying a transaction and this is useful for tracing and performance monitoring.  Using the App Insights SDK's and implementing a common logging module is a good idea.  There are two common areas that need call out to ensure the ability to trace transactions:

  1. SPA's (Requirement to generate a unique operation/correlationId per operation not per pageview), and
  2. Long running operation such as timer jobs.

Support & DevOps:

Having a correlationId allows first line to log the correlationId and quickly follow the request without asking for replication steps.  Third line support has full traceability of an issue.

Performance issues are easy to identify and pass to support who can empirically see the perceived performance parts broken down using the correlationId in the header.

Key API's can be continuously monitored for errors and slow down in performance, alerts can be configured around this monitoring. 

Building a first line support tool that displays the errors in a hierarchy, has help scripts and knowledge bases is a good option for streamlining support.

App Insights has live monitoring and also has Kusto query language is useful for monitoring specific queries.


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