27 may. 2014

Liferay 6 and Sentry


Sentry [1] is a great tool for error tracking and Liferay [2] is a very popular portal software that we deploy for out customer as part of our main product.

Log4j configuration with Liferay

As stated in [3], custom log4j configuration is done adding these files:
  • portal-log4j-ext.xml
  • log4j.dtd
to folder: tomcat-[version]/webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/classes/META-INF where [version] is something like 7.0.23 and depends on the concrete Liferay version you are working with.

The portal-log4j-ext.xml overrides the file portal-log4j.xml which can be found inside portal-impl.jar (in webapps/ROOT/WEB-INF/lib). You can get a copy from here [4]. The companion file log4j.dtd can be found here [5].

Get Sentry Java Client (raven-java)

To log any errors in our Liferay instance to Sentry, we need a Sentry Java Client which works together with log4j (a Log4j appender) and can be downloaded from here [7].

Although Liferay already includes log4j 1.2.x we choose the jar that includes all dependencies (for a reason I explain below):

Download the file raven-log4j-[version]-jar-with-dependencies.jar where [version] is currently: 1.0-SNAPSHOT. 

Configure Liferay to log to Sentry

This is done it two steps:
  1. Copy the downloaded raven-log4j JAR to tomcat-/lib
  2. Customize portal-log4j-ext.xml
Copy raven-log4j file
Copy the downloaded raven-[version]-jar-with-dependencies.jar to tomcat-[version]/lib.
Although all the java dependencies should normally live together with the web application and the downloaded file contains log4j 1.2.x, we have chosen this approach for the following reasons:

  • Then specific log4j appender and Sentry java client (raven-java) will be available for other deployed web applications. Take into account that in Liferay deployment each extra portlet is considered a separate web application with its own J2EE application context. Each of them will have to be configured individually to log to Sentry.
  • The log4j version included in raven-log4j-[version]-jar-with-dependencies.jar has the same major and minor version (1.2), i.e. the Sentry log appender (SentryAppender and AsyncSentryAppender) should be 100% compatible. Special caution should be given when using other versions.
  • The tomcat/lib contains class libraries (JAR) which are shared between all of the deployed web applications (WAR). But (!) the J2EE classloader magic avoids calls from a shared class library back to a web application class. In this case, it doesn't happen.
  • The web application classes and class libraries have preference when searching for a class
Customize portal-log4j-ext.xml
Following this example [6] where Nuxeo is configured for Sentry, we have to add an appender and activate it in portal-log4j-ext.xml, like this:
 <?xml version="1.0"?>  
 <!DOCTYPE log4j:configuration SYSTEM "log4j.dtd">  
 <log4j:configuration xmlns:log4j="http://jakarta.apache.org/log4j/">  
   <appender class="org.apache.log4j.ConsoleAppender" name="CONSOLE">  
     <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout">  
       <param name="ConversionPattern" value="%d{ABSOLUTE} %-5p [%c{1}:%L] %m%n" />  
   <appender class="org.apache.log4j.rolling.RollingFileAppender" name="FILE">  
     <rollingpolicy class="org.apache.log4j.rolling.TimeBasedRollingPolicy">  
       <param name="FileNamePattern" value="@liferay.home@/logs/liferay.%d{yyyy-MM-dd}.log" />  
     <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout">  
       <param name="ConversionPattern" value="%d{ABSOLUTE} %-5p [%c{1}:%L] %m%n" />  
   <appender class="net.kencochrane.raven.log4j.SentryAppender" name="Sentry">  
     <param name="dsn" value="http://[two hashes separared by a colon]@log.tangrambpm.es/5" />  
     <filter class="org.apache.log4j.varia.LevelRangeFilter">  
       <param name="levelMin" value="INFO" />  
   <category name="com.ecyrd.jspwiki">  
     <priority value="ERROR">  
     <priority value="INFO">  
     <appender-ref ref="CONSOLE">  
     <appender-ref ref="FILE">  
     <appender-ref ref="Sentry">  

After theses steps and a Liferay restart you should be done.


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