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Posted 27 Aug 2003

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A realtime event log monitoring tool

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4.59 (30 votes)
27 Aug 2003     CPOL    
Demonstrates how to do realtime event log monitoring

Introduction

I'm an instant gratification kind of person. I like to see who and from where my machine is being accessed, as it occurs. This tool allows you to do just that and provides a number of other event log monitoring capabilities.

Background

While testing a piece of software that provides Windows event logging, our QA team questioned if there was a way to monitor events as they are written to the Windows event log, hence the creation of this little utility. The notifications that the tool displays are done so using the most-excellent NotifyIconEx class by Joel Matthias.

Capturing Events

The EventLog class contains an event handler called EntryWritten. This handler expects an argument of type EntryWrittenEventArgs. To capture events as they happen, we simply set the EnableRaisingEvents property to true and declare the method name that will handle the event.

private void StartWatch()
{      
  EventLog myLog = new EventLog(watchLog);
        
  // set event handler
  myLog.EntryWritten += new EntryWrittenEventHandler(OnEntryWritten);
  myLog.EnableRaisingEvents = true;
}

Displaying Events

When events that match the specified criteria occur, a balloon notification is displayed with the details of the last event that was written. (To capture and display Security log events, you must have auditing turned on.)

private void OnEntryWritten(object source, EntryWrittenEventArgs e)
{
  string logName = watchLog;
  GetLogEntryStats(watchLog);
  
  if (logType == eventFilter || eventFilter.Length == 0)
  {
    // show balloon
    NotifyIcon.ShowBalloon("Event Log Monitor",
      "An event was written to the "+logName+" event log."+
      "\nType: "+LogType+
      "\nSource: "+LogSource+
      "\nCategory: "+LogCategory+
      "\nEventID: "+EventID+
      "\nUser: "+User,
      NotifyIconEx.NotifyInfoFlags.Info,
      5000);
        
    LogNotification();
  }
}
    
private void GetLogEntryStats(string logName)
{
  int e = 0;
  
  EventLog log = new EventLog(logName);
  e = log.Entries.Count - 1; // last entry

  logMessage = log.Entries[e].Message;
  logMachine = log.Entries[e].MachineName;
  logSource = log.Entries[e].Source;
  logCategory = log.Entries[e].Category;
  logType = Convert.ToString(log.Entries[e].EntryType);
  eventID = log.Entries[e].EventID.ToString();
  user = log.Entries[e].UserName;
  logTime = log.Entries[e].TimeGenerated.ToShortTimeString();
  log.Close();  // close log
}

The GetEventLogs() method provides an overload for retrieving the logs from a remote machine. It is feasible to assume that event monitoring should work the same on a remote machine as it does on the local computer, given the appropriate permissions. As time permits, I'll be expanding the filtering capabilities of the tool and provide the ability to monitor multiple machines.

Compatibility Issues

The code has only been tested on Windows XP SP1 but should run on Windows 2000. However, while the NotifyIconEx class contains an event handler called BalloonClick, this isn't supported on Windows 2000. Will not work on Win9x or NT4 as they are incapable of displaying balloon notifications.

History

  • Version 1.0 - 08.22.2003

  • License

    This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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    About the Author

    Marc Merritt
    Product Manager
    United States United States
    I work for one of the world's best companies as a technical architecture delivery manager.

    Comments and Discussions

     
    AnswerRe: How to display the EVENT LOG MESSAGE TEXT? 1000 thanks for helping !!! Pin
    Chris Blue2-Mar-07 19:40
    memberChris Blue2-Mar-07 19:40 
    GeneralThanks for the most excellent code! Pin
    William E. Thompson14-Feb-07 5:18
    memberWilliam E. Thompson14-Feb-07 5:18 
    GeneralRe: Thanks for the most excellent code! Pin
    Marc Merritt14-Feb-07 5:32
    memberMarc Merritt14-Feb-07 5:32 
    GeneralUpdate to the code posted above. Pin
    William E. Thompson14-Feb-07 7:44
    memberWilliam E. Thompson14-Feb-07 7:44 
    GeneralCOOL!!! Pin
    Nicola Costantini29-Sep-06 0:34
    memberNicola Costantini29-Sep-06 0:34 
    GeneralRe: COOL!!! Pin
    Marc Merritt28-Jun-07 16:21
    memberMarc Merritt28-Jun-07 16:21 
    GeneralA little help with a modification I made to your app.. Pin
    gonepostal55528-Jun-06 6:31
    membergonepostal55528-Jun-06 6:31 
    GeneralRe: A little help with a modification I made to your app.. Pin
    Jim Weiler7-Sep-07 17:18
    memberJim Weiler7-Sep-07 17:18 
    Without seeing your code I'm not sure but it sounds like a typical mailslots problem. Net Send uses mailslots. The problem is that by design, Windows will send the message using all available protocols. Usually this means TCP, UDP and IPX, causing each message to be received 3 times. If you have a custom app to listen for the messages then you must account for this. I always gave each message an ID to discard duplicates. For more information look here.

    -Jim

    Generalnotification on error event only Pin
    c-a-b-9-Mar-06 2:09
    memberc-a-b-9-Mar-06 2:09 
    GeneralRe: notification on error event only Pin
    Jonnystar21-Mar-06 10:57
    memberJonnystar21-Mar-06 10:57 
    QuestionMultiple logs? Pin
    celtboy30-Oct-05 15:49
    memberceltboy30-Oct-05 15:49 
    AnswerRe: Multiple logs? Pin
    Jonnystar21-Mar-06 11:01
    memberJonnystar21-Mar-06 11:01 
    QuestionAppropriate Permissions? Pin
    JVMFX20-Oct-05 3:12
    memberJVMFX20-Oct-05 3:12 
    AnswerRe: Appropriate Permissions? Pin
    Marc Merritt20-Oct-05 3:37
    memberMarc Merritt20-Oct-05 3:37 
    GeneralLimitations Pin
    Los Guapos22-Dec-04 3:30
    memberLos Guapos22-Dec-04 3:30 
    GeneralRe: Limitations Pin
    dm218-Apr-05 8:27
    memberdm218-Apr-05 8:27 
    GeneralRe: Limitations Pin
    Jonnystar21-Mar-06 11:05
    memberJonnystar21-Mar-06 11:05 
    GeneralProblem with the monitoring tool Pin
    pat27088128-Jul-04 6:38
    memberpat27088128-Jul-04 6:38 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    Marc Merritt28-Jul-04 8:00
    memberMarc Merritt28-Jul-04 8:00 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    pat27088128-Jul-04 8:13
    memberpat27088128-Jul-04 8:13 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    Marc Merritt28-Jul-04 10:06
    memberMarc Merritt28-Jul-04 10:06 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    pat27088128-Jul-04 10:09
    memberpat27088128-Jul-04 10:09 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    pat27088128-Jul-04 22:19
    memberpat27088128-Jul-04 22:19 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    pat27088128-Jul-04 22:59
    memberpat27088128-Jul-04 22:59 
    GeneralRe: Problem with the monitoring tool Pin
    pat27088130-Jul-04 22:12
    memberpat27088130-Jul-04 22:12 

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