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Comparing Log Tools

I've only ever used built in SQL Server tools but have been looking at
log tools. I looked at Log Explorer 4.02 from lumigent.com and was very
impressed with what I saw. The prices tag per instance was a bit hefty
I felt though. I've been over to LogPI.com and am reading some of the
"features" I've yet to d/l the evaluation demo. The price is over half
that of Log Explorer (I'm converting to local currency on the fly
here).
Questions.... logPI any good? Log Explorer worth the extra $?
Anyone using either and have any opinions to share?
Are 3rd party tools worthwhile?

Unrelated but for my info.... does/will Yukon come with a similar built
in tool? I haven't had a chance to look at Yukon yet.
Cheers
Jay

Jul 23 '05 #1
3 1554
<Ja******@gmail .com> wrote:
I've only ever used built in SQL Server tools but have been looking at
log tools. I looked at Log Explorer 4.02 from lumigent.com and was very
impressed with what I saw. The prices tag per instance was a bit hefty
I felt though. I've been over to LogPI.com and am reading some of the
"features" I've yet to d/l the evaluation demo. The price is over half
that of Log Explorer (I'm converting to local currency on the fly
here).
Questions.... logPI any good? Log Explorer worth the extra $?
Anyone using either and have any opinions to share?
Are 3rd party tools worthwhile?

Unrelated but for my info.... does/will Yukon come with a similar built
in tool? I haven't had a chance to look at Yukon yet.
Cheers
Jay


Jay,

[I have no affiliation with Lumigent other than as a satisfied customer.]

When we bought Log Explorer (about 8 months ago), we didn't evaluate LogPI,
so I can't comment on it. However, we've been very happy with Log Explorer
and what we're able to do with it. I probably traded 4 or 5 emails with
technical staff and had one conference call before we bought it: they were
very knowledgeable and very forthcoming. After we purchased it, every email
I sent to our technical contact was answered promptly (some in less than 15
minutes). It's still my feeling that the technical and sales support we got
went beyond the norm for software in that price range.

Overall, we feel like we got much more than our money's worth. To put the
money in perspective, our company is considered small (privately owned, ca
150 employees) and while we're not averse to spending money it's not unusual
for us to go 3 - 12 months without spending any money on IT software.

Although we played with it extensively after we got it, our main reason to
buy was as a safety net (for when "OH CRAP!" was heard coming from a
developer's cubicle :). 8 months later, we actually get the most use out of
the various emails that can be sent by Log Explorer: now I actually know
when a developer decides to just recompile a new version of a stored proc on
the main database on our main data server. It's always nice to have
documentation before beating someone senseless :)

Of course, I'd have paid double if it had come with an SDK, but that's
another story entirely.

On the negative side, I have heard people (but I don't remember the source)
complain about tech support they received from Lumigent. We've had nothing
but positive things to say about them, but my experience isn't broad enough
to tell you if we're the exception or the norm.

Craig
Jul 23 '05 #2
Jay
Many thanks for that Craig.
We have 2 developers here (myself and one other) and we do all testing
in the Dev environment before letting loose in the real world (99% of
the time if the truth be told) my interest in LE was the ability to
role back row level records (changes) rather than having to restore to
a point in time thus potentially losing other bonafide changes.
Jay

Jul 23 '05 #3
"Jay" <Ja******@gmail .com> wrote:
Many thanks for that Craig.
We have 2 developers here (myself and one other) and we do all testing
in the Dev environment before letting loose in the real world (99% of
the time if the truth be told) my interest in LE was the ability to
role back row level records (changes) rather than having to restore to
a point in time thus potentially losing other bonafide changes.
Jay


Jay,

You're welcome.

That's originally why we bought it as well (and the fact that we could look
at row-level changes: our system isn't fully audited). It works well for
fixing problems, but the farther away you get from the modification, the
less useful it is (obviously from a data integrity standpoint, but also
because of the sheer volume of transactions you have to pour through,
although there is a search function).

"99% of the time if the truth be told"

We have four actual developers and that's about how we handle it: but the 1%
was getting kinda hairy for us :)

One thing that I forgot: we have an automated build procedure that (among
other things) checks table schema and scripts stored procedures from test to
production. Running one of these builds results in about 2500 procs getting
re-scripted on production... It was quite a bit of fun the night of the
first build after installing Log Explorer when the first of about 5000
emails started rolling in (one for the DROP and one for the CREATE).

The problem here is that Log Explorer provides no documented interface to
automatically turn those emails on and off. Their technical people helped
us with the necessary changes so our steps look like:

- Delete specific rows from a table in the Lumigent database

- Fire off a Log Explorer extended procedure to notify the engine things
have changed (named xp_LEServer_Tra ceConfigure)

- Run the rest of the automated build

- Re-insert the deleted rows

- Call xp_LEServer_Tra ceConfigure again

This didn't bother us but some might consider it a PITA, especially if you
aren't that concerned with the emails in the first place (although you can
just turn them off permanently).

Craig
Jul 23 '05 #4

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