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Advanced Log Parser Charts Part 4 - Adding Custom Input Formats

Advanced Log Parser Charts Part 4 - Adding Custom Input Formats

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In Part 4 of this series, I'll show you how you can do a couple of cool things:

  • Create a new input format for Log Parser (and I'll use FTP RSCA data as an example)
  • Create charts from your custom input format

For the data source for my custom plug-in, I thought that it would be cool to consume the data from FTP 7's Runtime Status (RSCA). If you've followed some of my old blogs, you would have seen that around five years ago I wrote the following pair of blogs about programmatically viewing FTP 7 sessions:

I'm going to recycle some of the FTP RSCA concepts from those blogs in order to create my COM plug-in.

Log Parser Input Formats

If you're like me, you already realize that the existing features of Log Parser simply rock. But what most people don't realize is that Log Parser lets you extend the functionality by adding new input formats, so you can consume the data from any place where you feel compelled to sit down and write your own Log Parser module.

As a quick reminder, Log Parser supports the following built-in input formats:

  • IIS Log File Input Formats
    • IISW3C: parses IIS log files in the W3C Extended Log File Format.
    • IIS: parses IIS log files in the Microsoft IIS Log File Format.
    • BIN: parses IIS log files in the Centralized Binary Log File Format.
    • IISODBC: returns database records from the tables logged to by IIS when configured to log in the ODBC Log Format.
    • HTTPERR: parses HTTP error log files generated by Http.sys.
    • URLSCAN: parses log files generated by the URLScan IIS filter.
  • Generic Text File Input Formats
    • CSV: parses comma-separated values text files.
    • TSV: parses tab-separated and space-separated values text files.
    • XML: parses XML text files.
    • W3C: parses text files in the W3C Extended Log File Format.
    • NCSA: parses web server log files in the NCSA Common, Combined, and Extended Log File Formats.
    • TEXTLINE: returns lines from generic text files.
    • TEXTWORD: returns words from generic text files.
  • System Information Input Formats
    • EVT: returns events from the Windows Event Log and from Event Log backup files (.evt files).
    • FS: returns information on files and directories.
    • REG: returns information on registry values.
    • ADS: returns information on Active Directory objects.
  • Special-purpose Input Formats
    • NETMON: parses network capture files created by NetMon.
    • ETW: parses Enterprise Tracing for Windows trace log files and live sessions.
    • COM: provides an interface to Custom Input Format COM plug-ins.

This last input format, COM, is how you interface with Log Parser in order to create your own input formats. When you install Log Parser, there are a few COM-based samples in the Log Parser directory, and you can take a look at those when you get the chance.

A Brief Introduction to Creating a COM plug-ins for Log Parser

To start with, your COM plug-in has to support a few public methods - and each of these will be more clear when I create my plug-in later:

Method NameDescription
OpenInput Opens your data source and sets up any initial environment settings.
GetFieldCount Returns the number of fields that your plug-in will provide.
GetFieldName Returns the name of a specified field.
GetFieldType Returns the datatype of a specified field.
GetValue Returns the value of a specified field.
ReadRecord Reads the next record from your data source.
CloseInput Closes your data source and cleans up any environment settings.

After you've created and registered your COM plug-in, you will call it by using something like the following syntax:

logparser "SELECT * FROM FOO" -i:COM -iProgID:BAR

In this example, FOO is some data source that makes sense to your plug-in, and BAR is the COM class name for your plug-in.

Creating the COM plug-in for FTP RSCA Data

I'm going to demonstrate how to create a COM component as a scriptlet, and then I'll call that from Log Parser to process the data. I chose to use a scriptlet for this demo because they are quick to design and they're easily portable. Since no compilation is required, updates take place on the fly. All of that being said, if I were writing a real COM plug-in for Log Parser, I would use C# or C++.

To create the sample COM plug-in, copy the following code into a text file, and save that file as "MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet.sct" to your computer. (Note: The *.SCT file extension tells Windows that this is a scriptlet file.)

<SCRIPTLET>
  <registration
    Description="FTP RSCA for Log Parser Scriptlet"
    Progid="MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet"
    Classid="{4e616d65-6f6e-6d65-6973-526f62657274}"
    Version="1.00"
    Remotable="False" />
  <comment>
  EXAMPLE 1: logparser "SELECT * FROM ftp.example.com" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet
  EXAMPLE 2: logparser "SELECT * FROM 1" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet
  </comment>
  <implements id="Automation" type="Automation">
    <method name="OpenInput">
      <parameter name="strValue"/>
    </method>
    <method name="GetFieldCount" />
    <method name="GetFieldName">
      <parameter name="intFieldIndex"/>
    </method>
    <method name="GetFieldType">
      <parameter name="intFieldIndex"/>
    </method>
    <method name="ReadRecord" />
    <method name="GetValue">
      <parameter name="intFieldIndex"/>
    </method>
    <method name="CloseInput">
      <parameter name="blnAbort"/>
    </method>
  </implements>
  <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="VBScript">

Option Explicit

Dim objAdminManager,objSessionDictionary
Dim objSitesSection,objSitesCollection
Dim objSiteElement,objFtpServerElement
Dim objSessionsElement,objSessionElement
Dim intSiteElementPos,intSession,intRecordIndex
Dim clsSession

intRecordIndex = -1

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Open an input session that reads FTP RSCA data and stores it in a dictionary object.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function OpenInput(strValue)
  Set objSessionDictionary = CreateObject("Scripting.Dictionary")
  Set objAdminManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager")
  objAdminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"
  Set objSitesSection = objAdminManager.GetAdminSection("system.applicationHost/sites", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST")
  Set objSitesCollection = objSitesSection.Collection
  If IsNumeric(strValue) Then
    intSiteElementPos = FindElement(objSitesCollection, "site", Array("id", strValue))
  Else
    intSiteElementPos = FindElement(objSitesCollection, "site", Array("name", strValue))
  End If
  If intSiteElementPos > -1 Then
    Set objSiteElement = objSitesCollection.Item(intSiteElementPos)
    Set objFtpServerElement = objSiteElement.ChildElements.Item("ftpServer")
    Set objSessionsElement = objFtpServerElement.ChildElements.Item("sessions").Collection
    For intSession = 0 To CLng(objSessionsElement.Count)-1
       Set objSessionElement = objSessionsElement.Item(intSession)
       Set clsSession = New Session
       clsSession.CurrentDateTime = GetUtcDate()
       clsSession.ClientIp = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("clientIp").Value
       clsSession.SessionId = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("sessionId").Value
       clsSession.SessionStartTime = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("sessionStartTime").Value
       clsSession.UserName = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("userName").Value
       clsSession.CurrentCommand = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("currentCommand").Value
       clsSession.PreviousCommand = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("previousCommand").Value
       clsSession.CommandStartTime = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("commandStartTime").Value
       clsSession.BytesSent = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("bytesSent").Value
       clsSession.BytesReceived = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("bytesReceived").Value
       clsSession.LastErrorStatus = objSessionElement.GetPropertyByName("lastErrorStatus").Value
       objSessionDictionary.Add intSession,clsSession
    Next
  End If
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Close the input session.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function CloseInput(blnAbort)
  intRecordIndex = -1
  objSessionDictionary.RemoveAll
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Return the count of fields.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function GetFieldCount()
  GetFieldCount = 11
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Return the specified field's name.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function GetFieldName(intFieldIndex)
  Select Case intFieldIndex
    Case 0
      GetFieldName = "currentDateTime"
    Case 1
      GetFieldName = "clientIp"
    Case 2
      GetFieldName = "sessionId"
    Case 3
      GetFieldName = "sessionStartTime"
    Case 4
      GetFieldName = "userName"
    Case 5
      GetFieldName = "currentCommand"
    Case 6
      GetFieldName = "previousCommand"
    Case 7
      GetFieldName = "commandStartTime"
    Case 8
      GetFieldName = "bytesSent"
    Case 9
      GetFieldName = "bytesReceived"
    Case 10
      GetFieldName = "lastErrorStatus"
  End Select
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Return the specified field's type.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function GetFieldType(intFieldIndex)
  Const TYPE_INTEGER   = 1
  Const TYPE_REAL      = 2
  Const TYPE_STRING    = 3
  Const TYPE_TIMESTAMP = 4
  Const TYPE_NULL      = 5
  
  Select Case intFieldIndex
    Case 0
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 1
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 2
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 3
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 4
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 5
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 6
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 7
      GetFieldType = TYPE_STRING
    Case 8
      GetFieldType = TYPE_INTEGER
    Case 9
      GetFieldType = TYPE_INTEGER
    Case 10
      GetFieldType = TYPE_INTEGER
  End Select
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Return the specified field's value.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function GetValue(intFieldIndex)
  If objSessionDictionary.Count > 0 Then
    Select Case intFieldIndex
      Case 0
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).CurrentDateTime
      Case 1
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).ClientIp
      Case 2
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).SessionId
      Case 3
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).SessionStartTime
      Case 4
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).UserName
      Case 5
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).CurrentCommand
      Case 6
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).PreviousCommand
      Case 7
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).CommandStartTime
      Case 8
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).BytesSent
      Case 9
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).BytesReceived
      Case 10
        GetValue = objSessionDictionary(intRecordIndex).LastErrorStatus
    End Select
  End If
End Function
  
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Read the next record, and return true or false if there is more data.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Function ReadRecord()
  If objSessionDictionary.Count > 0 Then
    If intRecordIndex < (objSessionDictionary.Count-1) Then
      intRecordIndex = intRecordIndex + 1
      ReadRecord = True
    Else
      ReadRecord = False
    End If
  End If
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Return the current UTC date/time.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Private Function GetUtcDate()
  Dim dtmNow,dtmUtc,strUtc
  Dim objShell,lngActiveTimeBias
  dtmNow = Now()
  Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
  lngActiveTimeBias = CLng(objShell.RegRead("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation\ActiveTimeBias"))
  dtmUtc = DateAdd("n",lngActiveTimeBias,dtmNow)
  strUtc = Year(dtmUtc) & "-" & _
    Right("0" & Month(dtmUtc),2) & "-" & _
    Right("0" & Day(dtmUtc),2) & "T" & _
    Right("0" & Hour(dtmUtc),2) & ":" & _
    Right("0" & Minute(dtmUtc),2) & ":" & _
    Right("0" & Second(dtmUtc),2) & ".000Z"
  GetUtcDate = strUtc
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Return an element's position in a collection.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Private Function FindElement(objCollection, strElementTagName, arrValuesToMatch)
  Dim i,elem,matches,j,prop,value
  For i = 0 To CInt(objCollection.Count) - 1
    Set elem = objCollection.Item(i)
    If elem.Name = strElementTagName Then
      matches = True
      For j = 0 To UBound(arrValuesToMatch) Step 2
        Set prop = elem.GetPropertyByName(arrValuesToMatch(j))
        value = prop.Value
        If Not IsNull(value) Then
          value = CStr(value)
        End If
        If Not value = CStr(arrValuesToMatch(j + 1)) Then
          matches = False
          Exit For
        End If
      Next
      If matches Then
        Exit For
      End If
    End If
  Next
  If matches Then
    FindElement = i
  Else
    FindElement = -1
  End If
End Function

' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
' Define a generic class for holding session data.
' --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Class Session
  Public CurrentDateTime
  Public ClientIp
  Public SessionId
  Public SessionStartTime
  Public UserName
  Public CurrentCommand
  Public PreviousCommand
  Public CommandStartTime
  Public BytesSent
  Public BytesReceived
  Public LastErrorStatus
End Class

  </SCRIPT>

</SCRIPTLET>

After you've saved the scriptlet code to your computer, you will register it by using the following syntax:

regsvr32 MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet.sct

At the very minimum, you can now use the COM plug-in with Log Parser by using syntax like the following:

logparser "SELECT * FROM ftp.example.com" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet

Next, we'll analyze what the scriptlet does.

Examining the COM plug-in in Detail

Here are the different parts of the scriptlet and what they do:

  • The <registration> section of the scriptlet sets up the COM registration information; you'll notice the COM component class name and GUID, as well as version information and a general description.
  • The <implements> section declares the public methods that the COM plug-in has to support.
  • The <script> section contains the actual implementation:
    • The first part of the script section declares the global variables that will be used.
    • The second part of the script contains the required methods:
      • The OpenInput()method opens the FTP RSCA data for a specific FTP site:
        • The site will be specified in your Log Parser query, and the COM plug-in supports using either the site name or the site's numeric ID:
          • "SELECT * FROM ftp.example.com"
          • "SELECT * FROM 1"
        • All of the RSCA data for the site in stored in classes that will be cached in a global dictionary for quick access
      • The  CloseInput() method doesn't do much in this script, but your COM plug-ins may require more clean up depending on your data source.
      • The GetFieldCount() method simply returns the number of data fields in each record of your data.
      • The GetFieldName() method returns the name of a field that is passed to the method as a number.
      • The GetFieldType()method returns the data type of a field that is passed to the method as a number; Log Parser supports the following five data types for COM plug-ins:
        • TYPE_INTEGER
        • TYPE_REAL
        • TYPE_STRING
        • TYPE_TIMESTAMP
        • TYPE_NULL
      • The GetValue() method returns the data value of a field that is passed to the method as a number.
      • The ReadRecord() method moves to the next record in your data set; this method returns True if there is data to read, or False when the end of data is reached.
    • The third part of the script contains some helper features:
      • The GetUtcDate() method returns the current date and time in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) format.
      • The FindElement() method locates a specified element's position within an IIS collection, or -1 if the element cannot be found. This method is used to determine the specified FTP site within the IIS configuration.
      • The Session class is a generic construct to hold the information for a single FTP RSCA data record.

This wraps up the description of how the scriptlet works as a COM plug-in, in the next part of my blog we'll look at how to actually use it.

Using the COM plug-in with Log Parser

Earlier I showed you how you can use the COM plug-in with Log Parser by using syntax like the following:

logparser "SELECT * FROM ftp.example.com" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet

This will return output that resembles something like the following:

currentDateTimeclientIpsessionIdsessionStartTimeuserNamecurrentCommandpreviousCommandcommandStartTimebytesSentbytesReceivedlastErrorStatus
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 3950d1e5-3e94-4734-a89a-9768c52aa924 2012-05-25T10:08:09.861Z robert PASS USER 2012-05-25T11:42:06.080Z 6049 1193 0
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 d1591fa8-3b09-4afd-b2c0-950421ba79fe 2012-05-25T10:08:18.184Z robert RETR NLST 2012-05-25T11:42:07.172Z 5887 1169 0
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 0f92b5ed-920a-441d-a15d-39056a36f2a4 2012-05-25T10:08:22.327Z robert NOOP NLST 2012-05-25T11:41:40.917Z 5857 1163 0
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 16925f0d-1fc5-4cb7-be19-ab33face2da9 2012-05-25T10:08:48.756Z   NLST SYST 2012-05-25T11:41:44.770Z 6026 1192 0
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 aeb68389-869b-4afc-8c81-47b578e74824 2012-05-25T10:08:54.214Z   USER HOST 2012-05-25T11:41:42.087Z 5864 1168 0
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 4ed55569-ee25-47d1-8388-12cdb90a1c07 2012-05-25T10:12:31.555Z alice RETR NLST 2012-05-25T11:42:01.789Z 5780 1138 0
2012-05-25T11:42:11.000Z 10.121.75.26 d6b16bb4-cb65-492d-a9fa-fbd6b72de0f3 2012-05-25T10:12:54.591Z bob NOOP NLST 2012-05-25T11:41:46.563Z 5748 1130 0
                     
Statistics:                    
-----------                    
Elements processed: 7                  
Elements output: 7                  
Execution time: 0.12 seconds                  

That information is something of a jumbled mess, and we can clean that up a bit by simply choosing the fields that we might be interested in:

userNamecurrentCommandcommandStartTime
--------------------------------------
robert PASS 2012-05-25T11:42:06.080Z
robert RETR 2012-05-25T11:42:07.172Z
robert NOOP 2012-05-25T11:41:40.917Z
  NLST 2012-05-25T11:41:44.770Z
  USER 2012-05-25T11:41:42.087Z
alice RETR 2012-05-25T11:42:01.789Z
bob NOOP 2012-05-25T11:41:46.563Z
     
Statistics:    
-----------    
Elements processed: 7  
Elements output: 7  
Execution time: 0.12 seconds  

Now let's look at some interesting data - one of the main focuses for this blog series is charting  with Log Parser, so let's look at doing something useful with the data. To start with, here's how to create a pie chart that counts the number of sessions by user name:

logparser "SELECT CASE UserName WHEN '' THEN 'anonymous' ELSE TO_LOWERCASE(UserName) END AS User,COUNT(*) AS Sessions INTO SessionCountByUser.gif FROM 1 GROUP BY User" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet -chartType:PieExploded -o:CHART -values:on -categories:off -legend:on -chartTitle:"User Sessions"

This will generate a chart like the following:

Here's a variation on that script that illustrates how to create a pie chart that counts the number of authenticated sessions versus anonymous sessions:

logparser "SELECT CASE UserName WHEN '' THEN 'Anonymous' ELSE 'Authenticated' END AS AuthType,COUNT(*) AS Sessions INTO AuthenticatedSessions.gif FROM 1 GROUP BY AuthType" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet -chartType:PieExploded -o:CHART -values:on -categories:off -legend:on -chartTitle:"Authenticated Sessions"

This will generate a chart like the following:

We can also do line, bar, and column charts with the data:

logparser "SELECT CASE UserName WHEN '' THEN 'anonymous' ELSE TO_LOWERCASE(UserName) END AS User,COUNT(*) AS Sessions INTO SessionCountByUser.gif FROM 1 GROUP BY User" -i:COM -iProgID:MSUtil.LogQuery.FtpRscaScriptlet -chartType:Column3D -o:CHART -values:on -legend:off -chartTitle:"User Sessions"

The above code sample will generate a chart like the following:

There's a lot more that we could do with this, but eventually I have to get some sleep, so I think that's enough fun for the day.

Summary

In this blog post, I've shown you how to add your own custom input format to Log Parser by creating scriptlet as a COM plug-in. I hope that you take this information and create some great Log Parser plug-ins of your own.

;-]

Comments
  • Excellent Info and I haven't seen this much info on Log Parser any where else. It would be great and useful to post sample code on using LogParser COM object from C/C++.

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