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NLog Targets

The beauty of NLog is the Targets ‘system’ that is extentible and easy to use. Also the most amazing thing is the default target list as provided by NLog and the ease with which custom targets can be written. The Targets provided by the Nlog  by default are more then sufficient for most needs.

There can be multiple targets that can be linked to multiple Rules.

Well, the currently provided targets as provided by NLog can be accessed here. Some of the most useful targets with sample configuration is as below:

  1. ColoredConsole: This target adds a ‘beautiful’ Colored logs on the console. Well from the name it applies for Console Applications only.
  2. File Target: The file target as form the names writes the log to any file. Also, the location of the file could be on the network path as well.

    There are two targets as defined above, one is normal file in local system and the other one is on network path. The archival options availabel for Files can be seen here
    There is also an possiblity to add more advanced options to control file parameters. An example code is given below as:
  3. Debug Target: As the name suggests it writes to the Log sink for the attached debugger  (if any :))
  4. Trace Target:  This also as prev, send the messages to system.Diagnoistics.Trace Listener. This can be useful, if there are any existing trace listeners, and nlog is to be configured to integrate with them.

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There are a plenty of logging tools and options in todays market but the userful are some. Almost all of them if not some do work on similar baseline, a set of rules to route and a sink to put in the logs. Some are really cool but have lost their sharpness with the low or no community updates like log4net which had been a great library for logging almost anything with .net. Some other good stuff like in the “Microsoft.Practices” namespace are also good but do have a good learning curve.

At this point NLog comes out as a wonderful logger with lowest learning curve, fastest adaption, small footprint, async support, and a large set of targets that can fulfill almost all requirement. With these set of articles, I shall try to put how easy it is to employe the hardlifting of logging in your projects. For this post, we shall take out lovely Simple Console Application. The download link for sample code can be found at the end of the post. Also note we are not using any abstract or patterns, this is just to demonstrate a brief purpose.

So, We first created the the Default Console Application Project with all default settings. And the we did a nuget install for nlog. This shall install the latest version of the package to project.

Once we have this, we are pretty good to start. Second Step Continue reading