Logging FAQ

Using RPM logging to monitor and troubleshoot

When we first released RPM Remote Print Manager® ("RPM") we included a basic log so we could have a record, for the customer to review, of incoming jobs and print status.

I felt it was important to know that if they left RPM running overnight and wanted to know what had happened, they should be able to tell at a glance whether the jobs the expected had actually arrived, and been printed. For instance, knowing a job had been printed at a certain time would help them find out who walked off with it. That’s a troubleshooting call I hoped we could avoid!

I still remember when a customer called to say that RPM was not working correctly with their AS/400. This was my first exposure to the AS/400. I asked them to turn on detailed logging for networking and send that to me. That’s how I learned that the print system on the AS/400 had different expectations than what I was used to in the Unix world. I was able to program around that and get the customer going, all because of basic logging.

Notably, we invested a substantial amount of effort in logging in the RPM 6.2 release.

The current state of logging in RPM is that we have three logs:

  1. The message log, which lives in the RPM database along with job metadata and overall configuration (the job files themselves are on disk)
  2. The event log, which is an SQLite database in the RPM install folder
  3. Diagnostic logs which are text files, also in the RPM install folder

The Message Log

The message log is the primary diagnostic tool that RPM maintains. But, since it lives in the database, it can be the most invisible of the three.

RPM is set up on its own to do a certain amount of logging to the message log, so you don’t really need to do anything with it to use it. Many don’t know it’s there.

For an introduction please review the message log page

The Event log

The event log is probably the most visible of our logs as it lives in a corner of the user interface.

For an introduction please review the event log page

The Diagnostic Log

The diagnostic log is part of most of the programs we ship with RPM, yet it is largely behind the scenes and possibly a little fidgety to work with.

For an introduction please review the diagnostic log page

A word of advice

Let’s say you are experiencing a problem. If you could first consult with us about the problem and get our advice on what logs to send, and which diagnostic log settings to use, it would probably save us a great deal of time and help you get your problems resolved.

It’s not really helpful to send a huge file without any idea what we are looking for.

It’s even less helpful to send us a file with diagnostic log settings from another, unrelated problem but nothing related to the problem you are now experiencing.