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4 Steps to Enable Instrumentation in WCF

Posted by Shivprasad Articles | WCF with C# March 14, 2010
Many times we would like to monitor events of WCF application in production environment. We would like to monitor events like errors, security audits, performance etc. This can be achieved by extending the ASP.NET health monitoring system in WCF. The health monitoring system is also termed as instrumentation.
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Introduction and Goal

Many times we would like to monitor events of WCF application in production environment. We would like to monitor events like errors, security audits, performance etc. This can be achieved by extending the ASP.NET health monitoring system in WCF. The health monitoring system is also termed as instrumentation.

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The event provider model

Instrumentation is provided using the event provider model. Events are notification which you receive from the WCF application which can be a security event like password change, UI click events, or exception events like application level errors. These events are captured by the provider and routed to some source like event viewer, SQL Server etc.

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Both events and provider are specified in the 'web.config' file. The 'eventmapping' element is where you specify your provider and 'rules' elements helps you tie up the event with the provider.

<healthMonitoring>
          <eventMappings>...</eventMappings>
          <rules>...</rules>
</healthMonitoring>

What will we do in this article?

In this article we will create a simple audit function which will help us to track all calls made to the WCF service in to event viewer. So any calls by the WCF client will be tracked and audited in to the event viewer. For every call we will be tracking details like number of threads, working sets, app domains, when the message was created and when was it raised. Below is the snippet for the same which will be tracked in the event viewer.

***************start health monitoring event*******************
message created at:Event Created at :3/14/2010 11:32:37 AM
message raised at:Event Created at :3/14/2010 11:32:37 AM
Heap size 3480664
Number of threads 19
Number of Working sets 32165888
Number of domains 1
Request rejected 0******************End Health Monitoring event*********************

Step 1: Create the main event class

The first step is to create a class which will help us to track the calls made to the WCF service. This class needs to be inherited from 'WebAuditEvent' class. This class helps us to track audit events, generate information about security related operation and provide both success and failure audit events.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Web.Management;

namespace healthmonitering
{
    public class CustomAudit : WebAuditEvent
    {
    }
}

In the same class lets add 3 private fields ,' msgcreated' , ' msgraised' and 'WebProcessStatistics'. By using ' msgcreated' and ' msgraised' we can track at what time event is created and raised. 'WebProcessStatistics' will provide information for assessing the health of a running process.

private string msgcreated = string.Empty;
private string msgraised = string.Empty;
private static WebProcessStatistics processStatistics;

Implement the necesarry public constructors that call the protected equivalents in the parent WebAuditEvent class.Base keyword is used to access the member of base class within the derived class as shown in the below code snippet. Note we have created the 'WebProcessStatistics' object and set it to the private member variable.

public CustomAudit(string message, object eventsource, int eventcode)
    : base(message, eventsource, eventcode)
{
    msgcreated = string.Format("Event Created at :{0}", EventTime.ToString());
    processStatistics = new WebProcessStatistics();
}

In both the constructors we are checking at what time event is created. Now override the Raise method as shown in the below code snippet.

public override void Raise()
{
    msgraised = string.Format("Event Created at :{0}", EventTime.ToString());
    base.Raise();
}

Override the 'FormatCustomEventDetails' method with the message we want to log in the eventviewer. Note, we have used 'WebProcessStatistics' to get information like Heap size,Number of threads,Number of Working sets,Number of domains and Request rejected.

public override void FormatCustomEventDetails(WebEventFormatter formatter)
{
    formatter.AppendLine("");
    formatter.IndentationLevel += 1;
    formatter.AppendLine("***************start health monitoring event*******************");
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("message created at:{0}",msgcreated));
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("message raised at:{0}", msgraised));
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("Heap size {0}", processStatistics.ManagedHeapSize.ToString()));
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("Number of threads {0}", processStatistics.ThreadCount.ToString()));
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("Number of Working sets {0}", processStatistics.WorkingSet.ToString()));
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("Number of domains {0}", processStatistics.AppDomainCount.ToString()));
    formatter.AppendLine(string.Format("Request rejected {0}", processStatistics.RequestsRejected.ToString()));
    formatter.AppendLine("******************End Health Monitoring event*********************");
    formatter.IndentationLevel -= 1;
}

In the Raise method, we are checking at what time event raised and in 'FormatCustomEventDetails' we are appending the result in the audit event.

Step 2:- Create the WCF service and change web.config

namespace WcfService3
{
    [ServiceContract]
    public interface IService1
    {
        [OperationContract]
        string GetData(int value);
        [OperationContract]
        string Audit();
    }
}

In the 'Audit' function We are going to implement our health monitering functionality in health operation contract. 

In the Service1.svc.cs class implement the 'Audit' function by creating the 'CustomAudit' object and calling the 'Raise' function as shown in the below code snippet.

public class Service1 : IService1
{
    public string Audit()
    {
        Healthmonitering.CustomAudit webevent = new Healthmonitering.CustomAudit("Some on called", this, WebEventCodes.WebExtendedBase + 1);
        webevent.Raise();
        return "Event raised";
    }
}

In the constructor we are sending message, eventsource and event code as a parameter.

Now go to the 'web.config' and under 'system.web' element and add the 'healthmonitoring' tag. 

Specify 'CustomAudit' class in the 'eventMappinga' element and mapping of the class with event viewer in the 'rules' element tag as shown in the below code snippet.

<healthMonitoring>
          <eventMappings>
                   <add name="healthmonitering" type="Healthmonitering.CustomAudit"/>
          </eventMappings>
          <rules>
                   <add name="healthmonitering" eventName="healthmonitering" provider="EventLogProvider" minInterval="00:00:01"/>
          </rules>
</healthMonitoring>

Step 3 :- Consume the WCF service in the ASPX client.

So let's add a ASPX button, consume the client service and call the 'Audit' function in the button click event as shown in below code snippets.

<asp:Button ID="Button1" runat="server" Text="Invoke" onclick="Button1_Click" />

Now in the button click event write these lines

protected void Button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    ServiceReference1.Service1Client proxy = new WebApplication1.ServiceReference1.Service1Client();
    string result = proxy.Audit();
    Response.Write(result);
}

Here we are creating the proxy,invoking the 'audit' method and displaying the result of the 'audit' method.

Step 4 :- See the audit data in Eventviewer

Run the web application which is consuming the WCF service and press the button to invoke the WCF audit function. 

The 'Audit' function internally calls the 'Raise' event which logs the message in an event viewer. So go to Start->run->type eventvwr.

It contains information like Heap size,Number of threads,Number of Working sets,Number of domains and Request rejected as shown in the below figure. 

2.jpg

Source code

Above is the attached source code for the same. Download the Source code from top of this article

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