Error Notifications

Business Case 

When we build software we usually build into the software to ability to notify us (Ocom) when there is an error in the program. If the user has done something which cause the solution to fail we instantly get email notification of the error. 

Our users love it because we can (in some cases) ring them in advance and open with “I see your having an issue with XYZ, can you please tell me what you where doing before the error occurred?” The user is usually blown away by the fact we know of the issue and our willingness to solve the problem. We hate bugs as much the user and unfortunately they do happen but if we can fix them quickly it make everyones life easier.

Another bonus is that it’s easier to get a detailed description of what the user was doing just after the event rather than 2 hours later when they get round to letting you know “The software doesn’t work” And if they do beat us to the punch atleast we have a description of the error we can track without having to rely in the user sending us the error message.

Technical Details 

We usually use a combination of Log4J or Log4Net to use the SMTPAppender. When an Error level event is added to the log, the log (for the last few minutes) and the exception is sent to our support email address.

We also send to separate support emails for the client so we can filter the email in GMail based on the email address it was sent to and forward to the right support person.

For details on how to setup your Log4J to send email notification check out Burts Blog or google for “SMTPAppender GMail