It's been out since 2009, but I haven't spent the time until now to play around with Microsoft's ULS Viewer. For those of you that have dug around in the ULS log files SharePoint puts in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS, you'll really appreciate this tool. Basically it will read in those log files and parse them, presenting them ina nice tabular format. Once you have them in that format, the tool makes it easy to sort, filter, and analyze them.
While not officially supported by Microsoft, it is available on their site at http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/ULSViewer. There is no install, it is just an executable that you run. You don't need to run it from the server if you have a network share to the ULS logs.
There's lots you can do with the tool. One of my favourite features is the ability to filter, particularly by correclation ID. When you get the dreaded "Unkown error" with a correlation ID, it is easy to track those down and analyze them. You simply do the following:
- Launch the ULS Viewer
- File - Open From - ULS
- Enter the path for the ULS logs of they are remote
- Edit - Modify Filter
- Choose Correlation and enter the ID to filter by
The other nice thing is the tool is real time, and will continue to bring in new entries live from the log files. Of course there are lots more features that are easy to explore through.